Ryanair is set to resume 1,000 daily flights from tomorrow (Wednesday, July 1) after months of planes being grounded amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, while flights will be departing, the inflight experience will see some new changes.
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Like many airlines around the world, Ryanair is enforcing new social distancing and hygiene methods.
These new protocols begin at the airport and continue until you have landed at your destination.
The carrier has published a detailed summary of all of the new measures designed to make guests and crew feel more at ease when travelling.
Ryanair’s Eddie Wilson said: “We are delighted to be back flying from July 1, and we encourage our guests and our people to follow Ryanair’s new ‘Healthy Flying’ measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect them across their whole journey.
“All the aircraft are fitted with state of the art filters – which remove any airborne particles while you travel – and every aircraft is disinfected daily with chemicals that are effective for over 24 hours.
“With temperature checks, face masks, cashless flights and self-service where possible, our customers can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to reduce human interaction and protect their health when flying Ryanair.
“We will now require our guests to follow a set of simple guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
So, what can travellers expect when jetting off with Ryanair?
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Mandatory Face masks
Passengers travelling with Ryanair will now be required to wear a face mask for the duration of their journey.
The budget airline posted a video of their face mask measures on their Twitter page with the caption: “The health and safety of our passengers is very important to us – this is why face masks will be mandatory on all of our flights once we return to service.”
Travellers are also asked to wear their mask for boarding and upon arrival.
“On arrival, please keep your face mask on until you have left the airport terminal,” Ryanair suggests.
The crew will also wear face masks.
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Customers are asked to keep checking their own temperature when travelling.
Temperature checks may also occur prior to boarding and at arrivals at some airports.
Passengers are asked to frequently wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, for the duration of their journey.
Hand sanitiser will be available in airports as well as onboard flights.
The crew will also follow the same hand hygiene protocols.
The check-in experience is set to be transformed with passengers now encouraged to check-in prior to their arrival at the airport.
This can be done online or by using the Ryanair app.
Where using a check-in desk is absolutely necessary, the crew will wear face masks. Passengers should do the same.
Although Ryanair is not changing its current luggage policy, it does encourage customers to bring limited baggage where possible.
The airline suggests two carry-on bags only.
Contrary to government advice, which suggests passengers should avoid hand luggage, Ryanair is actively encouraging travellers to bring hand luggage rather than hold luggage as it is technically handled by fewer people.
Hand luggage is carried only by the passenger, while hold luggage must pass through a staff chain in order to reach the hold.
Self-service bag drops
Customers who do need to check luggage into the hold are asked to do so using self-service machines.
These will be placed at check-in desks.
Customers will also be able to self-scan their own boarding passes.
No more boarding or toilet queues
Passengers are asked not to form a queue to board the plane and instead wait to be called.
This is to ensure minimal contact between travellers and staff.
During boarding no queueing will be allowed in stairwells or on air bridges.
Similarly, queues to use the toilet will not be allowed onboard.
Passengers must instead ask a crew member if they can use the toilet.
Limited food service onboard
Inflight service will be limited onboard flights.
Passengers will be able to purchase wrapped snacks and some drinks.
All food and other onboard payments must be made contactlessly by card.
Air sanitisation and filtration
New air sanitisation and filtration systems have been fitted throughout aircraft.
Ryanair’s website states: “Our aircraft are fitted with state of the art air filtration systems which operate to hospital standards.”
Planes will also be professionally cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. This is effective for more than 24 hours.
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