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Friday, June 24, 2022

Qatar Airways Makes Face Shields Mandatory (In Addition To Face Masks)

Qatar Airways is currently one of the largest airlines in the world, as the airline has continued to operate throughout the pandemic, and has expanded its route network significantly in recent weeks.

While the Doha-based airline already had safety protocols in place, some changes have been announced, including additional measures for passengers, and new uniforms for cabin crew. Let’s take a look at the details.In this post:

Qatar Airways passengers now have to wear face shields

Up until now, Qatar Airways passengers have had to wear face masks, but that requirement is being expanded. Qatar Airways passengers now have to wear face shields, in addition to face masks:

  • The disposable face shields will be handed out at boarding gates, and for those originating in Doha, they’ll be handed out at check-in
  • The face shields will come in two standard sizes — one for adults, and one for kids

Qatar Airways’ new face shields

What’s interesting is the requirements around wearing the face shields:

  • Economy class passengers are required to wear face shields in addition to face masks throughout the flight, except when they are served meals or drinks
  • Business class passengers are asked to wear face shields and face masks onboard at their own discretion, “as they enjoy more space and privacy”
  • Children under two years of page are advised not to wear face shields and face masks
  • During boarding and disembarkation, all passengers will be required to wear face masks and face shields

I’m a bit surprised by the lack of requirements for business class passengers. I can sort of rationalize that if we’re talking about Qsuites, where there’s a door.

Qatar Airways’ A350 Qsuites

But Qatar Airways also has many planes where seats are closer to one another, and don’t offer any sort of privacy.

Qatar Airways’ A330 business class

Are those passengers really not required to wear face masks or face shields?!

Qatar Airways will offer protective kits

In addition to the new face shield requirement, all passengers will be provided with a protective kit, which includes:

  • A single-use surgical face masks
  • Large disposable powder-free gloves
  • An alcohol-based hand sanitizer (business class passengers will get an additional 75ml gel tube of hand sanitizer)

Qatar Airways’ new protective kit

Qatar Airways flight attendants get new PPE

Qatar Airways is introducing new disposable protective gowns for all cabin crew that are fitted over uniforms, in addition to safety glasses, gloves, and a mask. The new gowns feature Qatar Airways’ logo.

When the pandemic started, Qatar Airways crews were in full body suits. Given how image-focused the airline is, I’m surprised they did that.

Qatar Airways’ old flight attendant uniform

The new uniforms look much better, in my opinion.

Qatar Airways’ new flight attendant uniform

One thing that surprises me is that passengers have to wear face shields, while cabin crew “only” have to wear glasses.

Bottom line

Qatar Airways will become one of the first major airlines to require all passengers to wear both face masks and face shields. Interestingly this is optional in business class, even on planes without Qsuites.

On top of that, all passengers will receive protective kits, and cabin crew will also be getting slightly more normal-looking PPE (without face shields).

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