Great travel news from Lufthansa — the airline’s elevated health and safety measures are reopening the skies for flying. Lufthansa is ready to spread its wings!
How is Lufthansa staying safe during COVID?
What is being done to return to normalcy?
I attended a Lufthansa webinar detailing the trust and confidence channels the company is undertaking to ensure the securest journey for passengers. Led by Dr. Bjorn Becker, Ground & Digital Services of Lufthansa Group, the webinar detailed the LHG Process, which is all about following the science, putting safety first, and accessing and adapting every passenger process and touchpoint.
Taking the right approach
The forward-thinking initiatives place an emphasis on the sensible with a focus on the well-being of their customers over optics. I like that.
I, too, have reservations about flying again before a vaccine is available. So, I thought it would be beneficial to attend the “Restart” seminar. Here are some of the key points.
Lufthansa believes COVID-19 tests are essential to the health and safety of travelers.
Lufthansa’s current challenge is that procedures from around the globe are not yet harmonized, but they will be. A service for all customers, testing will be a premium part of the Lufthansa package, and there will be differentiation between Premium, Business, and Economy Class passengers. For now, First Class is not open.
Currently in Germany, one registers and buys a test (like on Amazon) that has its own QR code. Different countries have different regulations, so do your research before you flying in or out.
Travelling and corona
There are two different types of test methods:
PCR test — This is done in a laboratory and takes a bit longer. Results are ready in about 2 to 3 hours.
Antigen test — The good news is that acute infection results take15 to 20 minutes, however, the bad news is that antigen tests are not validated yet.
Elements of testing along with airport and on-board protections eventually will be rolled out to U.S. travelers. For now, passengers need to be tested before departure and arrival. When returning to Germany, passengers will receive their test results within 24 hours.
Dr. Becker says the testing will stay around for the next 12 to 18 months. This certainly makes me feel safer about flying. I would love for this to be a permanent safety measure, even after COVID. I think travel would be made far more enjoyable without having to worry about viruses and other germs. Lastly, the travel ban is not the right way to go since 99% of the people are not affected.
Strategies for safety
The Lufthansa team regularly meets to work on the safety of airport touch points. Already, the boarding process is contactless. Passengers will need to download an app to show a Certificate of Health along with passports before boarding. With safe travel the focus, the level of protection is transparent.
What’s with the U.S. testing centers?
One question posed during the webinar was “What are the complications setting up testing centers in the U.S.?”
I know in the United States it is quite difficult to get access to a COVID test unless you are sick. However, we need to step up testing and begin opening up (and hopefully soon), so U.S. travelers will not be banned from entering Europe. (At the end of September, we will have more metrics on the pandemic. Let’s see what transpires.)
In this country, tests have to be FDA validated, and every country has their own validation process. Currently, the big challenge here is the capacity. For example, if 350 passengers need to be tested at an airport site, having the capacity to do testing in a reasonable amount of time would be daunting.
Finding a nearby testing site in the United States is a challenge. Each state should have a Corona Virus tab on its website. For example, here is New York’s:
Be sure to make contact with the testing site or your health care provider before going in for testing.
Will faster, more reliable testing allow U.S. citizens to travel? Stay tuned.
About that recirculated air
Another question of concern was about recirculated cabin air. Lufthansa’s cabin air is changed every three minutes. That’s pretty impressive. How efficient are the filters? See how National Geographic answers that question here.
Where in the world is Lufthansa flying?
Destinations and regulations change by the minute in these uncertain times. Be sure to keep up on where you can and cannot travel. For a list of Lufthansa destinations, click here. There you also will find entry regulations, hygiene measures, and other country-specific updates.
Be advised, though, change is rapid and keeping up with it is your responsibility. Be prepared.
Personal safety measures up
I agree that one always assumes measured risks in life, and let’s remember that risks can be managed. We do need to get travel going again whether for business or for pleasure. Each individual needs to calculate and assess their state of personal health and decide on travel for themselves.
Lufthansa is ready to spread its wings — safely!
After participating in this Lufthansa webinar, I feel comfortable that all aspects of safety measures have been examined carefully and considered thoroughly. After looking at the viral load in the U.S. versus the load in Germany, I can say that I would feel safe to fly with Lufthansa once the travel ban is lifted. You can read more reasons why right here.
Hope to see you soon. Stay safe. Auf wiedersehen.
#WeCare – so you can fly with no worries