Fly with peace of mind: How to proceed if you fall suddenly ill or travel with medical conditions
Your thoughtfully planned and eagerly awaited trip is approaching, but you can already feel the symptoms of an impending cold in your body. We want you and our staff to travel with us in good health and safety, and your well-being is our top priority before and during the flight. Read below on how to proceed if you fall ill before your flight or if you are traveling with a medical device or pre-existing medical condition
The safety and well-being of our customers and employees has always been Finnair’s first priority. It’s heightened during the coronavirus pandemic. As air travel starts gradually increasing, we want to make sure that you and our employees can board our flights feeling safe.
According to current understanding, an aircraft is not a particularly risky environment to come into contact with coronavirus. The risk is typically lower than in a shopping centre or an office environment.
We have already intensified aircraft cleaning procedures, seated customers further away from each other and implemented social distancing measures in flight.
Now we are introducing new measures for the coming weeks to safeguard your health and decrease social contact with other customers and our crew. All these measures aim to prevent risk of exposure or close contact: we take care to ensure social distancing, decrease unnecessary movement in flight and heighten protection levels with masks and a high standard of hygiene.
This post outlines our new measures and gives you guidance on how to protect yourself and others from risk during air travel.
Before your trip: Decrease contacts in baggage handling and check in
Now’s the time to pack light for your trip. There are several phases in baggage handling that extend time spent at the airport and increase your contact with other people. It’s good to avoid all of this. Your carry-on baggage should fit under the seat in front of you. This way you won’t have to stand up to get items from the overhead lockers, which decreases unnecessary movement in the cabin.
In addition to health reasons, travelling light is better for the environment, as it decreases fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
We recommend that you check in online before your trip. This way you’ll avoid the lines at self service check in, you won’t have to touch any screens and you’ll be able to proceed straight to security.
At the airport: Avoid lines and contact with others
Floor stickers at Helsinki Airport will mark social distancing. Customer service points have plastic screens and our ground crew will wear surgical masks. Hand sanitiser is available both at check in and at the gate area.
When using bus transportation, a maximum of 50% capacity of each vehicle is used. Finavia will also try to make more space at the gate area to avoid crowds.
In flight: Wear a mask and avoid unnecessary movement
One of the most visible changes in the coming weeks is that we will require all customers to wear a mask for the entire duration of the flight. This can be a surgical mask or a home made mask made of fabric. The key thing is that it prevents droplet transmission and covers your mouth and nose. The cabin crew will wear surgical masks for the entire duration of the flight. You need to wear a mask by the time boarding begins, but you can also use it from the moment you arrive the airport.
If you don’t have a mask, you can ask for one from the cabin crew. It’s better to bring your own mask, because unfortunately we can’t guarantee that there are enough masks for all customers, and boarding may be denied without a mask. By bringing your own mask you can also make sure that it’s as comfortable as possible. You can remove the mask while you’re eating or drinking. Kids under the age of 7 don’t need to wear a mask. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, please let us know at least 72 hours before your flight.
We will have a new boarding order to maximise social distancing. Boarding will begin from the rear end of the aircraft. Priority and business class boarding is temporarily discontinued. If there is enough space, customers will be seated far away from each other. Families can, of course, sit together. Our crew will review seating arrangements at the gate.
Please avoid unnecessary movement in the cabin. If you need to move around for medical reasons, this will be permitted. Exiting the aircraft will also happen in a new order, and in smaller groups.
We clean our aircraft at every “turn” when the aircraft are on the ground according to the cleaning program. Places that people touch a lot – like buckles, armrests and tables – get an intensified cleaning. We use a disinfecting cleaning agent on a daily basis.
Disinfecting wipes are available for you in flight, so you can wipe your own table before eating if you wish.
Please stay home when you’re sick
You should not try to fly when you are unwell. Our crew checks customers at the gate and anyone with a respiratory infection will be denied boarding. It’s better to stay home if you think you might have a flu. If you bought your flight between 1 April – 30 June 2020 from Finnair’s own channels, you can move your travel date flexibly.
If there is a strong suspicion of a coronavirus infection, we’ll aim to separate the person with symptoms from other customers and give them a surgical mask. Only one member of the crew will be in contact with the passenger we suspected to be infected. If possible, we will reserve one of the bathrooms from their exclusive use.
If there is a strong suspicion of a serious infectious disease during a flight, the aircraft will be cleaned in accordance with special procedures and with appropriate cleaning agents. In cases of coronavirus suspicions on board, we will contact local health authorities who will then take the lead. Different countries have unique quarantine measures in place. An infected person will not be able to board a connecting flight.
Looking after your health and safety
The risk of contracting coronavirus from other customers is small, according to latest medical research. With these new measures we are decreasing it even further. We want you to travel with us safely and healthy.
We continue to follow all regulations and instructions set by countries and authorities, while also monitoring the pandemic ourselves. The situation changes frequently, and we are getting new information about the disease all the time. We have the flexibility to make changes into our procedures as necessary, and to adapt to keep you safe while traveling.