Flights: Passengers ‘can’t change seats’ on planes amid stringent new airline rules

Airlines have had to implement new safety and sanitation measures to make customers feel more comfortable taking flights. Face masks, cleaning procedures and limited human contact are just some of the ways in which airlines are trying to give their customers peace of mind. And now, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that changing seats on a flight may be a thing of the past.


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Economy-class passengers on flights that are not full were always able to move from assigned seats once take off had occurred and seatbelt lights had been switched off.

But now anyone trying to move seats could be issued a stern warning from cabin crew.

Even though there is likely to be extra space on board flights, passengers are assigned to their own place.

IATA has introduced the mandatory measures for when aviation restarts.

Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, said confirmed the new changes.

He said: “Once you are in your seat, you can’t change any more.”

Seating records and passenger tracing mean that they will be able to trace passengers more easily, especially after they leave the plane.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said: “The prompt availability of passenger locator data is extremely important for the success and effectiveness of contact tracing operations in order for public health authorities to identify and notify people who were sitting in close proximity to an infected case and to give them advice accordingly.”

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IATA has also supported the wearing of face coverings for passengers and crew members while on board planes.

However, they do not support social distancing by leaving middle seats on planes empty.

They also said that evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on planes is relatively low.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO said passenger safety is key when people start flying again.

He said: “The safety of passengers and crew is paramount.

“The aviation industry is working with governments to re-start flying when this can be done safely.

“Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board aircraft is low. And we will take measures—such as the wearing of face coverings by passengers and masks by crew—to add extra layers of protection.

“We must arrive at a solution that gives passengers the confidence to fly and keeps the cost of flying affordable.

“One without the other will have no lasting benefit.”

Ryanair recently announced new safety measures for its flights which they hope will start from July 1.

Some of the procedures include checking in online, wearing a mask at all times, checking temperatures before flying and planes being cleaned regularly.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has previously criticised the Government for it’s implementation of a 14-day quarantine period for anyone flying into the UK from abroad.

The measures will be put in place from June 8 but will exclude those flying from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

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