Qatar Airways is Requiring a Face Shield AND Face Mask for All Economy Class Passengers. The disposable face shield will be distributed to passengers at the boarding gate (or at check-in, if passengers depart from Hamad International Airport in Doha, DOH).
To our knowledge, Qatar Airways is the first airline to require passengers to wear both a face shield and a face mask, similar to what many hospital workers and some airport workers do, to further minimize the chance of infecting others or being infected.
On board, passengers are given a complimentary kit that includes a surgical face mask, disposable gloves, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer. All economy class passengers are required to wear their face shield and mask throughout the flight, except during mealtime or when served a drink. The only exception is for children under two years old.
Qatar Qsuites and Qatar Business Class passengers may wear but aren't required to wear a mask and face shield, due to the greater space around business class seats. Qsuites passengers may of course close their suite door after take-off and illuminate the DND sign, to limit interactions with cabin crew.
As with most other commercial aircraft, Qatar's planes are equipped with HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of bacterial and viral particles from recirculated air.
With the many long flights it operates, such as Qatar's Doha to Los Angeles LAX flight (16.5 hours), it makes sense that Qatar Airways has not only mandated but provided both face shields and surgical masks for passengers. Those who have breathing difficulties or trouble wearing a mask, however, will want to fly business class.
Qatar Airways also has one of the most flexible travel change policies of any airline: for flights booked by 9/30/20 and travel completed by December 31, 2020, passengers can change their travel date, origin city (as long as within the same country) and destination (as long as it's within a 5000 mile radius of the original destination city) as often as needed, without fees, as long as the same booking class is available for the changed itinerary. Alternatively, the ticket can be exchanged for a travel voucher with 10% additional value valid two years from the date of voucher issuance. If Qatar cancels the flight, the value is refundable to the original form of payment.
If you've flown Qatar Airways, what was your experience?
Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits