Aeroflot Passengers Have To Wear Gloves, Change Masks Every Three Hours

Filed Under: Aeroflot

Virtually all airlines are adjusting service protocols and introducing precautions in light of current circumstances, though some airlines stand out for their policies.

Well, Aeroflot has just announced onboard service changes, and they’re among the most extreme we’ve seen.

Aeroflot’s mask & glove requirements

There are two things about Aeroflot’s policy that stand out, in particular:

  • Passengers will not only have to wear masks throughout the flight, but will have to change them every three hours; if needed, cabin crew will provide masks
  • Not only will passengers have to wear masks, but they’ll also have to wear gloves (though there’s no requirement to change them at any point during the flight)

As far as I know these are both firsts — I don’t know of any other airline requiring passengers to wear gloves, or of any airline that is requiring passengers to change masks over any period of time.

It’s unknown how the airline will enforce the policy of changing masks. Will an announcement be made over the PA every three hours telling passengers to change masks, or…?

Aeroflot’s 777 business class

Aeroflot’s other new safety protocols

The above are the two points I found most interesting, though Aeroflot has introduced other policies as well. These are in line with sanitary and epidemiologic regulations issued by Russia’s Chief Sanitary Physician, as well as the guidelines of the Federal Air Transport Agency.

Other policies include the following:

  • While boarding and deplaning, passengers must observe recommended social distancing of 1.5-2 meters
  • Passengers will have their temperatures checked during the boarding process, and any passenger with a temperature of over 37 degrees Celsius will be denied boarding
  • Passengers will be offered hand sanitizer prior to boarding
  • Passengers must store outerwear in overhead bins throughout the flight, and it is prohibited to take it out during the flight without notifying cabin crew, and unless there is a reason for doing so
  • Passengers must keep seatbelts fastened for the entire flight
  • Passengers can only leave their seats to use the lavatories
  • Food will be offered in individually wrapped packages, and cold drinks will be offered individually wrapped; passengers may only bring their own food and drinks in unopened and sealed packages

Aeroflot’s 737 business class

Bottom line

Like most airlines, Aeroflot is introducing new onboard restrictions. What’s most interesting about Aeroflot’s policy is the requirement for passengers to wear gloves, as well as the requirement to change masks every three hours, which I haven’t yet heard of at any other airline.

What do you make of Aeroflot’s policy on gloves & masks?

  1. I don’t understand why so many places (Aeroflot, airports like Stansted and others) seem to think gloves are a solution. From what I’ve seen, gloves are probably worse, people touch everything with them, then touch their face thinking it’s all ok as they gloves on. Which of course it’s not.

  2. Aeroflot is based in Moscow, wearing masks and gloves in transport and other public places is obligatory in Moscow since May 12, by the order of the mayor Sobyanin, so they are just following the rules. I am not sure how they are going to enforce 320 pax with 12 FAs on B777 though, and nowhere their release says that masks must be disposable.

  3. @JDS – People do everything with gloves that they do with their bare hands. I was on a flight the other day and the guy across the aisle had gloves and an N95 mask. He still touched everything – the seatbelt, air vent – still touched the snacks with them, still touched the drinks with them. Why even bother?

  4. Doesn’t changing masks defeat the purpose of a mask? Mid change while you don’t have one on, you are vulnerable… You’re also touching your face to change it…

  5. Gloves are the ultimate handwashing deterrent. Nobody washes the surface of their gloved hands as often as they wash their ungloved hands.

  6. Changing out the masks is pointless…and probably creates more opportunities for bacteria to spread…

  7. Repatriation flights in Pakistan are requiring gloves also.

    Bunch of African repatriation flights have similar rules on gloves.

  8. I can see that we have a bunch of experienced epidemiologists commenting here.

    This isn’t about being protected every second of your trip. This isn’t about preventing one single touch from communicating the disease. This is about reducing the number of potential transmission vectors. Over time, most masks will lose their efficacy. Changing regularly has been a standard protocol (until recently, but only because of shortages). Every additional step taken, as outlined above, is a positive step towards reducing transmission potential. Maybe that guy who touched everything manages to pick up covid. If he keeps his mask on, it’ll keep him from transmitting it to others. If he properly disposes of his gloves after the trip, it’ll keep him from carrying the virus too far. Get it?

    And I love how you think you’re being clever with these posts but are really accomplishing the opposite.

  9. Uhhh…my 2 cents as a doc…the thing that is most disturbing is that a temperature of 37+ will be denied? Ehhh…37 is a normal body temperature…

  10. Yeah, no thanks. As a very frequent Aeroflot flier, I’m happy they extended status until 2022 so I won’t lose it by cancelling all of my flights for the rest of the year. It stinks, as even though I live in Russia, I have a habit of flying back to the US 10+ times per year for leisure and to see family, not to mention all of my flying from Vladivostok to points all over Asia and Europe. Even if Russia would let me back in the country, I have no desire to travel under the current conditions, and I feel wearing a mask and gloves on long-haul flights would be a bloody nightmare. I guess I’ll just enjoy whatever secluded “resort” I can find here in Primorye for vacation this year.

  11. Dan above is spot-on. These steps are largely common sense, worth adopting. Expect to see more and more of this on more and more airlines, and don’t be shocked.

    For the idiots who appear to think every possible safety step is just an unnecessary inconvenience to them: this virus kills a lot of people just like you. It also leaves people just like you permanently disabled (yes, it would be an inconvenience to be left with just a portion of your current lung capacity). The virus will be with us for a long time (maybe forever). You can remain in denial, but as the bodies pile up in the coming years, it’s going to be hard to maintain your fantasy that this is all overblown and the virus will just disappear.

    Gloves are worn as standard PPE because they are effective, IF USED CORRECTLY. Clueless dolts who touch every surface then lick their fingers will spread the virus with or without gloves; but anyone with half a brain can make good use of gloves to effectively stop virus transmission by using them the right way.

    The only problems with Aeroflot’s plan is the human factor: far too many people are idiots (most comments above are a perfect example) and they can’t/don’t/won’t understand or follow really basic instructions. Then there’s the whole “the rules don’t apply to me” crowd (also many of these same Trump/Putin fans who fall into the idiot bucket). Given how many Russians respond to government rules (they ignore them – just like Trump voters), these rules will be ignored. Good luck enforcing this, Aeroflot.

  12. @ Alex H

    My thoughts exactly. I take my temperature maybe twice a day now and it’s always hovering around 37 degrees Celsius, sometimes a little bit higher, but never at or above 37.7, which in the U.K. is the temperature we are told is a fever. 37 seems very low.

  13. @ Dan

    None of us are claiming to be epidemiologists . This is not a medical blog, it’s a flight blog and we don’t need sass if don’t agree with us.

    Yes, I agree that gloves IF USED CORRECTLY can help, I’ve seen nothing but people acting like gloves are a magic protector against the virus, including the woman in the supermarket who, once she’d bagged her shopping, decided to remove her gloves using her mouth.

    I think you have to assume that people are stupid. For example, I went to get lunch the other day in a takeaway sandwich place. The place I went was well-set up with screens for staff, closed off seating areas, and a limit of six customers per store. They also had the floor clearly marked with where to stand when queuing.

    Despite that, the guy behind me still decided to queue right behind me with no space at all. Staff were quick to tell him to move back (before even I had a chance to), but it made me wonder what people are thinking.

  14. Gloves don’t help much. Hand sanitizer is better. I don’t agree with that aspect of the rules. Also ruling out anyone with a temperature above 37 degrees is nuts. People can temporarily be 37.1C or 37.2C pretty easily.

    Well, this is a good way for Aeroflot to ensure people only fly for an ESSENTIAL reason. I don’t think anyone else will want to deal with it.

  15. The thing is, most of the people who are “just asking questions” aren’t doing anything of the sort. They’re trying to make a statement, which is generally along the lines of attacking any change to their routine.

    And I disagree with you. I think most people understand that gloves/masks/etc aren’t perfect. They just help reduce risk. Perhaps you hang out with a lot of dumb people?

    These changes are for the best. If you don’t like them, stay home.

  16. Sounds like a lot of work.
    Maybe Mitch and his friends can just Zoom instead of meeting in person.

  17. @Dan mine was posed as a question. But you do have a VERY big caveat in your post (which I appreciated – it was informative) and that is “if done properly”, which based on this comment section alone, you should think most people do NOT know how to do this properly.

    Is changing a mask really going to make a difference/will it really deteriorate over the span of ~10 hours, depending on where you’re coming from?

  18. “This virus kills a lot of people just like you.”

    Looking at the stats: Not quite, no. Globally, maybe a handful. Effort vs. actual benefit? Negligible.

  19. I’m sure I had it back in Feb. I don’t want to spread it, so I’ll observe PPE guidelines as much as possible. And I won’t whine about something you should be doing anyway.

  20. And yes, the moisture from your breath will wear down/destroy many of the cheaper paper disposable masks you see out there, often within a matter of hours.

  21. “Looking at the stats: Not quite, no. Globally, maybe a handful.”

    This is a lie, no matter how much you try to deny it.

    Where I live, the current statistics show the greatest spread of the virus is now in the under-40 demographic. Because they think they’re invincible and they just can’t be bothered to social distance or wear a mask – that’s too much of an inconvenience for them, and they think they’re being cute by refusing the act responsibly. And they are why 1) another 100,000 Americans are going to be killed by this thing, and 2) why Americans will be among the last to be allowed to travel freely to many countries (countries that actually took this seriously, followed science and implemented fact-based policies) – you can thank these yahoos when you see other nationalities welcomed as international tourists, but US residents will be denied entry for months more.

    Large numbers of people, in every age group, are killed and permanently disabled by this virus. Denying the facts is a common Trump/fascist tactic. Don’t like reality-based policies? Go back to Russia or Brazil or Tanzania, you’ll fit right in.

  22. In Russia body temperature above 37C is considered too high. One can get a sick note from a doctor with 37.1C. Not surprisingly they use the same threshold here.

  23. “this virus kills a lot of people just like you. It also leaves people just like you permanently disabled”

    Ahhh…nope not just like me – best for you to stay home if this stuff causes you to get so worked up and overly dramatic. Return to flying when you’re able to handle it. Nothing wrong with that.

  24. Wow at 37 degrees… I regularly have a body temperature above 37. Totally normal IMO! And yes @grrizzly – same in many E European countries, kids get off from school for over 37. Just talk on the phone for a while or eat a meal and you don’t have to go to school…

  25. 37 degrees is = 98.6F
    This is the median temperature for humans
    Thus, approximately 50% of healthy people will not be able to get on the plane

    Comfort masks protect you minimally. They protect Those around you by preventing the aerosolization of COVID should you cough or sneeze. Changing a mask after three hours serves no purpose, and increases touching your face which is one of the largest vectors for COVID spread.

    Wearing gloves is less effective than frequent hand washing. More important: do not touch your face

    FWIW I am a senior leader in a massive healthcare organization that manages COVID.
    We have > 1,000 staff exposures to COVID+ patients, and 0 infected staff
    The same data is seen in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Bay Area

    The most important thing
    Keep your mask on
    Do not touch your face
    Wash hands often and religiously
    While on plane: do not eat or drink anything (increases likelihood you’ll touch your face)
    Wash hands immediately after getting off plane.
    Strongly Consider changing clothes too. And wash hands again afterwards

  26. Ignoring that transmission on surfaces doesn’t seem to be a big issue, I’ve never been able to understand how gloves are supposed to help. Can someone enlighten me? You just touch everything with the glove instead of the hand. How does that help? Not to mention you’re less likely to wash it. It seems the only way a glove would be useful would be to put on to touch a person (such as a medical working caring for a patient) then take them right off and throw them away.

  27. Masks aren’t intended to be worn all day long — or for 10 hours — so Aeroflot is correct that the mask should be changed every few hours, especially if it’s a crummy cloth mask. Really, the “mask thing” is pseudoscience, but it makes people feel good to be “doing something.”

  28. In Russia, temperature has traditionally been checked with a glass-mercury thermometer in an armpit. 36.6 C is the “ideal” body temperature and 37 C and above is “fever”, whereas in the US temps in the medical setting are usually oral and fever is defined around 38 C (100.4-110.5 F).

  29. @Dick your points were relevant, until you dragged politics into it. Saying it’s only Trump supporters and insulting them is both immature and ridiculous. I guess the idiots rioting in Minneapolis are Trump supporters, based on your logic. They are violating social distancing, not all wear masks, etc. So, nice try. But people who don’t take it seriously come from both sides of the political spectrum.

  30. Proper glove use is: fresh gloves for a new patient, toss immediately after being done. Using glove use in a medical setting as justification for why it makes sense to use it in everyday life is therefore a joke.

    If people were to use gloves properly, you would be changing gloves every time you should be washing your hands. You would also never touch your face unless you had fresh gloves. This is NOT how gloves are used by 99.99%+ of the people on the street (and if it were, we’d have a severe glove shortage as well). Gloves are just not helpful and it does deter people from washing their hands.

    The only exception is if you have a open wound on your hands.

  31. “This is a lie, no matter how much you try to deny it.

    Where I live, the current statistics show the greatest spread of the virus is now in the under-40 demographic.”

    I was referring to your statement that Covid-19 KILLS a lot of people just like me, which is simply not true. So do me a favor and stick to that topic, not to the spread.

    I am under 40, do not have any underlying conditions and I am not fat. So how many of my peers have died globally, hm?

    Oh and I do wear a mask in public settings, and I do keep my distance because I am a nice person.

  32. Change masks every 3-hrs!? I’d feel safer on Aeroflot wearing no mask if they simply spent more time on flight safety. Sub 50yrs old, you probably have a higher chance of dying by getting on an Aeroflot plane than contracting covid-19.

  33. Sounds like a blast! So I assume no meal service, drink service, if you dare remove your mask your going to be drug down the aisles. NO THANKS!!

  34. They try this nonsense in the US and air travel would go back to the 1930’s! This is RIDICULOUS!

  35. Simple. You did not mention one word about the business class food period.
    As to the rest of this crap count me out. I’ll pass. No need thank you

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