Etihad’s Innovative New Face Mask Doubles As Scarf

Filed Under: Etihad

I’m surprised it took an airline so long to come up with something like this.

Etihad’s new snood style face covering

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is offering new protective wear to first and business class passengers, and it’s intended to be both practical and fashionable. Specifically, premium passengers will receive a “snood style” face mask for use throughout their journey and beyond.

The airline claims that the soft reusable snood has been treated with MicrobeBARRIER fabric treatment, offering a broad spectrum antimicrobial treatment, which is laboratory tested and proven to reduce the presence of germs in fabrics.

The snoods are made of lightweight, breathable, and stretchy jersey fabric, and are ideal for travel since they can easily be slipped on and off as needed. The face coverings are washable and reusable, so guests can use them long after their flights.

Travelers can wear the snood around their neck like a scarf, and when in close proximity to others, can pull it up over their mouth and nose to protect themselves and those around them. I would assume that passengers will still need to keep them pulled up whenever onboard aircraft, given Etihad’s face mask policy.

Etihad’s new premium cabin face covering

I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of this

It goes without saying that the important thing is that people are wearing face masks and have access to hand sanitizer, etc., and the branding shouldn’t actually matter. That being said, I’m surprised by how few travel companies have started creating branded face masks, hand sanitizer, etc.

Travel brands have long tried to create products that guests will want to use at home to remember their travel experience, whether we’re talking about hotel toiletries or airline amenity kits.

In the case of Etihad, the airline is clearly intending for this to be something that passengers will use long after their flight, and that seems like a smart move.

I imagine we’ll see more things like this over the coming months, as increased production of these products normalizes, and more effort can be put into branding.

I imagine we’ll see more airlines offer branded PPE

Bottom line

Etihad is now offering premium passengers snood style face coverings, which can be worn as a scarf, or can be placed over the nose and mouth to provide protection. Now, I’m not sure there’s much need for scarves in Abu Dhabi in August, but it’s still a cute concept.

I imagine we’ll see lots more initiatives along these lines in the coming months.

Would you wear Etihad’s new face coverings?

  1. Not all that surprising. Their recent J amenity kit case is designed to open up and be used as a small leather “tray”, ideal to put one’s keys, watch, rings (and other bling) or other small personal items into. I use one of mine to display several hundred porcelain sunflower seeds from the Chinese dissident conceptual artist Al Weiwei that I bought at the Tate Modern a few years ago.

  2. In Idaho, those are called neck gaiters. 🙂 Most of my coworkers have been wearing them as masks for several months now. I’m not a fan since I don’t like scarves, turtlenecks or anything tight around my neck, but they seem to think it’s a good alternative to a traditional mask.

  3. I, too, am surprised at the lost opportunity of mask branding, not just from travel brands. I’m renting out space on my face. “Your ad here”. Tons of people being responsible citizens could be walking advertisements with face masks in the coming months/years.

    That said, the gaiters I’ve seen are not thick enough for my needs. Build in a third layer on one side and I’m in.

  4. Is anyone able to find what this “MicrobeBARRIER fabric treatment” actually is? This strikes me as pandemic theater. A soft, single-layer woven mask such as this appears to be won’t stop virus-laden aerosols. It looks like something akin to a tshirt, which would mean 10-40% effectiveness in blocking particles. The things that pass for masks are ridiculous. What good is a bandana worn bank robber-style? The material is very loosely woven and barely covers the face. Especially frustrating to see worn are the N95 masks with respirator valves. The wearers clearly don’t understand how the masks work and why there are mask regulations in the first place. I am in Italy now and most people can’t be bothered with them in private situations. Who can blame them?

  5. I dyed one of my wife’s large linen table napkins dark blue – I asked first, I don’t want to flirt that closely with death – attached Velco strips to the ends that go behind my head, and the last bits into my shirt. It looks quite similar to the Etihad one.
    So far no arguments on the ground as to its applicability; I’ll find out on Friday what BA thinks about it.

  6. I am not a doctor. However, I can’t see how this can replace a proper mask.

    You are never to touch the mask itself – always put on and remove it by using the straps. From what I can see on these images of what is a very common winter thing here in Norway (“Bøff”/”Hals”), I would presume most people would touch this wherever, and not utilise proper sanitary handling methods.

    A mask does, by the design itself, have straps clearly separate from the mouth and nose cover part. This does not.

    But I may be mistaken of people 🙂

  7. @lucky – most airlines will do only what they have to. Airlines like Etihad that are fighting for their lives are the ones that proactively do stuff like this.

    And these aren’t a new idea, in fact my local health dept discourages them since they tend to slip off the nose easily.

  8. Not attractive as a “scarf” and not very effective as a barrier according to my doctor and in August, rather hot depending on the environment.

  9. cargocult

    micro fibers simply mean that the mesh is finer, thereby stopping more particles.

    My N99 has a valve so it is much more effective at protecting me than protecting others. But no place has ever stopped me to tell me I cannot wear it.

  10. The treatment isn’t meant to suggest it does anything for covid but it is meant to cut down germs in general since you are using it around the mouth/face area.

    “Antimicrobial technology adds a durable defense barrier on fabric, which helps fight odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. This makes a product with antimicrobial fabric stay fresher longer so you can wear it with confidence. This lasting, continual protection against potentially harmful microbes lasts wash after wash.”

    And there is plenty of other info out there you can find if you take a few seconds to look instead of just whining about it.

  11. @Heather I totally agree. Even most masks made by stores lack logos or ant marks to show where they’re from. A missed opportunity indeed.

  12. To try it out one needs to fly first!!!! We are being”cancelled & rescheduled” like some face masks!! Throw or reuse ones used. Etihad airways seems to be a very unreliable one. One has to really think several times before booking on that one, for sure!! Never have I been in such a limbo in all my travel life, and I have traveled plenty!!

  13. @Tom as you say Valve masks only protect the wearer ..

    you are expelling your breath nicely!!!

    US Airlines have just worked this out and are now banning them….

  14. @Tom

    I don’t see “microfiber” mentioned anywhere. The Etihad site says the snood is made from a “lightweight, breathable and stretchy jersey fabric.” Tshirts are typically made from jersey. This doesn’t sound like much of a barrier for viral aerosols. As I said, pandemic theater.

    If you are actually afraid of catching the virus, wear an N95 mask, by all means, but wearing one with a valve broadcasts “every man for himself” since you clearly don’t care whether you might spread the virus to others. I am not commenting on the actual efficacy of masks in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2; I just object to the signalling.


    What is the point of the snood if it isn’t going to block viral aerosols? Whining? I am pointing out that this snood is probably close to useless for preventing the spread of the virus so many people are losing their minds over. I don’t care whether people wear masks or not, but I find the performance of pandemic theater offensive. Pandering, misleading and outright lying about masks has gotten us in this mess.

  15. Pat, wearing a mask with a valve has never been signalled to me, and I see plenty of other people wearing them. It is still surely better than no mask.

    I use other masks where I deem the risk to be lower. But if I feel nervous about any situation then the N99 goes on.

  16. This is gross and a vector. And not a good barrier. Proper, 3 layered and disposable surgical masks are available for 25 cents a piece. Don’t put fashion over substance. These scarf masks are nasty and ensure you walk around with an entire day’s worth of slime firmly encircling your neck and inner shoulders.

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