PETALING JAYA: As Malaysians have begun to travel by air, especially now that borders are reopening, they have generally been cautious about safety precautions.
One head steward, known only as Erik, spoke of seeing passengers disinfecting their own seats.
“This is a good initiative,” he said, adding that it would not cost much to take this extra step.
“At the same time, practise the same measures as you would in public places such as sanitising your hands when needed and always masking up,” he said, adding that everyone, from passengers to the crew, plays an important role in creating a safe environment on board the aircraft.
A crew member, who declined to be named, advised passengers not only to sanitise their seats but also their luggage upon retrieving it.
“Although these areas are constantly sanitised, one can just never be too sure,” he said.
Airline crew member Chan Wai, 29, said the practice of taking self-tests prior to flights were encouraged despite not being mandatory.
“This helps mitigate the risk of spreading the virus once you are on board, given that we will be in a tight space for quite some time.
“Similarly, peace of mind is something invaluable and having confirmation on whether you have the virus is also a great step towards curbing it from spreading,” he said.
Chan added that most passengers were well aware of the requirements set by airlines, which includes masking up.
Earlier this month, The New York Times reported about the frustrations of American flight attendants of having to deal with passengers who refused to abide by the mask mandate.
On the local front, crew members usually do not have this problem.
One steward, known only as Harold, said his flights during the pandemic saw a majority of passengers abiding by the standard operating procedure without much hassle.
“Untoward instances are usually few and far between, such as not wearing their mask properly. They would rectify it once you advise them to do so,” he said.
He added that people should adhere to the SOP during their flight, just as they would for other flight-related procedures.
“If people are able to abide by check-in times or baggage drop-off times without any problem, then they should strive to incorporate this as part of their practice, too,” he said, adding that self-tests were encouraged as a responsible measure which could be taken by passengers.