Just as traveling employees are returning to the road armored with vaccinations, boosters, treatments, masks and other personal protective equipment, travel professionals must do everything they can to demonstrate due diligence and widen the scope of what they do in the name of duty of care. While it’s always been incumbent on travel managers and travel suppliers to meet every legal, moral and practical definition of duty of care, an altered travel industry landscape requires more effort than ever to anticipate risks and protect travelers from them.
New challenges to travelers include a confusing number of changing health and safety risks, and hard-to-track requirements by countries, cities and businesses for entry, as well as an increased focus on ensuring the needs of diverse employees and making sustainable and healthy travel choices. During a time when many businesses are seeing workers leave the workforce in what is being called the Great Resignation, ensuring the retention of traveling employees has risen in importance. Instituting processes for securing pre-trip approvals and post-trip reporting also can be helpful to avoid problems in advance or learn from them in retrospect. Another critical means of enhancing the delivery of duty of care support for travelers is to ensure they have safe ways to communicate and for their companies to be able to track their whereabouts in the event of emergencies or adverse conditions.
Business travelers considering flying on Qatar Airways can be assured that the carrier has gone above and beyond by being the first international airline to operate Honeywell’s UV cabin cleaning technology.
One of the most important things that travel managers, travel agents and airline, hotel and ground transportation executives can do to help meet the broader duty of care needs of travelers is to enhance traveler knowledge of conditions on the ground and in the air and at the hotel before they begin to take their trips. Giving travelers information about cleanliness initiatives and safety protocols, as well as intelligence on regulatory restrictions and health and safety conditions can go a long way toward reducing stress and equipping travelers to make smart choices.
Business travelers considering flying on Qatar Airways can be assured that the carrier has gone above and beyond by being the first international airline to operate Honeywell’s UV cabin cleaning technology. The technology sweeps the cabin with ultraviolet-c light to treat aircraft surfaces without using chemicals and disinfect an aircraft, helping eliminating viruses and bacteria within 10 minutes. The Honeywell UV Cabin System is being used in addition to manual disinfection to ensure the highest standard of cleanliness.
"During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our crew and passengers continues to be of the utmost importance."
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive,
His Excellency Akbar Al Baker
Additionally, the airline will continue to wash, dry and press onboard linen and blankets at microbial lethal temperatures, and to sanitize headsets after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves. On board, all Qatar Airways passengers are provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch, a single-use face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel are offered. In addition, for aircraft equipped with Qsuite, Qatar Airways’ award-winning business seat, Business Class customers are offered even greater privacy with sliding partitions and fully closing doors, and an option to display a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator if they wish to limit their interactions with cabin crew.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said: “During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our crew and passengers continues to be of the utmost importance. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been regularly introducing new and effective safety and hygiene measures onboard our aircraft, based on our unparalleled expertise of flying consistently throughout. As the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating - it is in our core to continuously be at the forefront of innovation, and to keep implementing the latest safety and hygiene measures on board and on the ground.”
In the face of changing regulations, restrictions and conditions on the ground, Qatar Airways also has adopted a flexibility policy that allows for unlimited date or destination changes and fee-free refunds for all travel completed by September 30, 2022.