As airlines cut services and add new safety regulations to stem the spread of COVID-19 while in flight, passengers are starting to acknowledge the safety credentials of flight attendants. Aviation expert Mike Boyd says, “From the start, the role has been at its core one of safety, and that importance has now come back.”
These safety skill sets are not always visible to the average flier. But with health regulations top of mind for anyone boarding a plane amid the coronavirus outbreak, passengers are looking to flight attendants to guide them through the new protocols. Among flight attendants' new responsibilities is ensuring passengers have the proper protective gear and sanitizing equipment, and maintaining social distancing in the cabin. One carrier, Turkish Airlines, has even implemented a new "hygiene expert" team of cabin crew members who will oversee these new measures. "Working as a health inspector, Hygiene Experts will solely focus on the enforcement of all on-board hygiene and social distancing measures for the healthy travel of passengers," the airline said in a release.