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We’re flying again, but passengers don’t want to eat on short haul flights | VIDEO

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We’re flying again, but passengers don’t want to eat on short haul flights | VIDEO | Thaiger

Nothing screams ‘normal’ more that the resumption of catering services on domestic light services. After 2 months of sitting at the back of the planes checking their phones, flight crews are again peddling their selection of drinks and snacks. But there now appears a general reluctance for people getting back into the habit of eating on the scheduled services. Speaking to the head flight attendant on a service from Phuket to Bangkok this morning, he confirmed that people are currently reticent to get back into the habit of eating on short flights.

The Thai Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has lifted the ban on food and drinks services on domestic flights, again. Once the safety demo is over, that’s the last you see of the flight attendants as they head to the back of the plane – there’s been nothing else for them to do because of the ban on food and in-flight services.

Following the December outbreaks of new clusters of Covid-19 the CAAT imposed the catering ban on flights again but didn’t ground the airlines for a second time. But the airlines reduced the number of flights and cancelled some routes to ride out the new surge in cases.

Commercial flights were suspended first back in April 2020 due to the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand. The Aviation Authority then allowed domestic flights to resume on May 1, although airlines were barred from serving food and drinks on board for flights that did not exceed 2 hours, just about every flight in Thailand.

But just because people CAN now buy a cup of noodles or orange juice again doesn’t mean they will. For the past year flights have been without any catering, more than they’ve had the services, and it seems flyers are now used to getting through their short flight without any snacks.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rasputin

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    I really don’t see the point of food on a sub 2 hour flight, a decent coffee or a selection of canned soft drinks would be appropriate though

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 12:11 am

    Offer them the prices that seven/eleven do and they might buy these snacks. otherwise rip the passengers off an they do not want these overpriced scams.
    Passengers are now alert to Thai nasty money grubbing over pricing.

  3. Avatar

    Clive G

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 1:15 am

    If it means I can take one of those ridiculous masks off to eat, then I definitely want food to remain on shorthaul flights

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Removing the ban seems not just unnecessary but counter- productive.

    No-one’s likely to avoid flying because they can’t eat or drink on a flight for a couple of hours – and most domestic flights are considerably less than two hours.

    At the same time, rightly or wrongly, quite a few people may avoid flying if they know those sitting around them, in very close proximity, may not be wearing a mask.

    I’m far from sure this was thought through.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    They are removing the ban to make more money off the flight snacks, not to entice passengers to fly.
    The ban on snacks on flights was imposed in the first place when this useless government were going through their senseless banning hysteria.
    Like bans from walking on a beach!

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Hotel Association pushes “hospitels” – hotels as hospitals

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Thai Hotel Association pushes “hospitels” – hotels as hospitals | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Artist rendering of a "hospitel" - a hotel converted to a hospital.

With the third wave of Covid-19 ripping through Thailand, hospitals are rapidly filling up and the Thai Hotels Association has proposed “hospitels” as a creative solution. The portmanteau of “hospital” and “hotel” is the THA’s brainchild for creating more space for the growing number of Covid-19 infections that require treatment or at least observation as Thailand hits record daily case numbers. The idea of turning hotels into temporary hospitals was promoted by association president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi this week.

“The move aims to reduce crowdedness at hospitals and promote continuous care for Covid-19 patients after new cases increased rapidly since late March.”

23 hotels have already registered to be hospitals, with 2,000 patients currently receiving treatment in the 4,900 available beds. The Ministry of Public Health laid out guidelines for hotels interested in participating. Hotels must have a minimum of 30 rooms and pass the alternative state quarantine evaluation. The ASQ-approved properties must have evidence of acknowledgement by the surrounding community to confirm their validity and eligibility. The hotel must be able and willing to take care of hospitalised patients for 5 to 7 days, even with no signs of symptom progression. Conversely, patients checking in must agree to stay in the hotel and be relatively self-sufficient.

Strict medical requirements must be met as well. Each patient must be provided with their own digital thermometer and pulse oximeter, and a portable x-ray machine must be available. The hotels must be staffed like hospitals, with at least one doctor, a clinical psychologist, a pharmacist, a radiologist, and an infection control nurse. There must also be one nurse per every 20 patients staying at the property.

This proposed solution might provide a welcomed supplement to the rudimentary field hospitals the Thai army has been hastily building to accommodate the influx of newly infected patients. While the quick work is commendable, some have hypothesized that at-risk foreigners may be ignoring calls to come forward for Covid-19 testing in part because being diagnosed may land them in these less-than-posh field hospitals for days on end. A more comfortable “hospitel” would allow infected foreigners to be treated in more pleasant surroundings thus encouraging them to come forward for testing.

SOURCE: National News Bureau and Nation Thailand

 

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Tourism

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp”

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Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp” | Thaiger
PHOTO: The monsoon waves are starting to hit Phuket's west coast

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model for a no-quarantine re-opening in July will need “a major revamp”. As the Songkran travel bubble bursts and the monsoon season waves start to roll onto the island’s west coast beaches, Phuket’s scheduled July re-boot suddenly seems a long way off.

Minister Phiphat says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

“We are all concerned about the reopening timeline,” he was quoted in Bangkok Post.

But the Minister did acknowledge that, if the 70% vaccination level couldn’t be met, they may consider opening some areas of the island. Exactly how that would work hasn’t been revealed at this stage.

The minister also brought up the ongoing travel bubble negotiations and says he hadn’t heard back from some of the candidates with their reaction to the current outbreak.

Flights in and out of Phuket Airport’s international terminal have been extremely patchy and the flights from feeder tourist markets will need to co-operate with any re-opening plans.

Phuket, whilst suffering a rise in new infections, hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the other popular holiday provinces, like Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).

This year’s Songkran was going to be a major stepping stone for the island’s recovery and many hotels, some who had opened especially to cater for Songkran holiday traffic, noted a lot of cancellations just prior to the break.

But some island hotels have still reported high occupancy rates over the past week. One Manager, who did not want his name published, said that their hotel was almost full with Thai patrons, most who had pre-paid for their flights and accommodation and decided to go ahead anyway.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, says that they are opposed to any lockdown as it would cripple the island, with its tourist businesses already suffering greatly. He stated that 15% of people cancelled their Songkran bookings, while 30% had postponed their trips.

The Sports and Tourism Ministers is still in quarantine after having close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 2 weeks ago.

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Tourism

Pattaya tourism remains open without quarantine, for now anyway

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Pattaya tourism remains open without quarantine, for now anyway | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Pattaya welcomes tourists.

As province after province closes down more sectors, imposing stricter regulations, administers mandatory Covid-19 testing, and enacts quarantines for domestic travellers (in some cases), Pattaya is taking a different approach: heartily welcoming tourists to their city.

Colourful Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome spoke yesterday saying that everyone from everywhere is welcome in Pattaya, and will not be required to quarantine or self-quarantine for 2 weeks. The lack of isolation may encourage travellers depressed over cancelled Songkran holiday festivities and trips.

But the decision os not his The Governor of Chin Buri will be making the call whether to impose additional restrictions for people coming to Pattaya, especially from the 3 hot zone districts in Bangkok.

But he maintains, rather than shutting down completely, the city of Pattaya had called upon all of its employees to work together to create an environment safe for tourists. The staff are deployed throughout the city to implement and enforce Covid-19 safety protocols and monitor them to make sure locals and tourists follow regulations and keep Pattaya safe from Coronavirus spread.

While bars, nightclubs, and massage shops remain necessarily closed by order of the CCSA, Pattaya city officials are working hard to keep popular tourism areas like Koh Larn and Pattaya Beach Road open to travellers to enjoy. City hall is working with volunteers and local police and enacting measures like allowing parking on both sides of the beach roads to try to help tourists and vendors in Pattaya to have a safe and enjoyable Songkran holiday.

This alternative approach stands in stark contrast to most of the rest of the nation where Songkran celebrations were cancelled and semi-lockdowns are in place. 2 days ago 37 Thai provinces imposed a 14 day quarantine on travellers from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathum and Samut Prakan – areas around Bangkok that are now considered a Red Zone for Covid-19 infections.

Phuket is currently another holdout, with minimal restrictions on tourists visiting, for the time being anyway.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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