Singapore Airlines Promote Campaign on BBC: 'Contactless Travel' In The New Normal

Singapore Airlines Promote Campaign on BBC: 'Contactless Travel' In The New Normal

Singapore Airlines Promote Campaign on BBC: 'Contactless Travel' In The New Normal

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30/07/2021 12:26

Singapore Airlines Promote Campaign on BBC: 'Contactless Travel' In The New Normal


Despite this year beginning with the welcome news of a vaccine, air travel is unlikely to return to its pre-pandemic levels for some time. Even after vaccinations are administered, travel restrictions requiring health passports or evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, not to mention the risk of countries suddenly shutting borders as cases flare-up, may deter would-be travellers.

But for some, travel will be a necessity, meaning the air travel experience must be rendered as safe and anxiety-free as possible.

One of the airlines being recognised and commended for taking on that demand for safety is Singapore Airlines, the flag carrier airline of Singapore, which has introduced what it calls “contactless travel” with a range of new initiatives including enhanced mobile boarding passes, travel advisory subscriptions, digitalising inflight menus and more to help mitigate the risks of Covid-19.

As a result of these innovations, the airline has been awarded the diamond rating – the highest level attainable – in the “APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying”, audit of Global Airlines. The audit looked at a 58-point checklist covering health and safety including Covid-19 testing, tracing, on-the-ground procedures and in-flight measures.


Singapore Airlines has taken “hospital-grade measures in ensuring health safety”, according to Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying, while Dr Joe Leader, CEO of APEX, described the onboard hygiene as “best-in-class”.

Since the award, Singapore Airlines staff have begun to be vaccinated under a government scheme. Although not mandatory, Singapore Airlines reports more than 90% of cabin crew and pilots have signed up for the vaccine and recently operated a flight with a full complement of vaccinated crew.

According to Caroline Gazeley, senior manager customer journey at Singapore Airlines, the new Covid-19 precautions demonstrate how the group places customer wellbeing at the centre of what it does.

“It starts with helping our customers understand where they can travel to, and what new documentation, tests and quarantine measures are in place that may impact their ability to enter a country,” she says.


Passengers booking a flight through the Singapore Airlines website are prompted to sign up to receive personalised updates on their travel itinerary, which could include notifications about new entry requirements to their destination and whether they need to complete an electronic health declaration.

Singapore Airlines customers are now able to book their pre-departure polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology tests and receive their results on a one-stop online portal.

Once customers have booked online, their Singapore Airlines booking confirmation links them to the online portal where they may book an appointment for a pre-departure test with their preferred clinic from a list of recognised facilities. They will also receive their test results through the same portal, which they can then present upon check-in at the airport. These test results will come with a QR code that enables airport check-in and Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority staff to digitally verify the results against the health and safety entry requirements under the new digital verification process that Singapore Airlines is piloting with the International Air Transport Association. The portal will also be able to house digital health passes documenting passengers’ Covid-19 status.

The pre-departure test service is being piloted for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir passengers departing from Singapore, Jakarta and Medan, while the digital Covid-19 test results trial is initially offered to customers travelling on flights operated by Singapore Airlines from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and vice-versa.

Naturally, reducing contact and minimising time spent in the airport is key, so online and mobile check-in is available for Singapore Airlines customers. The SingaporeAir mobile app, which has been enhanced to become more user-friendly, can generate a digital boarding pass with a QR code that allows passengers to proceed seamlessly through the airport.


The SingaporeAir mobile app helps make the check-in process seamless.

The app also allows users to declare the number of bags they will be checking in and to auto-print the bag tags upon scanning of their digital or mobile boarding pass at the self-service check-in kiosks in Changi Airport in Singapore. The tagged bags can then be dropped off by the user at any one of the automated bag drop machines, providing a contactless check-in experience.

Further contactless precautions have been taken at Changi Airport with the installation of 160 check-in kiosks with proximity touch screens. These screens have infrared sensors that track finger movements, allowing passengers to interact with the kiosks by gesturing with their finger, without the need to touch the screen.


Changi Airport also started using facial and iris recognition as another way of minimising contact. It will allow passengers whose facial and iris data have been documented to bypass the need to use the fingerprint scanner for identity verification – they just have to look into the iris and facial scan cameras.

During the boarding process, passengers are reminded to practice safe social distancing by staff. Once boarded, Singapore Airlines provides a complimentary care kit for all passengers which includes hand sanitiser, face mask and disinfectant surface wipes. Anti-bacterial wipes are also provided with meals.

Inflight magazines have been removed from flights and are now accessible via the SingaporeAir mobile app as part of Singapore Airlines’ e-library. The library, downloadable 48 hours before a flight, includes a wide selection ranging from Men’s Health, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveller, Wallpaper* and the Harvard Business Review, not to mention many of the world’s national newspapers and a handful of children’s comics.

On selected aircraft, the inflight entertainment system, including the latest movies, TV and music, can be operated using passengers’ mobile devices via the SingaporeAir app, without the need to touch the touchscreens.

As for duty-free purchases, although shopping during flights is no longer available, passengers can pre-order their items on the KrisShop website up to an hour before their departure time for flights out of Singapore, and have them delivered to their seats or even directly to their homes.


Passengers with Singapore Airlines can control the inflight entertainment system using their personal devices and the KrisWorld feature within the SingaporeAir app.

The inflight menu, available online, allows passengers to view the menu offerings up to a week before their flight, while pre-ordering allows passengers to order their preferred meal choice ahead of time. This all helps to reduce the interaction needed when ordering food.

Gazeley adds that a focus on safety and the use of customer insights is not a new philosophy for Singapore Airlines. "It is this approach that made us recognise early on that a core part of today’s seamless journey is the ability to address health and safety at each step of our journey,” she says.

“Our unwavering focus means our customers can travel with greater peace of mind and protect their health during this pandemic.”

While many of these changes have been prompted by the pandemic, it is possible that these new systems may become a permanent feature, to protect against future health risks. Should this be the case, Singapore Airlines can be considered truly at the forefront of a new age of health-centric travel.

The SingaporeAir mobile app

Travel seamlessly with the new SingaporeAir mobile app. Now twice as fast, with new and updated features. From the latest travel advisories, to personalised updates on flight itineraries and other contactless travel features, the new app can support your journey from start to finish. Bringing you greater convenience with access to a range of personalised features at your fingertips, it’s seamless travel made easy.



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