With travel starting up again there are bound to be few new changes to what the airlines will be doing to ensure their passengers remain safe. Some the new rules and regulations that the airlines will be implementing may not be easy for people to handle at first. It will take some time for people to adjust to how long it may take to get through the airport, the new restrictions for boarding airplanes, and precautions while on the airplane.
First let me say, after 9/11 there were many new rules and regulations put into place including TSA security. We also were introduced to the scanners at the gate where each passenger had to scan their boarding pass. This helped to ensure people were getting onto the correct flights and also security. When these new rules went into place many people were up in arms. They had to take off their shoes, belts, watches, and everything had to go through the x-ray machine. It meant that the process to board an airplane went from a few minutes to now several hours. It was an inconvenience at first, but after a few years it became the normal.
People will adjust to the new rules and regulations but it will take time. If you know some of the rules and regulations hopefully it will make it easier for you to travel. Here are some of the changes you should expect to see in the coming months when it comes flying.
- Boarding airplanes will be different. We may expect to line up similar to the way Southwest airlines lines up their passengers. However, when lining up you will have some distance between you and the next boarding passenger. Also, expect to have your masks on during the boarding process. The gate attendant may not allow you to board without a mask on your face. The scanning of boarding passes may change as well. The scanning machines may be slightly larger having each passenger scan their own boarding pass whether it be paper or electronic.
- It is time to FOG! Several airlines are “fogging” the interiors of all their aircrafts. Fogging takes place while the planes are sitting each night, and some airlines are ensuring between flights as well. According to the airline Southwest’s website, they are using EPA approved, hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the plane’s interior cabin spaces. Here is the website to check out their sanitizing procedures: https://www.southwest.com/promise/
- Sanitizing wipes! Yes, some airlines will be handing out sanitizing wipes to each passenger prior to boarding. The airlines will be asking you to help sanitize. Now you maybe thinking, why would they want me to sanitize if they are spraying down the planes. This is more for your stuff to sanitize prior to boarding. Sanitizing things such as phones, purses, laptop bags, headphones, computers, tablets, etc. Anything that you have on you that could be contaminated.
- Expect delays in getting onto your plane after the previous flight deplanes. After the passengers deplane, the crew previously had anywhere between 10 – 30 minutes to turn around a plane. This was to help ensure that airlines could keep up their “on time” status. Ten minutes is not much time to disinfect an entire plane, so expect it to take longer now so they can spray and sanitize.
- Who liked the middle seat anyway! It may be that the middle seat will not be available to book. To give some space between passengers, the airlines have talked about not allowing people to book the middle seat. If you are family of six and are used to taking up the entire aisle, you may now have to book two aisles. It is unclear whether or not the airline would allow you to book the middle seat if your entire family is traveling together. This may be something where you have to contact the airline directly.
As a travel agent who travels a lot, I know that these changes by the airlines are not going to be easy. I do expect that it will be an inconvenience, but my hope is that it will be temporary until the dust settles on the spread of COVID-19. Afterall, Life is Better Traveling even if you have to Dream Now, Travel Later.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your upcoming travel and are looking to book with a travel agent, please make sure to feel free to contact me. We are an Award-Winning Travel Agency that has helped thousands of clients travel to amazing destinations all over the world. Our Life is Better Traveling travel agents are always here to help!