Dreaming of post-coronavirus travel and adventures (check out my article “20 Destinations To Travel To When The Coronavirus Is Over”) might be fun, until you realize that you got to get on a long flight (which, depending on location, can be SEVERAL HOURS!), with your family and complete strangers.
The coronavirus pandemic has had and will change all parts of everyday life. The next time you take a flight somewhere, it will be drastically different compared to the normal protocols and procedures that we have been accustomed to whenever we boarded for a flight. During the coronavirus pandemic, both the air and hotel industries were among the hardest hit businesses. According to a Business Insider article published back in May, air travel demands in The United States alone dropped by 95 percent.
Although there are a few people who have decided to take a flight somewhere, many people don’t feel that it is even safe to even get on a plane flight yet. As BBC reported: “A recent survey by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found that 60% of people questioned would wait for two months before booking flights after the coronavirus is contained – 40% said they would wait for at least six months.” With those numbers, the same BBC article also stated that, “They [don’t] expect air travel to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023.”
Please note that all of the ways suggested in this article on how your next airplane flight might be different cover everything from arriving at the airport, boarding the plane, what will happened while you are on the flight, and departing the plane after arriving at your destination.
Now, with all of that information being said, let’s take a look down below and see the following 12 Ways In Which Your Next Flight May Be Different:
1. A Mandatory Mask Policy For Everyone On The Flight:
Given the dangerous and deadly effects of the coronavirus, one of the things that will absolutely be different the next time you get on a flight is everyone, from passengers to flight attendants to the pilots, will be required to wear a mask on the plane.
Several airlines, including United, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest, announced in June that they will be enforcing a strict face-covering policy. Each of these airlines individually have their own set of policies and protocols established on how they plan on enforcing mask usage on flights.
2. Temperature Checks Before Boarding The Flight:
As I said earlier, there is a small percentage of people who are still traveling to places via airplanes during the coronavirus pandemic. One of the things that we have seen being enforced when it comes to air travel during the pandemic is passengers getting their temperatures checked before boarding the flight. Several airline companies like Air Canada and Frontier, have already implemented these pre-flight temperature checks as part of their new onboard regulations to make passengers feel safe.
3. Passengers Who Refuse To Wear A Mask Could Be Banned From Future Flights:
As I stated earlier, several airlines, including United, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest, announced in June that they will be enforcing a strict face-covering policy. Some of these airlines also announced their intentions of banning passengers who refuse to comply and wear a mask.
This measure is something we have seen play out as on June 18, American Airlines banned a passenger who refused to comply with its mask policy. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed in a July 22 article that Delta placed 120 passengers on their no fly list for refusing to wear mask on a flight.
4. Passengers Might Be Forced To Take A Blood Test or Nasal Swab ahead of a Flight or After Arriving At Their Destination:
In April, Emirates Airlines began administering rapid COVID-19 blood tests for passengers to take prior to getting on their flights. Test results come out within just ten minutes! Airports around the world have required mandatory COVID-19 testing for all passengers arriving from high-risk countries.
5. Empty Seat Back Pockets:
From now on, those seat pockets will no longer contain those in-flight magazines and safety directions. They will be left empty or could be removed.
6. No More Hot Meals or Alcohol:
The next time you board an American Airlines flight, there will be no hot meals or alcohol available for purchase during the flight. However, there will be items available for purchase during the flight if you are flying somewhere out of the country.
7. New Products That Passengers Can Purchase From The Vending Machines At Airports:
Besides food, vending machines at airports sell items such as headphones, electronics, beauty products, health-care items, to name a few that people can purchase before getting on a flight if they forget to pack them.
Other items that you will see now see at airport vending machines personal protection items like disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, and face masks. In May, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas became one of the first airports to install vending machines containing only the products listed above.
8. Dogs are Being Trained To Detect People With COVID-19:
At airports, dogs are used to sniff out drugs, weapons, and other contraband. However, according to a recent CNN report, researchers in the United Kingdom are currently working to train dogs to identify COVID-19 in travelers, even if they are aren’t showing any symptoms.
9. An Electrostatic Sprayer Being Used To Clean The Cabin:
Prior to boarding, aircraft cabins will be cleaned thoroughly with an electrostatic sprayer. Watch the video below to see how cleaning crews utilize this breakthrough technology tool to clean and protect passengers while the plane is in the air.
10. Free Disinfecting Wipes Being Distributed:
One of the positive changes that you will see the next time you fly on an airplane is flight attendants handing out free hand-sanitizing wipes to all passengers.
11. Flight Attendants Might Wear Full-Body Protective Gear Over Their Uniforms:
Remember that viral video last month of NBA All-Star Joel Embiid wearing a hazmat suit to the airport when The Philadelphia 76ers departed for The NBA Restart in Orlando? Well, the next time you go on a Qatar Airways flight, you will see flight attendants wearing full-body hazmat suits in addition to as well as safety goggles, gloves, and masks.
Since May 25, Qatar Airways had required all flight attendants to wear these personal protective equipment suits while on the job. I won’t be surprised if other airline companies in America start enforcing similar protocols like Qatar Airways has.
12. More Members Added To The Cabin Crew For Flights:
Besides the pilots and flight attendants, new editions to the cabin crew on your next flight will include in-flight janitors, whose responsibilities consists of regularly cleaning the plane’s lavatories and any other “high-contact” areas during flights.