Are You Ready to Get on a Plane Again? Traveling After Coronavirus

man at airport looking at plane take off

From airports to hotels, the coronavirus outbreak and its rapid spread across the world has made an impact on the travel industry. The million-dollar question of the year: will travel recover? The follow up question: are you ready to get on a plane again? Traveling after coronavirus will look different than prior to the pandemic, as airlines will make it their main focus to make fliers feel safe in the confined space of an airplane.

Packing for an Upcoming Trip

Before zipping your bags tight, make sure you’re equipped with a face mask, wipes, and hand sanitizer. You can bring gloves along with you, but wearing gloves is not completely necessary. In fact, the CDC only recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.[1]

Wearing gloves outside of these instances (for example, when using a shopping cart or using an ATM) will not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19 and may still lead to the spread of germs. The best way to protect yourself from germs when running errands and after going out is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.[1]

Getting to the Airport

Usually, we’d opt for an Uber or Lyft to bring us to the airport when we want to avoid the hassle of inconveniencing a friend or family member to bring us there. The first step of flying safely is getting to the airport safely. If you can get dropped off at the airport from someone you’ve been isolating with you can decrease any possible risk of exposure. If you must take a ride share, it’s important to practice proper sanitation methods, such as wiping down the seat and the door handle before exiting the car.

Checking In to Your Flight

Chances are, travelers are going to be arriving at the airport earlier than they would before COVID-19, as they’re uncertain about the “new normal” policies, procedures, security lines, etc. Airports check-ins and lines may be messier and more confusing than ever. Some airports have installed acrylic shields at check-in desks, podiums, and cashier counters, as well as floor markings to denote personal space. In order to check-in safely, your airline of choice may have a smartphone app, so you can experience a touchless check-in. Travelers may also have to pass through thermal scanners and disinfection tunnels for extra precaution.

Waiting at the Airport

When it comes to flying safely, the precautionary methods are not only to be taken by the airline, but also the airports. Airports have increased their hand sanitizer stations throughout the building, as well as the amount of cleaning that is taking place. Airport employees are advised to clean everything more rigorously than ever before, not only the surfaces but also the air. Some seats in the waiting areas will be blocked off, following social distancing protocols. Most airports will also display posters and other signs explaining social distancing guidelines and suggested proper sanitation methods.

Flying Safely on the Plane

Airlines have increased the process for deep cleaning of planes, some using an electrostatic sprayer to provide a safe and effective way to thoroughly clean an aircraft cabin from floor to ceiling.[2] For extra precautionary measures, you can bring your own wipes and wipe your area down, before and after your flight. Most airlines are asking for people to keep their masks on for the duration of the flight, but they can be taken off to eat and drink. As an added layer of protection, airlines are attempting to leave some seats open for distancing between travelers when feasible, but not all circumstances allow for that. Some airlines are working with passengers to make accommodations when possible.[3]

Arriving at Your Destination

There are several phases for hospitality and traveling after coronavirus. Hotels may be occupying fewer rooms, and restaurants are blocking off tables to follow social distancing guidelines. If the central aim is social distancing, any business related to tourism will have to follow the rules set in place in their region. If you have the choice, opt to stay in a friend or family member’s residence, which is less risky in comparison to a hotel or rental property.

Traveling After Coronavirus

Travel will eventually make its way back to what we’re familiar with as “normal” as we go through each phase of reopening. While many people all across the world will be refraining from taking a flight, we will all eventually make our way back on an airplane in the future. In the meantime, airports and airlines are taking the necessary measures to ensure that travelers and passengers are social distancing, flying safely, and keeping healthy. We advise you to evaluate your own health circumstances before traveling after coronavirus, and encourage you to take the necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy throughout your journey.

 

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is one of the oldest aviation training institutions in the United States, where you can take a flight dispatcher course and obtain your FAA dispatcher license. Sheffield has an outstanding reputation in the aviation industry, recognized by companies like Delta, United, KLM, American, Virgin Australia, Cayman Airways, Shanghai/China Eastern, ExpressJet, Federal Express, UPS, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, United Technologies, Mobil Oil, Gulf Air, Atlantic Southeast, Comair, Mesaba, Horizon, American TransAir, and many others for aircraft dispatcher training. If you’re interested in becoming an aircraft dispatcher, contact us to get started: 954-581-6022.

 

Sources:

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – When to wear gloves

[2] Business Traveller – Delta is sanitising all flights using ‘electrostatic sprayers’

[3] Aviation Pros – Airlines for America Launches “Fly Healthy. Fly Smart.” Awareness Campaign

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