Many aspects of life are beginning to return to normal as more states enter different phases of reopening. People are wondering if they should return to travel or they will soon have to due to family obligations or work requirements. Whether it be for business or pleasure, here’s what to expect when traveling and what it will look like when you finally have to travel.
When you purchase your plane ticket, you will probably see a lot of new checkboxes to take you through the different requirements that now must be met. As medical experts have learned more about the spread of viruses, many changes have come about pertaining to traveling around the world.
Plan on having a facial covering that is considerably better than a bandana if you are going to be in a confined space for an extended period of time. Even with the air being force filtered, there is still a greater chance of contaminants being spread in such a small area.
When you arrive at the airport, you will encounter a number of changes. You should start by putting on your mask before you enter.
Many carriers are working hard to protect their employees; you may be asked either before arriving at the airport or once inside, to check your own bags. A number of airports provide curbside baggage check, but you will have to verify with your airport if this is available or not.
Checking in to your flight should be done before you arrive. However, if this isn’t possible, kiosks are being provided with the ability to check you in by way of your phone number, email address, or confirmation number. Boarding passes are able to be printed from these machines, which lessens any exposure to coronavirus and other illnesses.
Once you get to the TSA area, you can expect even more changes to enable less contact between you and airport personnel: if you are in an airport that has implemented temperature checks, you will go through a touchless forehead scan by a TSA agent. Not all airports have this in place at the moment, but you should be prepared for this new step.
Next, you will no longer hand your boarding pass and identification to someone for scanning, but will do this for yourself. If you are traveling as a family, you will want to be as prepared as possible with everything you will need for this step; don’t have everyone’s passes buried at the bottom of your bags.
Everyone in line should practice social distancing, and this includes when you are loading all carry-on items into bins. Keep a good amount of space between yourself and the next person.
Because there are a large number of people passing through and using the bins and other common areas, most airports are allowing passengers to carry up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer with them through TSA, as well as hand wipes. It is suggested that make sure to clean your hands after you have made it through the security check.
Please don’t pull out your wipes for wiping down the bins you’re going to use. This only holds up the line and in most cases is unnecessary as part of what the airports are working on doing is making sure that areas and items are sanitized often.
Waiting to board should still include the practice of social distancing. This is probably made a little easier with almost all flights eliminating the middle seating options for passengers, thus there are fewer people on each flight.
Each plane is being thoroughly sanitized between flights to help prevent the spread of infection.
Airlines are discouraging getting up during the flight for bathroom breaks. Do your best to abide by this request. Also, beverages and snacks are being eliminated from almost all flights as a protective measure for everyone involved. If you have a medical condition prohibiting you from going long stretches without food or water, please work with your air carrier beforehand to find out their processes and procedures.
If you are in need of a rental vehicle, either on the other end of your flight or if you are renting one to drive anywhere, most rental car companies are making contactless checkout easier than ever. But you will need to look into the company that you are using to understand their practices. Most are cleaning and sanitizing the vehicle before you rent it, some are using plastic seat coverings to ensure best practices.
You probably won’t be handing your credit card off to anyone. Instead, you’ll be checking in through your phone, verifying your credit card payment, signing your contract and receiving an email, all without possibly talking to anyone face-to-face.
Because each airport is different and each state’s requirements are different, please make sure to understand wait times, check-in policies, and any restrictions or conditions they might have. Also, take time to make sure you know the controls that the state has that you will be visiting. Just because you are from out-of-state doesn’t mean you are exempt from those regulations still in place. Be an informed traveler!
Lodging… Coming Soon
Due to the wide variety of lodging choices, we’ll dive deeper into this subject in a second article. Keep your eye peeled for it!