Due to the coronavirus pandemic, air travel will never be the same again. But to keep air travel alive, airlines are embracing guidelines for the new normal. Here are some ways on how airlines are trying to protect passengers from this contagion.
If you need to travel by air amid the pandemic, you will surely be surprised at the many changes in airports, especially if you're used to flying all the time. We are used to seeing packed and crowded airports, but the pandemic has thinned the crowd. According to NPR, the coronavius pandemic has left many international airports empty and silent.
Aside from being back in business, their topmost priority is the safety of their passengers. Here are the changes you might see in the airport, as airlines are trying to protect passengers amid the pandemic.
Social distancing is strictly-implemented
Before the pandemic, airports are probably the most packed and crowded places on Earth. It is the opposite now as the coronavirus has forced the new normal on everyone.
One way to prevent the virus from spreading is by maintaining social distancing. As a passenger, it is also our responsibility to follow social distancing rules in all parts of the airport facilities, including the plane.
Many US carriers will demand that all passengers and aircrew members wear masks or facial covering. They must be worn in gated areas and flights, with no exceptions.
Everyone must stay in a marked spot while inside the airport and the plane to avoid crowding. There is a sneeze guard placed as an extra precaution.
Planes used to be full, but now there are only a few passengers
A few months ago, before the pandemic started, airport counters were busy with lines of passengers waiting to get a ticket. The passengers' lounge is also full with people who are waiting for their flights.
Now these lines are gone as more people avoid flying unless necessary. All the space and seats were occupied and people race to the gates. Most passengers are now gone as airports have changed, and for some, the empty facilities look like a scene from the 'Twilight Zone.'
Change is healthy, but the pandemic changed too many things over the past few weeks, including air travel.
Seating arrangements to minimize risks of transmission
Airlines are disinfecting the airplanes' interior by electrostatic cleaning. The process uses electrostatically charged cleaning fluids that is used to disinfect the seats and the entire cabin. It helps using another disinfectant to cover all the surfaces better.
This deliberate disinfection process keeps passengers safe from infection, but a mask is still needed for good measure.
Most airlines are also following special seating arrangements. Seating arrangements include more space between the passengers.
Plexiglass, touchless technology, and 'immunity passports'
More ways are devised to protect passengers from catching the bug. One of them is installing a plexiglass divider in between seats to shield passengers. One wild idea is a plastic capsule covering the seat as well, but this is yet to be implemented.
The plastic bubble will be in the middle seat. This idea is just one of the ideas how airlines are trying to protect passengers. Some countries are also looking to create 'immunity passports' that will certify if a person had contracted the virus making him very unlikely to contract it again, therefore marking him safe to travel, according to BBC.