What Should You Expect If You Fly During The Coronavirus Pandemic?
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, travel restrictions get more and more serious. According to the CDC, there are now 30 countries put at Warning Level 3. This means that when you enter the US as you travel from one of those countries, you need to be quarantined at home for 2 weeks. Also, President Trump actively shut down most of the travelers coming from Europe. Such decisions will surely continue and be more and more serious in the future. This is why you need to be prepared.
Flightright, which is specialized in gaining financial compensation for people affected by flight cancellations or delays, warns that the number of claims that will appear in the future will increase. As the pandemic starts to affect more countries, US and EU regulation are just a couple of the things you have to be aware of. If your planned flight is cancelled or delayed, contact a specialist like Flightright because a lot of work will need to be done to get your money back since airlines will surely try to make this process as slow as possible. Besides this, you should also know the following:
Cleaning Will Be Really Serious
Because surfaces harbor viruses, in airports from around the world, you will see janitorial staff cleaning more frequently. Special attention will be put on disinfecting the areas that are often touched, like elevator buttons, counter tops, food court areas, and handrails. Even shuttle buses will be cleaned more often. This means that when you reach the airport, there is a pretty good possibility you will see some areas that were disinfected recently. It is a good thing but if the smell bothers you, take preventive measures.
When you use the self-service areas, you touch many screens. This means that airlines will want to encourage you to stop doing this. You can nowadays check-in with the use of a phone and this will be more and more popular. Instead of handing identification and the phone to the agent as you drop the baggage, you will be asked to show it.
Multiple wipe downs will happen with the self-check-in areas but do carry your very own sanitizer to be safe. Wipes are also a very good idea.
Fingerprint Scanner Use Reduced
We are not talking about police-related fingerprint scans at the airport. We refer to airport lounges where many carriers set up special first-class or frequent flyer areas for premium customers. Usually, access to many of these is happening with fingerprint scans. Until now, Delta and Alaska suspended the practice. This will keep happening as more carriers stop using fingerprint scanners. Instead of the fingerprint, the boarding pass and an ID will be needed for verification. They will be, of course, showed, not handed over.
Some changes will also happen at the buffet. Serving utensils are going to be frequently changed and bartenders are not going to keep refilling your glasses. A new one will, most likely, be offered.
Security Will Stay Strict
The pandemic is not a reason to reduce security since terrorists and other dishonest people will not care about the coronavirus outbreak. Screening procedures are already adjusted. For instance, right now, in most airports, the requirement is to place your keys, wallet, phone and some objects inside a carry-on bag. These are no longer put inside plastic bins that will go through scanners.
The operating procedures in place make the personnel wear special gloves whenever screening duties are conducted. If a traveler has to be patted down, gloves are changed before the task is carried out. Also, whenever fingerprint checks will be needed, the security personnel will try to encourage iris scans instead.
What Should You Expect If You Fly During The Coronavirus is a feature post you might also find my post on how to deal with anxiety during lockdown to be useful