The endless security lineups at airports we have experienced in the past will seem like the good old days when air travel resumes. According to Forbes, once airports and borders reopen, we will be looking at a hurdle of indignities the likes of which we’ve only seen in sci-fi movies.
Beginning with the check-in process, some calculate it will take up to four hours and involve social distancing, sanitation of both the passenger and their luggage, along with wider spaces for the lineups.
Experts say there will be slower turnarounds between flights due to the need of thorough cleaning of cabins.
Other steps under consideration: no cabin bags, no lounges, no automatic upgrades, face masks, surgical gloves, self-check-in, self-bag-drop-off, immunity passports, on-the-spot blood tests and sanitation disinfection tunnels.
Digital technologies and automation will play a critical role, as airlines reduce “touchpoints.” Only those "fit to fly" will be allowed to enter airports, and UV sanitation is likely to become commonplace.
The boarding process is expected to be ‘touchless,’ with options including facial recognition, already used in some U.S. airports for international flights. On the planes, there will be blocked seats, electrostatic spraying, personnel in protective gear and, of course, masks. Major carriers like Air Canada have already made them compulsory, and it’s expected other airlines will do the same.
As for food, it will likely not be available at all on short-haul flights.
At arrival point, international passengers will need to show some type of immunity document/passport. This measure is advocated by IATA, as is thermal testing.
“Arriving passengers will also undergo another temperature screening at their final destination and potentially even blood tests for COVID-19,” Conde Nast predicts.
Although there are no standard decisions about making such tests and screening mandatory, airports and airlines are pushing for uniform regulations.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.