It’s no secret that the airline industry has been one of the most heavily hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understandably, airline executives are attempting to get people flying again buy both adhering to government regulations but also to make passengers that much more comfortable. However, these new procedures haven’t precisely been uniformed nor clear as the months have gone by. In order to clarify some of the procedures being added by airlines, we’ve compiled a list of recent moves being made, as well as the ones already being practiced today.
Before the pandemic, passengers only needed to pass through TSA to be deemed safe for flight travel. However, experts are warning that passengers might need to come into the airport at least four hours before their flight takes off for further screening. This will involve not only the TSA part of it but also a health check. Some airlines are simply asking passengers to allow them to take temperatures at the gate. Others may be taking a more invasive route by asking passengers to have a nasal-swab test before boarding their flight.
At first, only airline staff were asked to wear masks and gloves during the duration of their flight. However, as cases across the country begin to sore, many airlines are now demanding passengers to wear masks as well. This has not gone over well with a few passengers, but airlines are doubling down on this policy, refusing to board anyone who isn’t compliant to their mask policy. However, a majority of these companies are holding their ground and even placing bans on people who refuse to follow the policy.
Empty Middle Seats
Although airlines are already reporting record losses during their first quarter, having jam-packed flights isn’t going to be something they want to bring back. Therefore, many airlines, including JetBlue, are now asking their scheduling departments to avoid booking the middle seats of an airline. This way, social distancing can be practiced even within an enclosed place, such as an airline’s cabin.
Potential PlexiGlass Solution
Some airlines have proposed adding plexiglass to the section of the airplane cabin to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, experts have weighed in on these suggestions stating that there is no hard evidence as of this moment to say that plexiglass would be enough to help reduce the spread of the virus.