Air Travel Becomes A New Experience
The coronavirus pandemic has treated the world to new norms that have never before occurred. The total shutdown of essential services and normal life during the total lockdown directives and a massive meltdown of economies leading to job losses and restructuring of revenue streams are scenarios that have not been witnessed in the recent past.
Borders were shut down and airline companies parked their airplanes in airports. However, the pandemic infection rate is receding and most countries are considering a phased return to normalcy including the United States. Flights are reopening their services but Americans have had to adapt to new ways of air travel.
Some of the major guidelines that have helped bring down coronavirus new infection cases are social distancing and wearing a protective mask. The airline industry is maintaining the same as a precaution against the spread of the virus. For some airlines, passengers are required to carry their face masks while for others, passengers may be issued with complimentary masks as well as given the option to purchase one while at the airport. It is vital that before you travel you check with your airlines on what their procedure is.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is allowing passengers to carry hand sanitizers and has raised the 3.4-ounce limit to a 12-ounce limit. However, most airports have already implemented sanitization booths and airline companies issuing sanitization disinfectant towels while boarding. Passengers must wear their face masks at all time except when eating or drinking.
Position on Food
The pandemic is still prevalent and airline companies together with the TSA are still taking precautions against the spread. Therefore, for less contact, you will not get the accustomed food serving and drink during your flight. However, you are now allowed to carry your food and snack while traveling. This is a safer way as people are accountable for their food and where they get it.
The TSA advises that you pack your food in a separate clear plastic bag for easy inspection by their agents in the airports. A clear bag will make it easier for them to search but if concealed in your luggage, it is prone to set off the scanning alarms. It is quite hectic and time consuming for a security agent to ravage through your belongings for the food.
TSA and Airport Staff Check-In
Traditionally, several points of contact existed when checking in at the airport. Currently, they have been reduced. You will still go through the normal checks but the TSA staff have to wear masks and nitrile gloves. If a passenger is not comfortable, they could request that the staff member changes the gloves to a new set. However, passengers are required to remove their face mask for identification and put it back on after.
Boarding passes will now be scanned by passengers and not the airline employee. Passengers are also required to hold up their passes for the airline staff to verify therefore avoiding points of contact. During all these processes, social distancing is maintained. Be sure to contact your travel agency for any clarification on procedures.