As the world evolves into new frontiers of technology and transitions back to normalcy post-pandemic, we are all interested to know how the world will change for good.
The devastating attacks on human health and well-being took a major toll on the state of mind and spirit as people attempted to stay positive throughout the pandemic.
Travel has not been the same after the devastating day of Sept. 11, 2001. Similarly, the events of the COVID-19 pandemic are making permanent changes to travel.
Being asked to take off your shoes at security is a small thing compared to wearing masks, health screening, social distancing and more.
Continue reading to learn about the post-pandemic travel rules you’ll have to follow next time you go to the airport.
10. Mask Wearing
The simple safety protocol of wearing a mask during travel is the rule of all airlines presently. However, travelers should bear in mind that single-use surgical masks should only be worn for four hours.
Passengers should therefore travel with extra masks and hygienic wipes that will serve throughout the flight. There are numerous reports that certain airlines, including American and Alaska, are making exceptions for mask-wearing.
9. Health Check
Various airlines do temperature checks on passengers before they board that plane now. So someone who is COVID-19 positive is not likely to get onboard.
United Airlines and Lufthansa are some examples of other airlines that do not follow this protocol, however. Instead, they have chosen a less invasive testing method stating you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms in their new “health self-assessment.”
8. Physical Distancing Before and After Your Flight
One of the new rules you must follow at the airport is keeping your distance from fellow passengers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires such at the checkpoints before you board your flight, while boarding and after disembarking.
In addition, while you are waiting to retrieve your luggage at the baggage claim, you are also required to keep your mask on and maintain distance.
7. App Self Check-In
Almost all airlines have installed an app to allow passengers to self-check-in and receive their mobile boarding passes.
This paperless and contactless check-in method may become necessary to reduce touch-points between airport staff, passengers and flight crews.
You might also have to place your phone on the reader yourself instead of the TSA worker, which was sometimes the case.
6. Separate Your Food Items
The TSA now requires passengers traveling with food items to pack them separately. They must place these items in clear plastic bags and place them in their bin for X-Ray screening.
Since food items often trigger an alarm, it’s prudent to put them separately so the TSA officers won’t have to be digging through your stuff for a closer inspection. This reduces touch-point and saves time.
5. New Boarding Rules
Boarding passengers even before COVID-19 was a tedious affair. Now, expect the process to take even longer. Delta and Turkish Air are making passengers board 10 at a time to reduce clustering. Turkish Air is also asking passengers to board from back to front, by rows. Other airlines are combining similar changes.
4. Less Assistance
Flight attendants are no longer permitted to help you put your carry-on into the overhead bin anymore. And your friendly, helpful passenger that’s usually there to give a hand may not want to be touching anyone’s luggage in the present set of circumstances.
Some airlines, like Turkish Airlines, are not allowing carry-on luggage at all. Instead, you are only allowed your small personal items like a handbag or laptop.
3. Liquid Limits Upgrade
Another way the TSA has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic is by allowing passengers to bring 12 ounces of hand sanitizer on board until further notice. The standard allowance is 3.4 ounces, and that remains the same for liquids besides hand sanitizer.
ALL TIME TIP: Only bring 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through the checkpoint if you think it is absolutely necessary. It has to be screened separately and may slow down the security process.
2. Process To Disembark
When that plane lands, everyone is intent on getting off and being about their business. But slow down — things are different now. Like the embarkation process, some airlines will continue enforcing social distance when you get off the plane.
Airlines like Turkish Airlines allow 10 passengers at a time to get off and have a two-minute interval before another set is allowed to disembark.
1. Different Entry Rules
Many countries, including the US, are opening up for travel, and each has different entry rules. Some destinations ask for a COVID-19 negative test or will require you to quarantine for a time.
One of the rules now is to ensure that before you travel, you are aware of the country’s rules where you are going to gain entry. If you neglect to do so, you may have to turn right around and go back home.
Stay safe and be compliant
Wherever you are jetting off to for whatever reason — expect some permanent rule changes. In certain ways, the pandemic has forever changed the way we go about life.
All travelers must be compliant or stay at home. Safety and preservation of life are now a top priority for world leaders, and whatever safety protocols they implement are generally for the global good. So, be safe.