It’s interesting to see how things evolve when society undergoes major changes. Remember September 11, 2001? Air travel all over the world changed forever on that day, the TSA was created, carry on luggage started to look a lot different. And almost 20 years later, air travel is undergoing another major shift. The coronavirus pandemic has eliminated the need for a lot of traveling. Airlines have drastically reduced their flight schedules and governments all over the world are wary of who they let cross their borders. Once we are out of the pandemic woods, we can expect some permanent changes to the air travel industry.
One of the firsts things you’ll probably notice on your next flight is a lack of activity in the airports themselves. Within the next few months, you will likely encounter more and more contactless elements. New biometric screening has also been proposed to help the air travel industry stay on top of the pandemic. The International Civil Aviation Organization has put out some guidelines to help keep flight crews, airline and airport employees, and travelers safer. There may even be some changes to the way passengers move through airports.
Less Crowded Flights
Many airlines have decided to operate at 50% occupancy, others have eliminated the middle seat. The need for physical distancing to reduce or prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Aviointeriors, a company that creates aircraft cabin interiors, has created the “Janus” seat. It sports a backward middle seat and a partition that secludes individual passengers. This design has a lot of potentials, but it has yet to pick up steam.
The thing about less crowded and fewer flights means that tourist attractions and resorts will also be less populated. You may find that any vacation or leisure trip you take within the next year will be even more relaxing. There will be shortened waiting times, fewer lines, and fewer crowds.
Personal Protection Equipment
Just as many businesses now require patrons to wear masks (some require temperature checks as well), airlines are also requiring that travelers wear PPE while on the plane. Temperature checks and questionnaires are also requirements of some airlines and countries. In-flight beverages, snacks, and meals have been suspended on many flights and flight attendants are only assisting passengers that request help.
The longer this pandemic wears on, the more antsy people are getting. Everyone wants to get back to something close to what normal was. This includes traveling. As states and countries begin to open back up, airlines are slowly adding to their schedules. Although there are more flight options, no one wants to experience price hikes, but with the slowing of business, prices may need to be raised to sustain airline companies.
Hopping a flight post-coronavirus is definitely going to be a different experience than you are accustomed to, whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally. Honestly, there’s no telling what air travel will look like once the pandemic has run its course. But we can be sure changes will be made and these are the most likely areas to see change.