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TRAVELERS: What To Expect At The Airport

TRAVELERS: What To Expect At The Airport

TRAVELERS: What To Expect At The Airport

With cities nationwide cautiously opening businesses and public spaces, many people are beginning to plan future vacations and business trips. Traveling will likely be a bit different than it used to be, starting with the airport experience. Airports are working hard to determine the best ways to keep their environments clean and safe. Here are a few changes you should expect as airports adapt to the new needs of travelers:

  • Checking in: Expect increased use of self-check-in facilities and equipment. You may already be used to using a remote check-in station or kiosk, but soon that type of check-in may become required rather than optional. Since you will likely use touch screens and/or keyboards at those stations, airports and airline companies are increasing the frequency of cleaning the equipment. You may be better off to use an airline’s app on your smartphone to check in from home before you reach the airport.
  • TSA Screening: TSA will honor physical distancing in its lines now. That may make the lines physically longer, no matter how many passengers are in line. Some airports will mark off standing positions six feet apart from one another in this effort. The TSA employees will all wear masks and gloves and you will most likely scan your own boarding pass, rather than handing it to the agent. Airports are asking their customers to wear masks, but not requiring them. As for temperature checks, there is no standard operating procedure yet. Some airlines are expected to start temperature checks before boarding, but airports have not universally incorporated temperature checking into passenger screening in the U.S. For carry on, the same rules exist for liquids, except you are allowed to have 12 ounces of hand sanitizer.
  • Boarding:  Upgraded cleaning schedules and methods are being used at airline gate areas, and more hand sanitizer dispensers are visible throughout the area. During boarding, passengers are again asked to maintain the six -foot physical separation from each other. Some airlines are already requiring passengers to wear masks while boarding and while on the plane, but other airlines have not yet made this a policy. Also, some airlines are now routinely using a disinfectant fogger in the plane cabin before the full cleaning. Again, not all airlines have adopted this procedure. Good news for travelers is that the CDC reports the risk of being infected on the plane is low, largely because of the air filtration and circulation systems in the cabin. If you bring food on the plane, you are asked to have it in see through plastic bags. You are allowed to remove your mask to eat on the plane.
  • Retail: For the foreseeable future, expect to see many retail outlets in the airport closed. Those that open will limit the number of customers allowed in, and install plexiglass between customers and cashiers.

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