Dozens of areas in an airport could change after the coronavirus pandemic to restore confidence in flying, according to a leading aviation marketing consultancy firm.
In its latest report, SimpliFlying details what it will be like to fly in the age of ‘sanitized’ travel, from check-in through arrival at the destination. Highlights of the multi-step approach to passenger safety include all bags to be ‘sanitagged,’ the touchless cabin, in-flight janitor and the end of the ‘30-minute turn.’
Beginning with online booking, seat selection will no longer be an option as one will be assigned. Travellers will have to upload their immunity passport 24 hours prior to take-off to confirm the presence of antibodies for COVID-19.
Curbside drop-off will be allowed but only those travelling will be permitted into the airport, at least four hours before departure. Passengers will have to show their immunity passport or go through a disinfection tunnel and thermal scanners to be deemed ‘fit to fly.’
Passenger health will be assessed again at the check-in counter. Some airlines may administer on-the-spot blood tests. Checked bags will be fogged or ultra-violet ray disinfected and ‘sanitagged.’ Travellers will then be handed gloves and masks to be worn throughout the rest of their time in the airport, as well as on the plane.
At least two hours before departure, passengers will go through hygiene-enhanced security. Carry-on bags and trays will be subjected to ‘sanitagging’ procedures. Social distancing and sparse seating will need to be maintained in the boarding area. Priority boarding will be given to essential workers. Passengers will receive an individual notification on their phones when it is their time to embark the plane.
The jet bridge will serve as a second disinfection tunnel. Once on the plane, passengers will wipe down their seats with disinfecting wipes provided by the flight crew.
The in-flight experience will include safety videos with a focus on sanitation, empty seat back pockets with no magazines, digital menus and a cashless cabin, and a janitor to clean high-contact areas regularly.
Upon landing, checked bags will be sanitized once more before being placed on the conveyer belt. Thermal scanners will be used again to screen the body temperature of arriving passengers. Travellers’ immunity passports will also have to be presented upon entering the destination.
The plane will then undergo a deep clean, effectively ending airlines’ ability to turn around aircraft in just over 30 minutes for their next flight.
SimpliFlying’s full report with details of key changes in travel can be downloaded here.