As the world reopens to a new normal and we begin to retake flight, the airports and airlines, are preparing for our arrival. They're rolling out multi-layered processes that will elevate cleanliness and safe and healthy measures. One of the hot topics is requiring travelers to obtain a Fit to Fly certificate. When you have had a health problem, your airline or travel insurance company may need a fit to fly certificate before you can fly. This is to ensure it is not a risk for you or for them to have you on a plane. Certificates may be necessary for travelers with a wide range of conditions – from broken bones to infectious diseases – so it is always best to consult the airline as far in advance as possible. Some airlines may require you to complete a more in-depth form like British Airways.
As airports are looking at what it will take to make fliers feel comfortable again. Airlines like Air Canada made effective as of May 15th a temperature-check policy. Passengers will be required to undergo touchless temperature screening during the check-in. Airports like London Heathrow, Puerto Rico's San Juan airport, and Paine Field are using thermal cameras to scan for temperatures. Also, travelers and employees will be required to bring and wear face masks that have to be worn before and during flights. Our Vice President Mike Pence here in the U.S. pledged "100% screening" on direct flights from Italy and South Korea to the United States.
Airports and airlines are increasing the cleaning process. Airports are increasing the frequency of cleaning and the intensity of cleaning products at "high touch" areas in shuttle buses, washrooms, security checkpoints, food courts, and other areas. Airports like Port of Seattle has implemented new protocols. The airport has focused on disinfecting common areas and helping passengers and employees maintain proper hygiene at the airport.
American Airlines has increased cleanliness by doing a thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces, including tray tables and armrests. Alaska Airlines showed their planes clean process in this video. Ultimately, "we're in this together," and as travelers, we too should take extra precautions to avoid germs.
Likely, non-fliers will not be allowed inside of airports when flying returns.
Passengers may be required to book an appointment to go through airport security screening to avoid crowding.
At the security checkpoint, never walk barefoot through the metal detector.
Place your shoes on the belt, not in a bin.
Put your jacket, your phone, and the contents of your pockets, into your carry-on instead of into a bin.
Before your flight, "wait in the least crowded areas of the airport
Stay at least six feet away from anyone else.
Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for up-to-date information about travel advisories and risk assessment by country and think through contingency plans before leaving home.
U.S. State and local governments have implemented a range of travel requirements related to COVID-19. If you're traveling from certain areas within the U.S., you may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time you arrive, or the duration of your trip (whichever is shorter). International travel countries are restricting entry due to COVID-19. Therefore it is strongly encouraged to check the latest entry requirements before your trip as they are updated often. You can find more information about these restrictions (by country) on the U.S. Department of State site, or on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) site.
Keep in mind that until the dust settles on the new travel model requirements are frequently changing. So refer to the links above as well as check that city and state websites before your trip for the latest information. Make sure you subscribe to my blog, so your updates are sent straight to your inbox and follow me on social media. But for now, stay safe and stay home.
“An airport is a place where you go through hell to reach your alleged paradise.” ― Stewart Stafford