In case you haven’t flown since the COVID-19 pandemic began, everything you knew prior about flying no longer exists. In fact, the pandemic has drastically changed everything from boarding the plane to midair snacks. Although the new regulations may seem excessive, some say these changes are for the better. So before you board your next flight, take note of these five changes to air travel caused by the coronavirus.
1. Masks are required the entire duration of traveling.
From the moment you enter the airport until you arrive at your destination, you must wear a mask. Flight attendants also ask you to remain six feet apart while entering and exiting the cabin.
Furthermore, flight attendants now hand out sanitizing cloths as you enter the plane so you can wipe down your own seat, armrest, and tray before flying.
2. Boarding now happens by row, starting from the back of the plane.
This boarding method helps with loading the overhead bins. Since flights aren’t at full capacity yet, it’s beneficial that the overhead compartments aren’t exceedingly full. That way you don’t have to worry about cramming everything in and hoping you’ll find room for your luggage. It’s the worst when you are forced to check your baggage for an additional fee due to the lack of space.
3. In-flight snacks and meals look a little different.
Instead of inflight beverages and snacks, and on longer flights the warm meals that are provided have temporarily been replaced with a couple packaged items. Now, passengers simply receive a small bite to eat, bottled water and sanitized napkins.
4. Middle seats remain empty.
Personally, this is my favorite change thanks to the pandemic. It’s great that they are keeping the middle seat empty to help distance you from others. Not only do I love that I will no longer end up in that dreaded middle seat, but I also like that I don’t have to fight over the armrest with the person next to me.
5. Deboarding looks way more orderly.
Flight attendants now ask everyone to stay seated until the airplane lands and the row in front of you exits before you stand up and grab your bags. Of course, there are still the inpatient ones that stand up immediately. (Some habits are hard to break, I guess.) However, I hope this change catches on and becomes more natural for frequent flyers.
While it’s hard to hold everyone accountable for doing their part in slowing down the spread of the coronavirus, airlines are taking the right precautions to keep everyone safe. I personally am on board with the changes airline companies are taking. Now it’s just up to you to follow these guidelines that protect you and others, and help slow the spread of COVID-19 while you travel.