Since the pandemic has affected the globe, people were taken back by the uncertainty of life. All aspects of life were impacted by the virus, including flying and airlines. That said, with global lockdowns, tourism has impacted the most since many airports had to close to prevent people from spreading the virus.
That said, flying has changed a lot since the pandemic and regarding the way once it used to be. For instance, the popular Southwest airlines have removed food service from those flights that cover less than 250 miles.
Another example of how Covid-19 has changed airways would be Delta airlines that have installed fog machines to disinfect the airplanes after all passengers have exited the flights. You can also check here for COVID-19 Travel Information related to Cathay Pacific Airlines.
Mandatory Disinfection Routines
In 2020, due to global lockdowns, the passengers’ volumes for different airlines fell as down as more than 90%, which is quite understandable since all non-essential travel was completely banned globally. Many airports have integrated a potent air filtration system to deal with the virus and make traveling safer.
The cleanliness of airports and airplanes has never been better. The majority of airlines are paying loads of attention to wiping down high-traffic touchpoints, such as air knobs, toilets, buttons, etc. That said, the focal point of nearly all global airlines.
Nearly all modern planes have integrated HEPA filtration systems (high-efficiency particulate air). You might have seen such filtration systems in hospitals before. Another technology being installed in the HVAC systems of some airports is the bipolar ionization technology. This technology counterbalances viruses along with other contaminants that are in the air.
While this technology might not completely eliminate the virus and curb it from spreading amongst passengers, this technology kills the virus in the air and from the surface of certain places, such as ticket counters, bathroom sinks, etc.
Proper Seating for Social Distance
It doesn’t matter how well an airline would disinfect the space and airport surfaces; social distancing rules are a top priority and implemented at all airports and for all airways. Passengers can protect themselves by choosing their own seats and keeping a safe distance between themselves and other passengers.
Depending on the airlines, passengers either make seating changes at the gate, or passengers are allowed to select their own seats. Some airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, help passengers with rebooking their flights and help them choose an emptier plane where they can practice social distancing.
Other airlines, such as American Airlines, have kept half of their middle seats empty so that passengers can practice social distancing and avoid sitting next to each other.
Changes in the Way Food is Served
Another area of air travel that has been affected by the virus is food service, and the way food is served on the flights. As we mentioned earlier, some airlines that have been flying a shorter distance than 250 miles have stopped providing their passengers with food and drinking service.
On the other hand, the airlines flying longer than 250 miles and still offering food and beverages only offer pre-packed meals, drinks, and snacks. The food service is usually offered by flight attendants who are wearing gloves; whereas, the food is directly served to the passengers. Besides, passengers don’t get a refill, but they get a replacement.
Some airlines also encourage their passengers to DIY disinfect themselves by using hand sanitizers, wipes, and other disinfecting products. Usually, the disinfecting kits are provided to the passengers on board. If the disinfection products aren’t found inside the planes, passengers can avail them from a kiosk.
The Impact of Covid-19 Anxiety on Air Travel
Throughout the global lockdowns, people have been suffering from anxiety, stress, and a feeling of uncertainty, also known as the pandemic blues. This close interconnection between one’s physical and mental health has been quite evident as we witness people trying to cope with anxiety and mental health issues during the global lockdowns.
Despite the global lockdowns and stay-at-home policies where people had plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate, the psychological effects of the virus have been pretty evident as people experienced more stress than before.
With travel restrictions and very limited and controlled movement, the virus brought the real impact of social isolation on mental health and emotional well-being to the surface. While it has become pretty clear about how eagerly people wait for holidays to kick in so they can travel to far areas, respite, and relax, the virus disabled them to get the rest they needed.
Since the first quarter of 2020, tourism and travel have become a serious matter of concern. While many local and global businesses were forced to shut down, global tourism has been affected the most. The pandemic has also shaped our sense of fear of getting closer to other people.
While the future of air travel remains unclear, we can see that many airlines are working towards making air travel easier and safer for passengers. The top priority remains to obtain a globally vaccinated population. Until then, preventive measures like social distancing, the mandatory wearing of face masks, and DIY sanitizing are more likely to continue.
Vaccines And The Travel Industry
There has been a lot in the global news about the possibility of vaccine passports. It has been analyzed that vaccines will be the ultimate gateways of the return and boom of the travel industry. While some vaccines are being approved in some countries, other countries aren’t willing to accept the vaccines.
For instance, AstraZeneca has been approved by some Asian countries; whereas, some parts of the European continent have stopped the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout due to the possibility of adverse health effects. It is essential to mention here that if the current situation is stressing you out, you are not alone. We are together in this time where things are weighing us down. The key to calming down is by staying in one’s comfort zone and taking one step at a time.