How Airlines Are Changing The Flying Process
Have you spent your years as an empty
nester flying south for the winter? This year, snowbirds and everyday travelers
will be faced with an entirely different airline experience as a result of the
COVID-19 pandemic. From wearing masks to limited flight food options, here's
what you can expect if you plan to fly in the coming months.
you are through security (see new rules) and arrive at the
gate, don't expect an empty concourse. The number of airline passengers
screened by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) ticked up from about
80,000 a day in mid-April to about 762,000 on Aug. 10, though it's still down
substantially from about 2.6 million on that day a year ago. Some airlines are
limiting the number of passengers per flight to prevent the crowded conditions
that might lead to infection. American Airlines and United Airlines have lifted
capacity constraints, though both will allow customers to move to another
flight free of charge if their scheduled flight is 70 percent or more full.
major airlines are now serious about enforcing their requirements that
passengers (unless they are 2 and under, usually) wear face masks during
boarding and on the plane, as well as in areas throughout airports they serve,
such as customer service counters and gates. The only time masks may be removed
is for eating or drinking. They've announced that travelers who refuse to wear
masks onboard will not be allowed to fly. "If a customer is unable to wear a
face covering or mask for any reason, Southwest regrets that we will be unable
to transport the individual," the company said in a statement.
airlines are also handling boarding differently to encourage physical
distancing. Southwest Airlines, for one, previously asked customers to line up
in two adjacent lines of 30, but it's now boarding just one line of 10 people
at a time. Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue and United are boarding their planes
from the rear rows forward, to avoid crowding in the aisles.
reading about the changes airlines are making in the midst of COVID-19.
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