There is no doubt that the current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic will cast a shadow on every aspect of travel. According to industry experts, an over-reaching issue will be fear. That was the case after the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Fear of flying. Fear of travel. That fear eventually subsided. Odds are it will return when travel starts again post-COVID-19.
With this in mind, airports are creating facilities and procedures to make fliers feel safe. According to SimpliFlying, an airline marketing firm, over 70 areas in the passenger journey will change to ensure sanitized travel.
Required face masks are just the beginning. Disinfection tunnels and thermal scans will be part of the airport experience as well, the firm predicts. Hong Kong International Airport has already started testing a full-body disinfection and sanitization booth.
The rapid 30-minute, turn-around times that airlines have been trying to shorten even more, will be become a thing of the past. In the new age of sanitized travel, every aircraft, after every flight, will have to be deep cleaned, fogged and sterilized with UV lights or other new technologies. Doing it overnight is the only possibility.
In the airport, travelers will have touchless options for checking in. TSA lines will change in a post-COVID-19 world. There are those who predict appointments will be necessary to go through security screening.
Airports will be cleaned and disinfected more than ever before and in some innovative ways. Take the Hong Kong International Airport that has employed the services of sanitizing robots. Called Intelligent Sterilization Robots, they are equipped with ultraviolet light sterilizers and air sterilizers and move around autonomously. They sterilize up to 99.99 percent of bacteria in its vicinity in just 10 minutes.
Even vending machines are evolving. McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has become the first airport to install personal protection equipment (PPE) vending machines from which travelers can purchase items including gloves and hand sanitizer.
For those coming into the U.S. from overseas, SimpliFlying predicts that some type of immunity passport will be necessary to enter. Temperature screening and blood tests for COVID-19 may be required as well.
For the full rundown of the 70 different areas of the passenger journey that are expected to change, click here. For more information on Hong Kong Airport’s disinfection booth, click here and for a look at McCarran International Airport’s PPE vending machine, here. For more insight into what the future looks like post-COVID-19, visit #AmazingDaysAhead.