- Isaiah Kaitschuck
5 Airlines that Changed US Air Travel During the Pandemic
How the airline industry has adapted due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and how it has affected its flyers.
Americans have been flying all over the world since the first flight took off in early 1914. It's no surprise that people want to book their next getaway, and flying during a pandemic can be a challenging task. The pandemic has made a significant impact on the airline industry, and getting back to our new normal is everyone's top priority. These 5 airlines made various changes aboard including: flight service, destinations and routes, in-flight requirements, and various other changes.
There are many question in everyone's mind like - "Do we need a covid test to fly?" or "Is it safe to fly outside of the US to Europe or Asia? . These questions are answered by the top 5 airlines that we feature here in this article today. Read on to get more information on US Air Travel ?
American airlines has been a pioneer of modern airline travel since the 1970’s. Due to the pandemic, they have made adjustments for its customers in order to follow federal and local guidelines.
On all American flights, flyers are expected to wear their face coverings for the duration of the flight including throughout the airport. Customers may only take their face coverings when eating or drinking for a brief amount of time. They have also added FDA approved HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filters that cycle the air inside the cabin every 2 to 4 minutes.
Additionally, American has added a new travel flexibility policy that offers no change fees for all domestic, short-haul international, and select international flights. This policy also depends on your selected cabin, and is not offered to Basic Economy fares.
Also, they have limited their food and drink service on-board to a limited selection. On select flights, a snack bag may be provided to customers. American have urged flyers to bring their own food and drink on-board at this time.
For more updated information on changing airline conditions, please click here to find out more.
Due to the pandemic, Delta airlines has also made changes to their operations to better accommodate its flyers during this unique time. As a part of the Delta CareStandard, Delta has put in place more than 100 measures to better protect customers as they fly. They have also committed to blocking the middle seat, something that most airlines have not given up.
Furthermore, the boarding process has been modified to reflect updated guidelines. For a touchless experience, customers can use the digital check-in system that will provide a digital boarding pass for a seamless experience. At all check-in locations, high-use surfaces are regularly sanitized and distance markers have also been implemented. Plexiglass shields have been placed at all Delta counters to help limit the spread of Covid-19.
Onboard, customers can expect an experience that accommodates all Covid-19 procedures and guidelines. After boarding, flyers are given customer care kits which include sanitizing wipes and disposable masks. Upon blocking the middle seat for social distancing, customers can also expect a boarding process from the back to front of the plane. This will help limit interactions between guests and airline staff.
Delta Chief Customer Experience Officers states, “The (travel) experience is a very comfortable, a very safe experience, we have taken actions, even above and beyond what the CDC has recommended to ensure safety”.
For more up-to-date information regarding Deltas Covid-19 policies, click here.
In response to Covid-19, Southwest airlines has committed its customers to an onboard experience that feels safe and sanitized at all times. Its operations have changed and sanitization procedures have been adopted, even implementing the use of electrostatic and anti-microbial sprays onboard the plane.
At check-in counters, hand sanitizer is available to each guest along with plexiglass shields that help limit face-to-face interactions. Also, each night, the airline cleans the plane from nose to tail for six hours to help keep all surfaces and high-use areas free of any airborne particulars.
Inside the cabin, face masks are required for the duration of the flight and can only be removed while briefly eating or drinking. Per federal mandates, all customers must wear masks during the flight even if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19. This airline also has HEPA filters inside the cabins that filter air every 2 to 3 minutes giving customers a piece of mind.
For information about current Southwest policies in place, click here.
Since the start of the pandemic, JetBlue has offered safety from the ground up. They have been leaders in Covid-19 procedures and policies that have created a safe experience for its travelers.
On all flights, masks are required per federal mandates. Touchless experiences are also available for guests and enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented at check-in counters and high-use areas. Their hospital grade disinfectants offer a peace of mind for customers and use of HEPA filters provide new air every 2 to 4 minutes inside the cabin.
Jetblue has also waived change fees for most fares making them competitive among its peers and also offers flight credit on select changed flights.
For its employees, Jetblue has also offered paid sick leave for an additional 14 days which has encouraged staff to monitor their health. Also, they have enacted new policies that require staff not to come to work if they are sick.
For more information about current restrictions related to Covid-19, click here.
Frontier has taken several steps to ensure comfort and well-being for its flyers. All Frontier gates, terminals, and kiosks are sanitized periodically using EPA approved solutions. Before every flight, every inch of the plane is disinfected to ensure cleanliness for its guests.
This airline has not completely waived change fees for its guests. For a single change after an initial booking, customers can expect to pay $59 for any changes. Price differences on select flights also vary.
They have also committed to social distancing whenever necessary encouraging guests to honor posted guidelines. At all ticket counters, there has been plexiglass installed to help limit the spread of viruses. Onboard the aircraft, Frontier has applied a back to front loading procedure on all its flights which minimizes passing contact with guests and staff.
For more information on this airline's Covid-19 policies and current mask mandates, please click here.
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