Air travel during coronavirus encompasses new norms of temperature screening, fumigation of terminals, and sanitisation. The planes at present have very few passengers on board, but that could change with more fliers ready to return to the skies. Amid COVID-19, passengers will be required to follow safety protocols to restrict the spread of the virus. However, the rules are varying, and fliers must keep up with the changing information.

Different Policies for Airlines
Fliers may come across various policies set by different airlines. United Airlines and American Airlines, and Southwest and Delta Airlines require all passengers to wear either cloth face masks or high-tech masks while on the plane. Southwest, Delta, and United Airlines also supply fliers with hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks if they do not have them. Passengers can also expect to be penalized if they do not comply with mask-wearing rules. Delta, Southwest, United, and American airlines have said customers will be removed from the terminal and plane if they do not comply with rules for wearing masks as outlined in their guidelines.

Different Rules for Airports
Most airports have different rules too. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida required masks for anyone in the public areas of the airport in the recent past. Few others, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, recommend masks but does not require them. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends that passengers wear masks at airports but does not mandate it. However, TSA employees are required to wear masks and gloves.

Protection Comes First
CDC safety requirements for customers and staff advise everyone to frequently wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol. The CDC also states that “germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes”. Delta Air Lines, Southwest, United, and American use high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters. HEPA filters are a very high-intensity system of fibres that run air through to filter out an incredible amount of contaminants that could potentially harm or create an atmosphere in the cabin or the cockpit that could harm the passengers or the crews.

As the virus continues to spread, airlines and airports encourage fliers to stay updated with the varying information.