Air travel has taken quite a beating over the last year with the pandemic throwing a wrench into domestic and international flying. With a light at the end of the tunnel in sight, many airlines have begun the recovery process and are starting to try and win back their customers, especially during this pivotal holiday season. Flying is still the safest way to travel even during the pandemic, although you should still take some personal precautions while in transit. For their part, airlines have been adapting to the new reality and are complying with very rigorous safety measures designed to protect their passengers. In addition, some are going beyond what’s simply required to provide superior customer service. Here are some of the precautions that are being taken by some of the most popular domestic carriers.
Taking Cleanliness to a New Level
Many airlines even before the pandemic were known for the cleanliness of their planes, but some have partnered with leading cleaning brands to really take this to the next level. United has partnered with Clorox to develop new guidelines that meet or exceed those set by the CDC. Delta is currently partnering with Lysol for the same reason. In addition, nearly every airline has implemented additional safety measures at their kiosks throughout the airport – hand-sanitizing dispensers, sneeze guards, social distancing markers on the floor, and even self-check-in are standard at airport kiosks across the country.
We all know how uncomfortably close the boarding procedure on flights can be, especially for airlines like Southwest with no assigned seating. To promote safe social-distancing, airlines are revising their boarding procedures, allowing as few as 10 people at a time onto their planes during this process. This also means that airlines are currently seating passengers starting at the back and working their way toward the front, instead of front to back as it seemed to work before the pandemic.
Social Distancing While on Board
Currently, the practice of blocking the middle seat to passengers to promote social distancing is not being applied universally among domestic carriers. Delta has committed to this practice until at least March 2021, but many of the other carriers such as United, Southwest, and Spirit do not have such a policy in place, and you may end up on a full flight.
More Lenient Change/Cancellation Policies
However, you should expect much more lenient policies regarding changing or canceling your flights if you find you need to make a change. United is waiving all fees until the end of the year, Spirit is waiving all fees until 12/21/20, and Jetblue has the longest-lasting policy of the bunch at the moment, waiving fees until 2/28/21.
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2021 tour dates are now available! If you have any questions or want help booking your next adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website. Follow AESU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.