How Will COVID-19 Change The Way We Fly?
My son is still one of the few college students still on campus at a small college in South Dakota. We gave him the option of staying there or coming home, either way, distance learning online. At the time, we thought he's safer staying in South Dakota since they didn't have a single case of the coronavirus and New York had thousands. Well, in about 10 days the semester is over and he'll be flying home. What will his flying experience be like due to the virus and what does the future hold for air travel post-COVID-19?
Airlines have already started making changes and are looking at more for the future. Currently, some airlines have started boarding their planes back to front to minimize person to person contact, they aren't letting people stand up in the isles and modifying their food service. In addition, some airlines are blocking middle seats to minimize contact. Which is probably a good thing, COVID-19 or not because everybody hates getting stuck in the middle seat anyway.
An article in The Times Union gives a few other changes that might be on the horizon for flyers. Changes like, health screenings before boarding a plane, expanding terminal areas so people can still practice social distancing, sanitizing planes multiple times a day, and maybe requiring masks when you fly.
The airline industry has been hard hit by the coronavirus with passengers reportedly dropping by 97% in some areas. Airlines have taken about 2,600 planes out of service due to the extreme drop in passengers.
Although changes are being made there are still examples of crowded flights and a lack of social distancing. For example, this story from ABC7New York.
Much like 9/11 in 2001, the coronavirus pandemic will change the future of flying for passengers, airports, and airlines forever.
In the short-term, I just want my son to be able to fly home as healthy and as safe as possible.