As we adapt to the new normal, travel opportunities are slowly opening up. However, expect some major changes as they intensified safety measures. Airline companies are now adapting to the new normal in air travel. Travelers also have things to consider before booking a flight in the new normal.
For both domestic travel and international travel, here are some factors that will impact your travel plans.
Reduced Destination Choices
Many countries have issued a “no travel” advisory for its citizens as well as for foreign visitors. Countries who have reopened their borders may sometimes decide to close them again when covid cases in their areas suddenly spike. Your travel destination may suddenly become unreachable even if you’ve already booked your ticket. Uncertainties such as these will be part of the travel experience for a while. Expect more cancelled flights due to your destination suddenly banning travel to their areas.
Now that there’s less of the world open to travel, you might need to adjust your dream of traveling the world for the time being. Exploring your own backyard through a road trip might be a good way to flex your travel muscles without dampening your wanderlust.
New Airline Routes
Due to the uncertainty in access to different destinations, airline routes will also be adjusted accordingly. Target destinations will be destinations that are least affected or have no reported covid cases. Some of these territories are not popular destinations. These include Kiribati, Marshal Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. All of these territories have no reported cases of covid.
If exploring new destinations is a good idea to you, then see if your favorite airline is already offering flights to these areas. Do your research too so you know whether these areas already allow foreign travel and what each place has to offer. Other destinations with less or reduced covid cases are also opening up for travel.
Rapid Testing in Airports
Airline companies are now conducting rapid tests for all of its staff before flights. Airline companies also require travelers to undergo the same test. You need to get to the airport even earlier than before. This may be a little inconvenient for some of us but it ensures the health and safety of everyone on board. We should be grateful for it instead.
Adjusted Baggage Standards
As part of the drive to encourage less contact and social distancing, passenger baggage standards have also been adjusted. Only 2kg are allowed for carry-on baggage from the original 7kg. The good news is, 5kg has been added to the free baggage allowance (FBA). Passengers are encouraged to carry as little on them as possible in-flight. This will also make it more convenient to carry out frequent disinfecting procedures in the cabin.
This means a change in how you pack your travel bags. Carefully consider what to pack on your carry-on bag. Some must-have items need to be relegated to your FBA instead. For carry-on essentials, carry only up to 10, 100ml bottles of sanitizers with up to 70% alcohol.
Pre-Flight and Post-Flight Requirements
Here are some more things that you need to consider before booking a flight in the new normal. Pre-flight online check-in is required. Face masks are required at all times. Cabin seating will follow social distancing standards. In-flight meals will be simplified. Meals in sealed packaging and beverages will be offered only on demand. However, hand sanitizers will always be available. Passengers will fill-out health forms to document travel/health history.
Aside from these procedures, you may be required to undergo rapid testing at the airport of your destination. Expect more stringent safety and health measures in your travel destinations.
More Expensive But Safer Travel
With all these changes to how we travel, one thing is certain. Airline companies will have to make-up for investing in new safety measures. At the same time, they need to reduce their passenger capacities and flight destinations. Ultimately this will result in more expensive tickets. Travel will still be safer than before. However, you may have to categorize it as a luxury item in your budget from now on. Expect hotels to follow the same trend. They will be more expensive but they will be intensifying their safety and health measures to ensure the safety of their customers.
The pandemic has transformed how we go about travel. These are some of the things you need to consider before booking a flight in the new normal. While it will feel inconvenient at times; it’s these little things that make travel safe for everyone. Remember to do your part too. If everyone cooperates, our travel experience will be safe and enjoyable.
Once you’re off the plane, don’t forget some travel rules that you need to observe. Travel is an important experience that we all need to indulge in from time to time. It helps us see the world from a different perspective. It also helps transforms us for the better as well.