The American people are starting to fly again. More than 1.3 million Americans went through TSA checkpoints in the first week of January. This was the largest number of people since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
While more people are traveling, things are certainly not back to normal. In 2020, airports implemented new policies and processes for boarding travelers.
Read on to learn all about airport traveling rules. Explore our airport traveling guide so you know what to expect before your next flight.
Are Masks Required?
This is the first question on most travelers’ minds. The answer is that masks are required on flights. They are also necessary while waiting at the airport to board a flight.
The only time to remove a mask is while eating or drinking. This policy depends on the airline. Each company has different rules for food and drink consumption.
Some airlines are limiting concession services to keep masks on. Others are starting to give out pre-packaged snacks on longer flights. We suggest reviewing the airline’s specific rules before flying.
Is Social Distancing Required?
Social distancing is another major change to traveling. You have to maintain social distancing at the airport.
This includes the downtime waiting to board. Social distancing is also required by airport vendors. Obviously, social distancing is not possible when you get on the plane.
Are Planes Safe?
You may be wondering if flying is safe under these conditions. Social distancing is not possible and some flyers are removing their masks to eat.
One thing working in your favor is the use of high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filters. These HEPA filters are collected 99.7% of airborne particles.
There are some other suggestions to follow. One is wiping down your seat and armrests with disinfectant wipes. Also, it is best to limit interaction with other passengers that may be carrying the virus.
Every part of your experience is affected by Covid-19 when flying in 2021. Even parking is impacted by social distancing rules.
This guide to longterm parking touches on the major items to know. You may require a shuttle to transport you from the parking lot to the airport terminal.
Expect to socially distance on these shuttles. It may take longer to get a shuttle as some are operating at a diminished capacity. Also, masks are likely required during the brief ride.
Many customers are curious about cancellation policies. It is hard for travelers to control their plans during this pandemic. They are dealing with quarantines, local outbreaks, and more.
The good news is that airlines are providing flexibility to their customers. Many airlines are waiving cancellation fees or offering full credits on future flights.
A Recap for Airport Traveling in 2021
This is not the easiest year to take a flight. Things are not going to be as convenient or efficient as you are accustomed to.
Set your expectations to socially distance and wear a mask. Also, we recommend building more time into your arrival time for expected delays.
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