New normal: more airport time, no frills and higher fare
To ensure physical distancing of passengers, airlines will encourage check-in through mobile applications or automated kiosks
- Passengers taking a flight must prepare to spend more time at the airport, temperature checks, fewer frills on board and possibly higher air fares, as airlines, airports and the government work to ensure physical distancing, hand hygiene and a sanitised environment to keep the COVID-19 infection at bay once the lockdown is lifted.
- The key aspect we have to keep in mind is the safety of passengers by ensuring social distancing so that the infection does not spread.
- Encourage passengers to use automated modes as much as possible to avoid human contact.
Norms being finalised
- Several airports have already started marking circles and squares at various contact points on their premises.
- Once you board the flight, the middle row seat is likely to be left empty, in accordance with the DGCA guidelines, or possibly four out of six seats in a row could be left empty.
- While low-cost airlines IndiGo and GoAir will discontinue meals on board, Vistara will continue to provide them, with some changes in the delivery.
- Passengers must also be prepared for a costlier travel so that airlines can operate flights in a cost-efficient manner despite being required to leave 33%-50% of their flights empty.
- Vistara and other airlines have already announced that they will remove all reading materials from seat-back pockets, clean the aircraft after every flight and deep-clean the aircraft after every 24 hours and provide passengers with hand-sanitisers and masks.