The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many industries, with one of the most-impacted being the airline industry. In an effort to restore customer’s faith in flying, the industry has taken several steps to create a safe, clean, and satisfying experience. These efforts have culminated in the pursuit of a contactless flight. This has required all hands on deck to create a hands-off approach to flying.
Identifying Key Touch Points
The first step in determining how to keep airline passengers safe is to identify all the potential ways they could come in contact with the virus. Industry leaders have had to look at every step of the flying process, from check-in to final departure.
There are multiple times when a customer would typically come into contact with another person or object, and when social distancing measures could not be followed, including the following.
- Sitting in the waiting area pre-flight
- Checking bags at the gate
- Using the restroom
- Waiting in line to board
- Undergoing security screening before boarding
- Walking across the jet bridge
- Walking up and down aisles to find their seat
- Stowing carry-on bags
- Touching shared surfaces
- Speaking with flight attendants
Since we live in the age of technology, it makes sense for airlines to use it to their advantage when trying to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. They have made improvements to the flying process with technology. These developments include:
- Contactless check-in with a smartphone app
- Touchless bag drop-off
- Temperature and health screenings for passengers and crew members
- UV cleaning robots post-flight
- Air filters in passenger’s headrests
The Future of Flying
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated steps that the airline industry had already begun to take to utilize technology to streamline the flying process. There are more plans ahead to streamline the process even more, including:
- More touch-free interactions via technology
- Improved disinfecting of public spaces
- App-controlled lights, doors, etc.
- Build aircrafts with social distancing in mind
The industry is making great strides in protecting passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. By using all the resources available to them, they will continue to make improvements with the goal to keep passengers safe.