Hey, it’s Rich Dale. Do you remember taking someone to the airport and going with them to the gate to see them off, or meeting your loved one at the gate as they arrived? When you could arrive at the airport just in time and still catch your flight? How about just hanging out at the airport? I used to take my kids there when we had nothing else to do, just to keep them occupied!
But all that changed after 9-11. Here we are almost 20 years after that, and we know we’ll never go back to that kind of airport. 9-11 changed air travel forever.
And now that might happen again, thanks to the pandemic.
According to Forbes, passengers might need up to four hours to check-in for a flight, finding lounges closed, no automatic upgrades, cabin baggage forbidden, plus everyone wearing masks and gloves! There could be sanitizing stations and thermal scanning, which are already in place at some airports.
The carriers could stop serving food altogether like Hong Kong Airlines has already done, or just offer light refreshments on long-haul runs. But the biggest change could be showing proof of vaccination upon arrival or having to carry an immunity document/passport. Some airports are even blood-testing travelers once they land.
Remember, the last time we had a pandemic, back in 1918, commercial air travel was not a thing. So it’s not surprising that this could have a long-lasting effect.
Who knows, maybe people will start going back to trains. At least you can open a window.