If the things described in this article
come to pass we are about to see a return to passenger train service on a scale that is almost impossible to contemplate right now.
Let’s start with the entire process of checking in for flights, which some calculate that it could take up to four hours and involving social distancing, sanitation of passengers and luggage, wider spaces for various lines and waiting to board.
Among the steps under consideration: no cabin bags, no lounges, no automatic upgrades, face masks, surgical gloves, self-check-in, self-bag-drop-off, immunity passports, on-the-spot blood tests and sanitation disinfection tunnels.
The boarding process is expected also to become ‘touchless,’ with options including facial recognition, already used in some U.S. airports for international flights. On the planes, there will be blocked seats, electrostatic spraying, personnel in protective gear and, of course, masks. Major European carriers such as Air France and KLM already have made them compulsory and it’s expected that all other airlines will do the same.
As for food, the tendency is to stop serving altogether on short-haul flights, while the airlines consider ‘light refreshments’ for long-haul flights. Hong Kong Airlines has decided to stop offering food altogether.
While I understand a great deal of this article is discussing international travel implications I think it is fair to say that there clearly will be impacts on domestic air travel as well.
Amtrak will have their own challenges of course but I doubt very much they will be anything like what the airlines are going to suffer through.