Departure Arrival Onboard: What to expect when flying post pandemic?

Air travel is a rapid, safe, and cost-effective means of transportation, particularly for long-distance trips. Among trains, seaways, and buses, air travel is the most popular option for Americans. Air travel is the finest choice among travelers due to its strong dedication to safety, timeliness, health care, competition, consistency, and stringent restrictions. Passengers’ experiences with air travel have evolved dramatically over time. The first flights were luxurious, with exotic food, luxury cabin furniture, and a living-room cabin arrangement. With the changing operational environment, in-flight services and terminal processes began to evolve throughout time.

The emergence of competition gradually reduced the cost of air travel, but escalating fuel prices, pandemics, the global economic crisis, global warming, and travel limitations shaped the modern airline business and commercial airplane design. Throughout the history of the aviation business, several risks have been presented to the airline sector. The most notable were extraordinarily high maintenance costs in the 1960s, competition, pilot shortages, worldwide terrorism, smuggling, and pandemics, all of which profoundly altered the way people traveled by air. This page will assist readers in understanding the post-COVID-19 formulation of air travel processes during departure, boarding, and arrival in the majority of the world’s countries.


Departure: What to expect?

Departure is the initial stage of air travel. It is the act of departing from a station for the next voyage. Airports are often built to segregate leaving travelers. The following modifications to usual air travel are made for post-pandemic aviation.



Wearing a proper mask is the safest method for preventing airborne virus transmission. During the peak of the epidemic, no one was permitted to access airport grounds without a suitable mask, just like in any other public area. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, medical face masks should be worn by all passengers and crew members throughout the airport and aircraft from the time they enter the terminal building at the departure airport until they exit the terminal building at the destination airport.


Social Distancing

To avoid catching a virus from a donor through the air, WHO recommends a distance of at least one meter. Social distancing is used by the airport and its activities, which include check-in desks, boarding lines, waiting lounges, and immigration checks.


COVID-19 Vaccination

The ICAO has made the COVID-19 immunization obligatory for both local and international aviation travel. Everyone, including airline and airport personnel and passengers, is not authorized to work or travel unless they have had the appropriate WHO-recommended immunization. Check-in counters at several airports demand travellers to provide a COVID-19 immunization certificate.


Rapid Testing

Several countries throughout the globe made rapid testing necessary during the peak epidemic period, when governments authorized only a restricted number of passengers to fly. These tests typically take 3 to 4 hours to complete, and if the outcome is negative, the testing facility grants certification to passengers allowing them to travel. However, most governments throughout the world have since exempted this practice because it causes long lines at airports, particularly in poorer countries that lack current technology to support such a big flow of travelers.


Health Screening

One of the permanent adjustments to the departure processes to be expected is health screening. Staff can distinguish between passengers who have health difficulties thanks to health screening. Because fever is the most prevalent sign of the coronavirus, many airports in industrialized countries have thermal scanners to detect anyone with a fever in the vicinity of the airport so that authorities may take appropriate action.


On-board: What to expect?

Airports are often large and constructed to handle more people than actual demand, making processes and practices relatively simple to develop and manage. An airplane, on the other hand, may be shown as an enclosed metal tube with limited excess room and design to handle such rigorous requirements. Following the epidemic, passengers should expect the following modifications onboard.



During the peak pandemic period and for a few months after some relaxation in air travel restrictions, wearing masks was obligatory inflight. Wearing masks all the time is incredibly unpleasant, especially on long-haul flights. Airlines enable passengers to remove or wear their masks according to their personal preferences until the majority of the general public and all passengers onboard have been adequately vaccinated. In case you forgot your mask at home, masks are always accessible onboard. Covering one’s mouth and nose can dramatically reduce the risk of contracting deadly airborne viruses.


Social Distancing

One of the most effective strategies advised by WHO for reducing the risk of viral transmission is social distance. It is simpler to maintain social distance in public settings than it is aboard an airplane. During the height of the epidemic, airlines began allowing two people in a 3-by-3 seat layout. This layout is extremely inefficient for airlines, as it gradually boosts ticket costs, leading to decreased passenger flow.

After checking that everyone onboard was fully vaccinated, ICAO eventually permitted airlines to operate at full capacity while maintaining other safety procedures. Flight attendants meticulously apply social distancing techniques throughout the boarding and disembarking processes. A separate set of three seats are available onboard on every flight to isolate a passenger or crew suspected with virus symptoms.


Inflight Services on Full Service Carriers

Full-service or heritage airlines provide numerous classes and facilities to passengers onboard, such as in-flight meals, pillows and sleeping equipment, periodicals, drinks, and IFE systems. The ICAO regarded the bulk of these facilities requiring direct touch with equipment, people, or things to be unsafe. As air travel resumed, legacy airlines exempted several services such as in-flight meals, sleeping gear, and periodicals. Thankfully, these limitations have been greatly relaxed, with ICAO allowing airlines to deliver meals in a safe container and encouraging the use of disposable utensils on all flights.


No Seat Switching

Since each airline’s boarding method differs, some enable customers to pick seats, while others assign random seats while delivering a boarding permit. After boarding an airline, certain people are constantly eager to move seats. When passengers are not feeling comfortable in their allotted seat, they request that flight attendants accommodate them. Prior to the epidemic, this was not normally an issue, and flight attendants would help guests locate a better seat elsewhere in the cabin if feasible. Due to the epidemic, this option was ruled out, and airlines were strongly instructed not to allow customers to move seats. Following a pandemic, it is normal practice to disinfect airplane cabins, water systems, and accessories such as pillows and seat coverings. As a result, people who constantly exchange seats increase their chances of contracting or giving the virus.


Arrival: What to expect?



The most despised practice by most travellers upon arrival is having to go through a self-isolation time in a hotel. Governments force travellers to self-isolate at hotels or approved quarantine facilities under this process. This quarantine period is both costly and time-consuming. For tourists and business travelers on a short journey, quarantine was nearly impossible. WHO, ICAO, and local governments have drastically eased quarantine regulations, allowing more people to fly and supporting the declining aviation sector via adequate safety precautions.


COVID-19 medical travel insurance

To assist customers and airlines in bypassing onerous and ineffective travel laws, some airlines began to sell tailored COVID-19 insurance coverage. This insurance coverage helps passengers and airlines to travel without worrying about flight cancellations, COVID-19 testing, quarantine, or virus treatment.


Travel Pass App

The Travel Pass App is a mechanism used by ICAO and IATA to collect information about a passenger’s travel and health history. It enables airport officials to function more effectively and deliver a higher degree of comfort to travelers. Airlines now need this app for every passenger boarding an international or local flight.

Touchless Terminal

Touchless terminals are outfitted with iris scanners and other technological devices that allow travelers to exit the airport without touching another person or piece of equipment. Doors, elevators, pathways, and luggage movements are all automated in touchless airport systems. This technology is still in its early stages of development and is only offered at a few international airports across the world.

To learn more about modern airport technologies and aviation industry procedures, follow this link