Looking To The Future Of Travel
In this edition of our weekly travel update we investigate how air travel has been impacted by the pandemic. With flights returning and people buoyant at the prospect of travel, we look into just how this will affect their journey.
In the United States and Europe, airlines are taking unprecedented steps to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers when traveling again, both domestically and on longer haul international flights.
Airlines For America President Nicholas E. Calio commented on the steps being taken:
“The safety and well-being of passengers and employees is the top priority of U.S. airlines. Since the onset of this health crisis, carriers have been taking substantial, proactive steps — in many instances exceeding CDC guidance — to protect passengers and employees,”
“U.S. airlines are coming together as an industry to deepen their commitment to instituting multiple layers of protection throughout the travel experience — from check-in to touchdown.”
What Steps Are Being Taken?
Across the spectrum, airlines in the United States are ensuring all aircrafts are deep cleaned between flights with almost all carriers mandating that both travelers and crews wear facemasks whilst onboard. Some airlines such as Delta are blocking out middle seats on less busy flights with international routes in particular tending to be less busy and able to provide additional space for passengers.The below graphic from Business Insider expertly details the various safety measures that have been adopted by US based airlines in their response to COVID-19.
What’s Happening Inside The Airport?
As well as steps being taken on-board the aircraft, there have been several measures taken within the airport terminals themselves. Solutions have included installing acrylic shields at check-in desks, gate podiums and at retail cashiers. Many airports have also introduced floor markings around the terminal buildings to implement one-way systems and to help denote personal space by managing foot traffic. International airports such as Paris Charles De Gaulle and London Heathrow have also been blocking off seats within the terminal to ensure social distancing between travelers.
Other methods being implemented include airlines adopting the back-to-front formula when boarding the aircraft as well as limiting the number of people allowed on the air bridge to 10 at a time.
In addition to this, airports are deploying innovative technology measures to limit contact with passengers. The TSA is currently introducing CAT scanners at 40 US airports that can use travelers’ IDs to pull up their flight details to avoid exchanging boarding passes with an agent.
Finally, airports are continuing to introduce practical methods to limit contact by more regularly disinfecting refuse areas, limiting the number of security lanes, and not requiring passengers to take out liquid items or electronic devices.
With the number of measures being taken by both airlines and airports you can feel safe and confident that although traveling has changed, your risk is extremely low and being well managed by those within the industry.
Is It A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity?
Something we must touch on is the unique opportunity that traveling at the moment presents. On international flights, passenger loads are well below normal levels and should offer travelers a significant amount of additional space and comfort that may otherwise have not been possible in peak summer months.
As well as increased space and comfort within airports and onboard aircraft, destinations themselves are well below peak summer levels. This provides a potentially once in a lifetime opportunity to see these stunning destinations without the typical summer hustle and bustle.
For Croatia in particular, this is particularly apparent. From more space on the beach to catch the sun and take a swim, to making it easier to get a reservation at a top restaurant, the lack of crowds really makes for a unique experience.
No Increase In Cases Despite Croatia Opening To Travelers
With Croatia open to tourists they have seen no sort of second spike! The total number of active cases is as low as just 7 with only 7 new cases confirmed in the last 12 days. Travelers are continuing to arrive with the weather warming up as people enjoy the stunning natural beauty that Croatia has to offer. Ines, from our office in Pula recently took a trip to the Plitvice Lakes and shared some photos from her trip. As you can imagine, I think a few of us could appreciate being in such a picturesque setting after a turbulent couple of months!
To build on our piece discussing air travel and the prospect of travel returning our CEO Pamela Robinson wanted to share her thoughts.
A Note from our CEO
“As a travel industry professional, I am always fascinated by how the industry responds to challenging situations. The aviation industry is taking unprecedented measures to make traveling safe again and we are thankful for their innovation and hard work to help resume a more normal service. In Croatia, I am growing increasingly jealous of the pictures being sent to me and my colleagues from our ground team and from new travelers that have arrived in the country! I can’t wait to be back there and share the experience. Thank you to all of our wonderful travelers and readers. I hope you are keeping safe and life is beginning to look a lot more like normal.”
As always, we want to thank you for reading our weekly travel update. We are continuing to build more and more itineraries for later this summer and moving into fall and would love to speak with you to discuss your requirements. As experts in Croatia and the Balkan region we work with you to ensure your trip is as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, working to minimize any potential disruption or difficulties that may arise. To learn more, you can contact our team in the United States or Croatia who are ready to assist you plan your dream vacation.