Different airlines are responding to the novel challenges of the coronavirus pandemic in many different ways. From providing increased travel flexibility and enhanced cleaning measures, to instating new travel requirements, airlines have greatly changed their policies to help ensure customers’ safety and peace of mind. This article will be the first in a series that explores how airlines across the world have adapted beginning with the Americas.
Ticket Flexibility: American Airlines is trying to help customers navigate these uncertain times by making changes to their policies regarding canceling and changing tickets. They have decided to waive change fees for summer travel through September 30, 2020 that can be used for travel completed by December 31, 2021. Additionally, all new travelers with tickets booked between now and July 31, 2020 can waive change fee charges for travel October 1, 2020 and later. In both of these offers, travelers will owe any difference in ticket price but can change both origin and destination cities.
New Flying Requirements: American Airlines requires all passengers to wear masks while flying except for children under two and anyone with a condition preventing them from doing so. Passengers may remove their face coverings when eating or drinking. While the airline will provide a limited number of face coverings at the gate, it requests that passengers bring their own for there will not be enough for every passenger. If a passenger refuses to wear a mask (and is not exempt), then this passenger may be denied boarding and any future travel on American Airlines. Additionally, all passengers must confirm during the check-in process that they have been COVID-19 symptom free for at least 14 days.
Travel Experience: Regular amenities and airport processes have also changed. American Airlines encourages its passengers to check their flight statuses and airline’s curbside check-in and ticket counter hours daily before heading to the airport as these may change without much notice (May check here). American Airlines has temporarily stopped allowing checking pets. However, carry-on pets, service, and support animals may still fly.
During these times, American Airlines has also closed many of their lounges. These lounges are currently opening in phases in different capacities with varying hours. Face masks are required in the clubs except for when eating or drinking, and these open clubs are offering modified food and drink services with prepackaged food and drink. For a complete list of open clubs, click here.
American Airlines has also limited its food and beverage service in the interim dependent upon a flight’s length and duration. Because of this change, American Airlines recommends that its passengers bring their own food and drinks. For flights under 900 miles, main-cabin passengers will not have snacks, alcohol, or food available to them, and passengers in first class will have access to alcohol by request only. Water, canned drinks, and juices are available to all by request. For flights over 900 miles, main cabin passengers are unable to purchase food, snacks, or alcohol during a flight but will get a complimentary pack of pretzels or Biscoff cookie and ability to have water, canned drinks, or juice during the flight. First Class customers will also be able to have a fruit and cheese plate in addition to alcohol or other requested drinks. Meals will still be offered to all on long-haul international flights.
Sanitation: American Airlines has worked in conjunction with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to improve its sanitation measures during this time. Some of these measures include increased cleaning, readily-available hand sanitizing stations, touchless check-in, and installing HEPA filters on all mainline aircraft. For more information on sanitation measures, click here.
For more information on any of American Airlines policies in response to COVID, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: Alaska Airlines has waived all change and cancellation fees for tickets purchased before September 8, 2020. They have also extended many travel credit expiration dates. Please check the link below for more specifics.
Travel Requirements: Passengers ages 12 and above and all employees are required to wear masks that cover ones mouth and nose while onboard except when eating or drinking. However, passengers that have trouble breathing, cannot remove a mask without assistance, or have a disability preventing them from wearing a mask are exempt from this policy. Alaska Airlines recommends that children above the age of two also wear masks but only requires children above the age of 12 to do so. Masks will be available upon request, and hand-sanitizing wipes are now also available onboard. As of June 30, 2020, all passengers will have to complete a health agreement during check-in confirming that passengers will bring a face covering and have not exhibited COVID-19 symptoms or been in recent close contact with anyone that tested positive for COVID-19.
Travel Experience: Alaska Airlines requests that passengers utilize their app or website to check-in online prior to arriving at the airport. Once at the airport, passengers are asked to follow the “mind your wingspan” decals to help promote social distancing throughout the travel process in the airport. Alaska Airlines is planning to begin reopening their lounges with limited offerings soon. For more information on lounges, click here. Passengers will now board flights from back to front of the aircraft, and once onboard, gate agents may reassign seats to help create more space between travelers. Through September 30, 2020, Alaska Airlines has also blocked seats to limit the number of guests on each flight and promote distancing. Currently, they are limiting their food and beverage services and are recommending that passengers bring their own food and drink onboard if desired. For more information on their current food and beverage service, click here.
Sanitation: Alaska Airlines has increased their cleaning and sanitation measures to help protect employees and customers. At the airport, they have committed to frequent cleaning of high touch points such as check-in and gate counters. Onboard, they use electrostatic disinfectant sprays to sanitize all surfaces, and critical areas are cleaned between each flight using high-grade EPA disinfectant. After these cleaning processes, Alaska Airlines tests the cleanliness using ATP testing to make sure the levels match that of a sanitized environment such as a hospital operating room. All aircrafts are also outfitted with HEPA filters to ensure proper air circulation and help remove airborne particles.
For more information, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: Delta has temporarily changed its policies regarding changing and canceling flights because of the pandemic. Travelers that have purchased tickets between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020, can change their flight without a change fee or redeposit fees for a year from the date it was purchased. Travelers using eCredits have a bit more flexibility when changing their flight. If these travelers have existing eCredits from canceled flights between March through September 2020 or have upcoming travel booked through September 30, 2020, as of April 17, 2020, they may make changes to their flight(s) without paying change fees or Award redeposit fees through September 2022. To cancel or change a flight, click here.
New Flying Requirements: All Delta crew members and passengers are required to wear a face mask or appropriate face covering (covering their nose and mouth, does not include plastic face shields) during all Delta touchpoints such as check-in, Delta clubs, boarding gate areas, jet bridges, and while on aircraft. Children and those with medical conditions or disabilities are exempt from this policy. However, Delta is now requiring passengers unable to wear masks to complete a “Clearance-to-Fly” screening process before boarding. Delta asks that these passengers arrive early as the screening process can take up to an hour. If passengers make a false disability or health condition claim to obtain an exemption for wearing a mask, these passengers may be suspended from future Delta flights while this mask requirement remains in place. Passengers that refuse to wear masks may be denied boarding and banned from future travel with Delta.
Travel Experience: Delta has altered its travel process to reduce touchpoints and help distance people during flights. The boarding process has been altered to board by row, starting from the back of the aircraft to the front. Crew members are also not allowed to assist passengers with overhead luggage in an attempt to decrease touchpoints on board. Delta has committed to blocking middle seats in all cabins and some select aisle seats in 2×2 seating configurations to help distance passengers. Additionally, Delta has reduced passenger numbers to limit first class to 50% occupancy and 60% in main cabins, and 75% in Delta One cabins with two aisles.
Delta has also temporarily limited the food services and amenities available during the flight. The airline has worked to mainly emphasize prepacked food and bottled beverages, specifically water, in an attempt to reduce physical touchpoints. The food and beverage services available on each flight is heavily dependent on the flight’s length and destination. All glassware, towels, and unnecessary materials (like Delta’s in-flight magazine) are now unavailable during flights. Amenity kits, pillows, and blankets will still be available on long-haul international flights.
For more information on the changing travel experience, food services, and available amenities, click here.
Sanitation: Delta is using electrostatic sprayers to sanitize aircraft between each flight, and cleaning crews also come in after each flight to manually sanitize all cabin surfaces. Common areas during boarding such as check-in counters, jet bridges, and gate counters are also being sanitized throughout the day. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout, and Delta has worked to create spaces throughout the airport and boarding processes to allow for proper social distancing. Each plane also has HEPA filters to help circulate and remove particles, including viruses, from the air.
For more information on sanitation measures, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: Spirit has waived all change and cancellation fees for guests who travel by July 31, 2020. If a passenger decides to cancel their flight, they will receive a reservation credit for the same value as their original fare.
Travel Requirements: Spirit requires that all passengers wear appropriate face coverings during travel except for travelers under two years of age or children that cannot maintain a face covering. If passengers need a face covering, Spirit will provide one for $3, and the proceeds from these sales between May 11, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will be donated to the American Red Cross.
Travel Experience: Spirit recommends that all passengers check-in online or using the app and use self bag-drop services to help decrease contact with high-touch points. Social distancing stickers and signs are placed around the airport to help all travelers practice social distancing while traveling through the airport. When boarding, travelers are able to scan their own boarding passes or board at the end of the boarding process if desired.
Sanitation: Spirit has updated their aircrafts, so their aircrafts are now all equipped with HEPA filters for improved air circulation and removal of airborne particles. Each aircraft also receives two EPA-registered “fogging” treatments that provide a high-grade disinfectant and form an invisible barrier on surfaces that helps kill viruses and bacteria for 30 days. At all check-in desks and gates, Spirit is using EPA-registered disinfectants and electrostatic cleaning devices at high-traffic airports.
For more information, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: All fees will be waived for passengers that have booked their travels before September 8, 2020 and decide to cancel or change their booking. However, if a passenger decides to change their flight, they will still be subject to pay any fare differences and can only rebook through the end of JetBlue’s schedule. For voluntary cancellations, passengers will be reissued the funds in the form of a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit that can be used for any future travel on JetBlue. However, if JetBlue canceled the flight, then passenger may pick from the following options: travel on the next available flight without additional charges, receive a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit, or a refund in the original form of payment if the flight cannot be rebooked within two hours. Additionally, if the flight was cancelled within four hours of the scheduled departed, then passengers may be eligible for compensation.
Travel Requirements: All passengers other than young children and those unable to maintain a face covering must wear a facemask covering their nose and mouth while checking-in, boarding, flying, and deplaning. In addition, all passengers will be required to complete a coronavirus health declaration acknowledging they have not tested positive, experienced symptoms, or been in recent contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Travel Experience: JetBlue is recommending that all passengers check-in online or using the JetBlue app to allow for a touchless check-in and boarding process. When boarding, JetBlue will board passengers from back to front of the aircraft and has temporarily suspended group boarding. Through September 8, 2020 JetBlue has blocked the sale of all middle seats and some aisle seats on smaller aircrafts. Additionally, JetBlue has on average the most space between rows of seats compared to any other US airline. Finally, JetBlue has streamlined their normal in-flight amenities during the pandemic. All onboard purchases such as alcohol, pillows, blankets, and food boxes have been temporarily suspended, and their snack and beverage service has been replaced with a pre-sealed snack and water bottle. Lastly, while seatback entertainment options are still available, JetBlue recommends that travelers use their own personal devices and headphones for entertainment to help decrease contact.
Sanitation: JetBlue aircrafts are undergoing increased sanitation and technological improvements to help protect passengers during the pandemic. All aircrafts have been outfitted with HEPA filters that help increase air circulation and remove airborne particles such as bacteria or viruses. Aircrafts are deep cleaned every night using hospital-grade disinfectants and electrostatic sprayers, and common-touch surfaces and lavatories are cleaned before every flight. Lastly, all common-touch surfaces throughout the travel process such as check-in desks, help counters, and gate counters are subject to frequent cleaning. Hand sanitizer is also available to customers and staff all throughout the airport. Crew members are subject to increased screening measures and PPE protocols to help protect themselves and customers. Customer-facing crew members are subject to temperature screenings, and all employees are entitled to additional PTO and sick leave if diagnosed with coronavirus or instructed to quarantine to prevent employees from coming to work when possibly sick. Finally, all crews are required to wear face coverings while working and have access to disinfectant kits containing sanitizer spray and disinfectant wipes while in flight.
Ticket Flexibility: Southwest allows passengers to use funds from a canceled flight up to a year after the date of purchase as long as the passenger cancels 10 minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure. However, Southwest is extending customers’ funds that have expired, will expire, or created due to a cancellation between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, to now expire September 7, 2020. Once these unused travel funds are used to make a purchase, the expiration date will follow the normal ticketing policy.
Travel Requirements: Face masks are required at the airport, when boarding, and while flying. Masks will be available, but Southwest highly suggests that passengers bring their own masks. Southwest also asks that passengers check their temperature before travel and not to travel if passengers do have a fever, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19.
Travel Experience: Southwest has made changes to its processes to help promote social distancing during the travel process. At the gate areas, Southwest has posted airport signage and floor markers to promote physical distancing. Upon boarding, passengers will board in groups of 10 and will not be able to sit in middle seats through September 30 unless sitting with other family members (or people that have quarantined together). Southwest is also limiting their snack and beverage service, but they will serve water and snack mixes on flights over 250 miles.
Sanitation: Southwest has increased its sanitation members in response to the pandemic. Electrostatic disinfectant and an anti-microbial spray are applied to aircraft surfaces to help shield them for up to 30 days, and broad-spectrum disinfectant is applied to commonly-used surfaces before every flight. Planes are deep cleaned each night for six to seven hours. Each aircraft is also equipped with HEPA filters to remove particles from the air. Southwest has also committed to cleaning common surfaces used in the check-in, boarding, and baggage claim processes multiple times a day. Plexiglas has also been installed at all ticketing, gate, and baggage counters.
Ticket Flexibility: For tickets issued March 3 through March 31, 2020, passengers may change their flight without paying for a change fee or retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket for travel up to 24 months after the original ticket was issued. For tickets issued between April 1, 202 and July 31, 2020 travel may do the same up to 12 months after the original ticket was issued. Additionally, passengers scheduled to be on regularly scheduled flights expected to be full may change their flight or receive a travel credit up until takeoff. United will do their best to contact these passengers 24 hours before departure so they may decide what to do before arriving at the airport.
New Flying Requirements: All passengers, except for small children and those with a medical condition or disability preventing them from wearing a mask, are required to wear masks during their flight except while eating and drinking. If passengers refuse to wear a mask while onboard, they will lose their travel privileges with United for an indefinite period of time. United will have masks available at the gate, but they do recommend passengers bring their own. All passengers must also acknowledge that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms before boarding.
Travel Experience: United has changed the travel experience and amenities in order to help comply with new CDC guidelines and encourage social distancing. Passengers for all flights will board in smaller groups and board from passengers in the back of the aircraft to the front. Once onboard, passengers will receive their own hand sanitizer wipes. United will also have an “all-in-one” snack bag including a sanitizer wipe, 8.5-ounce bottle of water, stroopwafel, and a package of pretzels. This package will be available to premium passengers on domestic flights between one and two hours and 20 minutes, or for all passengers on domestic flights over two hours and 20 minutes. Pillows and blankets will be available by request only on international flights out of United hub airports.
Sanitation:United has worked in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic to enhance its cleaning and disinfecting protocols during the pandemic. All United employees and flight attendants will be subject to temperature checks. All staff members will work behind sneeze guards and check-in and gate counters. Throughout the travel process, United is committed to frequently cleaning high-touch surfaces like door handles, handrails, and computers at their gates and tray tables and armrests on aircrafts. They are now using Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect surfaces onboard and in at the gates of their hub airports. United has ensured that their aircrafts’ cleaning standards will meet or exceed CDC guidelines, and every aircraft is now outfitted with hospital-grade HEPA filters.
For more information on United’s COVID-19 policies, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: Aeromexico is allowing passengers with Branded Fares (excludes Basic Fares) to change their flight without a change fee. If passengers decide to change their flights with new routes or dates, they must pay the fare differences. Passengers (Gran Plan excluded) may also request an electronic voucher (EMD) which will be worth 115% of the original ticket price, valid for a year from the issued date, and must be used towards a trip completed within 330 days from the date of the original reservation. Lastly, customers may request a refund which will be available within 12 months of the request starting July 1, 2021. The following policies are also true for customers whose flights were canceled or unable to travel due to government restrictions from COVID-19. However, if a passenger changes their flight to another departing within 14 days of the original, they will not be subject to pay the fare difference. Additionally, passengers with Basic Fare tickets may rebook their flight or request a refund if they are affected by airline cancelations or other uncontrollable factors.
Travel Requirements: All passengers are required to wear a facemask during their journey (boarding, during flight, and deplaning) with Aermoexico. Passengers may choose to wear either a medical face or a reusable face mask assuming the following properties: made with various layers of absorbent material, covers one’s mouth and nose, has an elastic band or way of securing itself, breathable, and keeps its shape once washed. In addition to facemasks, all passengers must take part in a health interview and have their temperature screened before their flight.
Travel Experience: Aeromexico has adopted the following measures to help protect its passengers and maintain social distancing throughout the travel process. First, only alternating check-in desks are currently open, and the process to scan boarding passes is now contactless to help distance travelers and staff. Hand sanitizer is available in both open counters and waiting areas. To remind everyone of the new changes, Aermexico is frequently announcing preventative measures over the speaker in airports. Passengers are now boarding single file from the back to the front of the plane. While boarding, passengers will be offered hand sanitizer, and all passengers on international flights will be given additional hand sanitizer packets. They announce all onboard preventative measures each flight. Lastly, all food and drinks offered during flights are now individually packaged and sealed.
Sanitation: Aeromexico has committed to completely disinfecting each plane’s cabin with a rigorous sanitation process, and all aircrafts have HEPA filter to eliminate over 99.9% of microparticles. Additionally, all equipment and installations are subject to additional sanitation and disinfecting. While all travelers are screened before boarding, must practice distancing throughout their journey, and are offered hand sanitizer throughout the travel process, Aeromexico’s crew and staff are subject to additional screenings and preventative measures. They must undergo medical examinations and must use protective equipment (including face masks and gloves) while working.
Ticket Flexibility: Passengers’ whose flights were canceled due to extraordinary circumstances or regulatory authorities may obtain electronic credits for the same values as their original fares which can be used to rebook a flight within 180 days for travel in the next year. However, passengers will not be reimbursed for voluntary cancellations and must pay the change fee and any difference in fare if passenger chose to change their route or date of travel. When buying tickets, passengers have the option to add a “More Flexibility” option for USD $4.99 which allows passenger to make unlimited changes to their flight date and time (only paying the difference in fare), receive electronic credit for future travels if passengers miss their flights, and take the flight before or after their scheduled flight to the same destination.
Travel Requirements: Passengers are required to wear masks for the entire travel process. Additionally, all passengers will have their temperatures checked from a distance by a member of Voalris’ staff while boarding.
Travel Experience: All travelers are encouraged to check-in online or with the Volaris app, but Volaris staff wearing PPE is still working check-in desks for baggage check or in-person check-in. All throughout the airport and while in-flight, passengers are able to obtain hand sanitizer. Signs around airports help remind passengers to practice social distancing during check-in, while standing in lines, or during boarding. When boarding, passengers will scan their own boarding passes, use disinfectant mats before stepping on the plane, and board in groups of 30 people or less. Once landed, Volaris staff helps ensure that passengers disembark in a controlled manner and disinfect all checked baggage.
Sanitation: Volaris ensures that all their counters are frequently cleaned using industrial-grade disinfectants. Additionally, each plane cabin is equipped with HEPA filters and deep cleaned before each flight with industrial-grade cleaning products to disinfect commonly-touched surfaces. Lastly, all Volaris staff and crew members passengers will encounter during their travels are equipped with proper PPE including face masks, gloves, and face shields or protection glasses.
Ticket Flexibility: Air Canada is allowing passengers that have booked tickets between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 to make a one-time change without a change fee. If travelers booked their tickets directly through Air Canada, they can cancel their tickets and convert the tickets into an Air Canada Travel Voucher without an expiry date or to Aeroplan Miles with an additional 65% bonus miles. Air Canada is working to make these options available to passengers who booked through an outside travel agency. If a passenger’s flight is nearing capacity, Air Canada will send an email notification and make an announcement before boarding. This way, passengers may make other arrangements if they would prefer more space when onboard. Passengers may select another flight within 3 days of the original with no charge, try for the next available flight, or rebook another flight in accordance with the policies listed above.
New Flying Requirements: Face coverings are mandatory for all passengers throughout their journey, and will be available in airports and onboard by request. All passengers must answer a health questionnaire at check-in, at the boarding gate, or at both locations. Additionally, passengers must have an infrared temperature check at the airport and will only be allowed to fly if their temperature is below 37.5 degrees Celsius ( or below 37.2 degrees Celsius if flying to or from China).
Travel Experience: Air Canada has worked to change the travel processes to allow for social distancing and prevent travelers from touching common touchpoints. Air Canada has installed TouchFree bag checks, touchless carry-on baggage verification, and virtual queues for their counters. Air Canada lounges are currently closed, but they are preparing to reopen them with increased biosafety measures. Additionally, Air Canada will board their planes from the window seat to aisle, back to front in an effort to streamline interactions while boarding. Boarding gates will now close 30 minutes before departure to ensure a more secure boarding process. Air Canada’s food and beverage service are dependent upon takeoff location, ticket type, and duration of the flight. Most of these options work to provide food or bottled drinks in a pre-packaged box.
Sanitation Measures: Air Canada has increased its sanitation measures. All passengers will be required to hand sanitizer before any self-service or check-in zone. All planes have HEPA filters installed to increase air circulation and remove airborne particles. Before each flight, planes are sanitized with hospital-grade disinfectants, and overnight-flights are subject to additional sanitation. Customers will also receive hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes inflight with amenity and customer care kits. Air Canada has also committed to frequently sanitizing common touch zones during boarding and check-in.
For more information on Air Canada’s COVID-19 policies, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: Travelers who booked a flight between March 3 and July 31, 2020 are allowed to change their flight once without paying a change fee as long as the change or cancellation is made more than 24 hours before the original flight’s departure. For flights booked before March 3, 2020, passengers may change their flight once without a change fee (fare difference still applies) or receive a credit for the same value as the original ticket to be used in the next 24 months as long as the change or cancellation is requested at least two hours before departure.
Travel Requirements: All travelers over the age of two are required to wear their own face mask covering their nose and mouth when at Canadian airport screening checkpoints, boarding, in-flight, and instructed by a crew member. Travelers that fail to do so may be denied boarding. Additionally, all passengers must complete a health questionnaire and have their temperatures checked before flying. Passengers exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms will be denied boarding unless they possess a medical note stating the symptoms are due to a different medical condition.
Travel Experience: While the check-in process has not greatly changed, WestJet is recommending that travelers check-in online or using the app to help decrease contact. After going through the new screening process, passengers will be given a disinfectant wipe upon boarding to clean their seat area if desired. Snacks will not be offered on flights less than 60 minutes. For flights over an hour, a small menu of snacks are available for purchase, and passengers on flights over 90 minutes will find water bottles and snacks in their seats upon boarding.
Sanitation: Since the beginning of the pandemic, WestJet has increased its cleaning regimen with stronger disinfectants and new methods of cleaning. In addition to increased cleaning of commonly-touched cabin surfaces, each plane is cleaned overnight using “fogging” to completely disinfect its interior. All planes are now outfitted with HEPA filters that replace cabin air every two to three minutes and capture over 99.9% of airborne particles.
For more information, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: If a passenger’s flight was canceled from March 1, 2020, LATAM has automatically given them an open ticket that travelers may use until December 31, 2020, or 12 months later if started in 2021. Travelers may change their flight date once without penalty or having to pay the fare difference, or they can change the destination but must pay the fare difference. Passengers that request refunds will be given a voucher issued in US dollars equivalent to the refunded amount of money and can be used towards flights or additional LATAM services. If passengers wish to change their flight, they may reschedule it for a specific date without a penalty (through December 31, 2020) or leave the ticket open.
New Flying Requirements: All passengers except for infants two and younger or those with medical conditions must wear masks throughout the entire travel process including in the airport and when onboard. Passengers who do not follow this rule will not be able to board the aircraft. Additionally, passengers must bring their own masks as they will not be distributed at airports. If passengers wish to be exempt from this policy due to a medical condition, they must process a medical certification.
Travel Experience: LATAM recommends that passengers complete their check-in online or using the app to bring a digital boarding pass. All passengers will go through a sanitary control, so LATAM suggests that travelers arrive three hours before departure. Food services have been temporarily suspended for economy cabins, and rest elements will only be distributed upon request. Throughout the travel process, passengers must follow social distancing protocols and cooperate with officials and flight crew for safety purposes.
Sanitation: All LATAM planes have HEPA filters to help capture viruses and particles. Before and after each flight, all aircraft contact surfaces are manually disinfected with a solution of 70% alcohol. Processes have also been implemented in the case that a passenger begins exhibiting COVID-like symptoms while in-flight such that they must be isolated and special cleaning measures are needed. Hand sanitizers are now in all plane bathrooms.
For more information, click here.
GOL Transportes Aeroes
Ticket Flexibility: The ability for passengers to cancel or change their flights is highly dependent upon the destination, date of ticket, and ticket type. For more information, click here.
New Flying Requirements: GOL requires that all passengers wear masks when flying with them.
Travel Experience: To decrease contact with common surfaces, GOL recommends that passengers check-in through their website or app and practice social distancing when moving throughout the airport. GOL has closed its airport VIP lounges to prevent crowding and suspended all its cabin services.
Sanitation: All of GOL’s planes have recently attained HEPA filters to remove harmful air particles including viruses and bacteria. The company has also increased its night cleaning measures of its planes using hospital-grade disinfectants. Additionally, GOL’s employees are given face masks and gloves to be worn while working, and hand sanitizers are available to all crew members and passengers on the aircraft.
For more sanitation and health protocol information, click here.
Ticket Flexibility: Avianca is offering its passengers increased flexibility during the pandemic. Passengers that purchased a ticket before March 4, 2020 that is scheduled up to October 31, 2020 may make multiple changes without penalty if they wish to fly before October 31, 2020, or make one change without penalty if they decide to fly between November 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. These travelers may also request a voucher for the same value of their tickets. Passengers that have purchased a ticket between March 4, 2020 and July 31, 2020 are also able to make the same changes as above. However, passengers that bought their tickets can make a maximum of three changes if flying before October 31, 2020.
New Flying Requirements: All passengers must have their temperature checked at the airport, and anyone with a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius will be unable to fly. Face masks are mandatory throughout the airport and while flying. Lastly, passengers must follow social distancing guidelines during their travels.
Travel Experience: Avianca recommends that passengers check-in online or using the mobile app before arriving at the airport. Avianca’s VIP lounges will be open, but all food and beverages available will be served in individual packages. Reading material will not be available in these lounges. To help maintain required social distancing, boarding will be conducted in smaller groups, and Avianca’s crew members are unable to help passengers with carry-on baggage. All food and beverage services will be simplified and served in individual packaging. If needed, passengers can obtain surface disinfecting wipes. Avianca also recommends that passengers bring their own entertainment onboard as the normal reading materials will not be available.
Sanitation: All of Avianca’s planes have HEPA filters that help circulate the cabin’s air and capture harmful particles in the air. Throughout the travel process, Avianca’s staff will be wearing face masks, gloves, and other personal protection items.
For more information, please click here.
While COPA airlines is not currently flying, they plan on restarting their services in the beginning of September. Here are their current policies they plan on instating when their services restart.
Ticket Flexibility: Passengers who booked their travels scheduled to end before December 31, 2020 before July 31, 2020 are eligible for the following options if they wish to change their travels. First, travelers may keep their tickets to travel at a later date before December 31, 2021 without any additional costs. Second, passengers can request a travel certificate for later use, and passengers with tickets issued before April 22, 2020 can receive a 20% bonus on their travel certificate. Lastly, customers can use an online form to request a refund.
Travel Requirements: Passengers are required to wear facemasks in some airports, when in all COPA lounges, and while flying. For flights departing from Panama, all passengers must have their temperatures taken using thermal scanners upon entering the airport. Passengers passing through Panama on international flights will also have the temperatures taken upon arrival. COPA airlines also requests that passengers follow all social distancing measures and guidelines set by staff, crew members, or signs around the airport.
Travel Experience: Only travelers will be able to enter airports in Panama except for those needing special assistance. Agents will be manning check-in counters that are socially distanced from one another and will be behind plexiglass shields to help minimize contact. All transactions using cash will be conducted at a single counter. COPA airlines will try its best to help distancing by avoiding the use of adjacent gates and remote boarding stands. To board, passengers will scan their own tickets, show the boarding agents their passports, and board from back to front of the aircraft. Agents will not be able to help passengers with their luggage, and once boarded, passengers will receive a sanitary kit complete with a facemask and disinfecting wipe. While all in-flight magazines and pillows have been removed, passengers in business class may obtain blankets on flights six hours or more upon request. Additionally, all food and beverages available during flight are now prepackaged.
Sanitation: COPA airlines has updated its fleet so that every plane is now equipped with hospital-grade, HEPA filters to help with air circulation and remove airborne particles like viruses and bacteria. Their planes’ lavatories will be cleaned every 1.5 hours on all flights. Check-in kiosks and commonly-touched surfaces on aircrafts are subject to frequent cleaning with disinfecting agents that are internationally recommended. Lastly, hand sanitizer is available for customers after using throughout the airport, and passengers are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer in their carry-on luggage for in-flight use.
For more information, click here.
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