The impact of the pandemic on the aviation industry is undeniable. After the initial halt during the peak last year, things are gradually gaining pace. You can expect to fly for business and leisure again, but things are far from usual. Travel restrictions are still around, and there is a long list of safety regulations to follow. TSA procedures are more stringent than ever, and hassle-free flying is a thing of the past. Moreover, the transition is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.
If you are a frequent flyer, you will feel like you are in a different world. From the changes in flight rates to booking processes, airport transit, and onboard precautions, you have to deal with lots of challenges.
Even more, you have to be ready for verification of health records and quarantine regulations once you land. It makes sense to be aware of these challenges and have a strategy to handle them before you step aboard. Let us share a few travel hacks that can make life simpler for frequent flyers in the new normal.
1. Start by researching travel restrictions
Traveling internationally is more challenging than ever today. Most countries have extensive restrictions for travelers from different parts of the world, depending on the current status of the pandemic there.
Some countries may not even allow direct flights from your location, so you will have to take a detour. Start with thorough research on the travel restrictions imposed by your destination country.
For example, go through the current UK guidelines if planning a trip to London. Things will be a lot easier if you have updated and complete information.
2. Do extra research before booking
Flight operations have resumed, but it will be long before they reach the original levels. You can expect to find fewer options, specifically when it comes to international flying. Further, you can expect surges in ticket costs as flights are taking off with only a fraction of their capacity to facilitate social distancing.
The bottom line is that you will have to do extra research before booking your next trip. The idea is to look for the best flights and optimal rates, and it is possible only if you invest time and effort before booking.
3. Follow the health and vaccine documentation essentials
Before the pandemic, documentation for frequent flyers was mostly about passports and visas. It was even easier for people flying domestic routes. But there is a lot more you will have to manage with paperwork in the new normal.
It is vital to have everything in place before planning to resume your trips. Ideally, you will require a health certificate and proof of vaccination for flying. You may have to submit COVID test results for some destinations. Know your facts and have things at hand to avoid last-minute hassles.
4. Get smart with airport commute
Frequent flyers often take the easiest and cheapest commute option to reach the airport. In the pre-pandemic world, public transport was the best choice. But it is probably the worst one to choose now because you can well imagine the risks of infection.
Taking a cab seems like a better alternative, but you can expect hassles like unavailable bookings and delays. An airport transfer service is ideal because it is convenient, reliable, and safe. The good thing is that you can find one online.
For example, you can easily find London airport transfers Stansted with only a few clicks. Book your service, and rest assured about getting on your flight on time. You need not worry about catching the virus because these providers go the extra mile with safety protocols.
5. Be conscious with packing
Pandemic or no pandemic, frequent flyers have to pack smartly for convenience. But the new normal has changed the concept of packing beyond imagination. Opt for the smallest bags and pack light so that you can manage your luggage without help. Your carry-on stuff will be different too.
Prioritize safety essentials such as hand sanitizers, soap, face masks, and gloves because you will need them at the airport and on the flight.
Even though you will get them on the plane, it always makes sense to have extra supplies when traveling. Also, ensure to go through the baggage rules for carry-ons and checked-in items before you start packing.
6. Practice precautions at the airport
The threat of the virus is still here, regardless of the vaccines. If you fly often, you must understand the significance of practicing precautions at the airport. Avoid crowds and follow the social distancing guidelines at all times.
Fortunately, you have the option of online check-ins to steer clear of crowds and queues. Avoid checking the retail outlets and eating at the airport counters because they can be risky from a safety perspective.
You can expect stringent health screenings at the airport, so be ready with your documents to avoid delays and stress. Avoid touching surfaces and never take off your face mask while you are there.
7. Carry your own food and water
Flyers have to be more conscious about dining aboard because it may not be the safest thing in the new normal. Your best bet is to skip eating on short flights because it involves putting yourself at risk of exposure.
Moreover, you will have to lower your mask while eating. Skipping meals isn’t an option for long-distance flights, but you can curb the risk by carrying your own food and water. Pack light and nutritious snacks rather than lavish meals that can get messy. If you have to take the meal service, go the extra mile to ensure hygiene.
Flying during pandemic times is risky and complex, but these little things can make it much easier. If you are a frequent flyer, embrace these tips as a habit because you will have to follow them for the long haul.
Luckily, they are practical and easy to follow, so you need not spend a lot of effort and money. It’s a small price to pay for safety!
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