Air travel took a considerable hit when COVID-19 spread worldwide. Airports had to close down, and airlines canceled flights both between countries and domestically. The fear of getting sick with the pandemic deterred frequent flyers and vacationers from stepping on a plane, even well after the numbers of cases dropped.
With the development and administration of vaccinations, people are adjusting to traveling once again. Still, many are wary of being in a confined space with other passengers for an hour or more. Customer confidence is no longer about the structural and physical safety of getting in the air. Now, airlines have to focus on restoring customer confidence in air travel from a health standpoint.
The primary question is if and when airlines will get back to their pre-pandemic levels of travel. Fortunately, many airlines have adapted to the safety and health protocols surrounding COVID-19. Here are some ways that airlines continue to reestablish comfort, safety and confidence for their customers while flying.
Implementing COVID-19 Testing and Mask Regulations
Most airlines have adopted or mandated rapid-testing for COVID-19 before and after the flight. Integrating free testing and mask mandates into the passenger flow would help customers feel reassured that their health and safety are a priority while they’re traveling.
Those who choose to fly during a time like this would be willing to undergo testing to travel to their favorite destinations. Over 80% of those traveling would be willing to get a test or wear masks to avoid the spread of COVID-19 on a flight.
Increasing Cleaning and Education
As air travel opens back up and more people want to fly during the summer, airports can restore customer confidence by regularly cleaning the airport and planes. Frequent cleaning ensures that germs stay at bay. Additionally, they can add more sanitizing stations.
Airports can also educate their passengers about the spread of germs and what they’re doing to keep everything clean. Also, education about how air flows and recirculates through the plane’s cabin can increase confidence for customers.
Rerouting for More Direct Flights
Airlines will try their best to get their passengers to their destinations as straightforward and quick as possible. Sometimes, a flight may stop at a few other airports before arriving at the final stop.
However, during the pandemic, customers will want to avoid going to other places as much as possible. Airlines can reroute flights for a more direct route, limiting the number of stops and interactions between passengers, limiting the spread of the virus.
Revising Boarding and Seating
Health safety is the number one priority for airlines right now. If they want to regain their customers, they will have to ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable while on their flights.
Social distancing is another excellent way to help restore customer confidence in air travel. Airlines can block off the middle seats and revise boarding and seating to ensure everyone maintains a safe distance from one another while flying.
Boosting Digital Resources for Flights
While many airlines already use apps, text messaging and emails to provide their customers with information about the flights, they can further encourage those, especially during the pandemic. Fewer touchpoints between people mean fewer chances of COVID-19 spreading.
Airlines can encourage their passengers to opt-in for text messaging updates about their COVID-19 regulations and protocols. Additionally, they can adopt things like touchless bag checks, more accessible apps or website navigation regarding flights and digital identification.
Airlines need customers to continue operating. In pandemic times, it’s been challenging to gain trust on flights. Still, airlines can return to their pre-pandemic levels with increased health protocols and limited interactions and ensure healthy travel.