The future of flight: Immunity passports, unexpected border closings, and no carry-ons

The future of flight: Immunity passports, unexpected border closings, and no carry-ons

In the departures hall, thermal imaging cameras are scanning the crowd to determine whether there are any individuals with abnormally high temperatures walking about. Counter agents are all behind plexiglass, and facial recognition technology is used as much as possible to keep person-to-person contact at a minimum. When you arrive, an airport security guard checks to make sure you’re wearing a mask and that you have tickets for a flight before allowing you inside the terminal. Once inside, you’re taking the stairs or an escalator (unless you’re disabled) because it’s impossible to stay 6 feet from others in the confined space of an elevator car. You get to the airport four hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. A dramatic transformation in air travel — with changes potentially more sweeping than those put in place after 9/11 — is well underway. Simple tweaks, such as deep cleaning planes after every flight, to more invasive ones, like spritzing passengers from head to toe with disinfectant, have begun around the world. Nearly all options, no matter how dystopian they may sound (raising your hand to use the bathroom during a flight?), are being tested or considered to slow the spread of the virus. “Every part of the process will involve some component of change," said Azim Barodawala, CEO of Volantio, a company that works with airlines to improve passenger experience. “It’s not just about being on the plane. Nearly everything will be different, from the way people get to the airport to ...
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