International flights are still largely out, but domestic flying is very slowly returning to something like normal.
But if you have scored yourself a bargain flight and have a holiday planned, the experience will be quite different from any flight you’ve taken before.
Make sure you’re prepared so your holiday doesn’t take an unpleasant turn before it starts. Every airline has its own specific additional rules, but these broad principles apply across Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar flights.
See also: When can I fly internationally again?
CHECK IN ONLINE
Every domestic airline is asking passengers to check in either online or through their mobile phone. That minimises the number of people queuing to check in at the airport.
If you need to check luggage, you can also use self-service kiosks at some airports to cut down on interpersonal contact.
GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME
Social distancing is being enforced throughout airports. That means security scanning and boarding processes take longer than normal. So don’t assume you can rock up 30 minutes before your flight and successfully board.
WEAR YOUR MASK
Airlines aren’t requiring masks to be worn on domestic flights, but they are strongly encouraging it. Qantas and Jetstar are providing ‘Fly Well’ packs which include masks and sanitisers. Virgin is suggesting customers bring their own masks but is also making some available on board.
Airlines aren’t requiring masks to be worn on domestic flights, but they are strongly encouraging it. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
PACK YOUR SNACKS
In-flight catering has been cut back heavily. At most you’ll get a snack and a drink. So if you think you’ll need something to eat during the flight, pack it into your hand luggage.
Don’t assume you’ll be able to grab something at the airport. Airport retail is operating at minimal levels in most locations.
Bonus tip: Hit the bathroom before you fly. Customers are being encouraged not to move around aircraft cabins, so getting to the toilets with a full bladder could prove challenging.
LOAD UP YOUR DEVICE
Airlines have cut out in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi and magazines for now, so you’ll need to provide your own amusement during the flight. Make sure your phone is loaded up with your preferred form of entertainment: movies, music, TV shows or books. (And don’t forget headphones!)
FOLLOW FUNDAMENTAL COVID-19 HEALTH GUIDELINES
Sanitise your hands frequently. Airport terminals have been fitted with hand sanitisers. Maintain social distancing.
There’s plenty of time to board the plane, you don’t have to breath down the neck of the passenger in front of you.
Don’t set out to travel if you have any potential coronavirus warning symptoms: fever, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath or coughing. If that happens, get tested.
BE KIND TO EACH OTHER
Airports often bring out the worst in people. Impatience, arrogance and entitlement are frequently on display. Life’s challenging enough right now. Stay calm, stay patient, and think of your fellow human beings.
Angus Kidman is the editor-in-chief and travel guru for Finder
Originally published as8 new rules to expect on your next flight
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