Government of India has issued several air travel guidelines for passengers who are planning to board flights. As domestic aviation operations are all set to commence from May 25, 2020, the government is taking all the measures to ensure that passengers have a safe and comfortable journey. From the origin of travel to the final destination, special guidelines have been developed for passengers which they will have to follow for a safer journey. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 has already disrupted the aviation industry, the government is slowly trying to push the aviation sector in the same position by lifting the ban and restrictions. However, air travel will not be the same any more. Passengers who are planning to board flights will have to visit the airport at least 2 to 3 hours before the departure for an easy and hassle-free boarding process. Here are all the air travel guidelines which the Indian government has issued for air passengers.
Origin to Airport Guidelines
Government of India has advised vulnerable persons like elderly, pregnant ladies, and passengers with disabilities to avoid air travel for some time. Passengers who are booking flight tickets must also opt for web check-in and obtain a boarding pass. The use of digital payments and authorised taxis have also been advised by the government to ensure safer travel. Since social distancing is the new norm, passengers must follow social distancing. While packing their bags, passengers must follow the latest norms and carry one check-in baggage and cabin baggage as more than one baggage will not be allowed. Passengers must also print the baggage identification number and stick it in their luggage at a prominent place. Passengers must wear surgical masks during the entire journey. Also, they will have to certify the status of their health either with a self-declaration form or with the help of Aarogya Setu app.
Once the passengers have arrived at the airport, they must get down with the required documents and proceed towards thermal screening facility at the terminal gate. Passengers will be required to wear face masks while entering the premises of the airport. Not only this, but passengers must also have Aarogya Setu app, and they will be allowed to board the flight only if the status shows green in the app. In case if the passengers don’t have the Aarogya Setu app, they will be taken to a counter provided by the airport where Aarogya Setu app can be downloaded. Passengers are also advised to avoid trolleys for their luggage. Once passengers get the thermal screening done, they must show their e-boarding pass to the CISF staff and proceed further towards the baggage drop counter. Passengers will have to show their PNR at the counter. Also, social distancing must be followed by every single passenger. To encourage social distancing, airports have already made special arrangements and made markers which will ensure a safe gap between passengers and airport staff. At last, passengers must complete all the check-in procedure and baggage drop at least 60 minutes before the departure.
Security Check-in Guidelines
Airports have made special arrangements for passengers to guide them through the pre-embarked security screening. All the passengers will have to follow the directions which will be announced by the airport authorities. Also, passengers must not carry any metal items to facilitate security screening. As the airlines have already stated that only one check-in and cabin baggage will be allowed, passengers are advised only to carry the mentioned luggage. Passengers must also cooperate with the airport staff and take care of their safety while boarding the flight.
Security Hold Area Guidelines
Passengers will be allowed to enter into the security hold area only after the authorities have done the security screening. While waiting in the security hold area, passengers must wear the surgical masks and follow the sanitisation protocols. Also, if the passengers are walking around the retail outlets, they must follow the social distancing norms and must be aware of the location where sanitisers are available. All the biohazardous materials like gloves, masks and tissues must be disposed of by passengers in the yellow dustbin which will be placed at strategic locations at the airport.
Passengers must attentively hear all the pre-boarding announcement and see the material displayed at the airport about various health advisories. Also, they must collect their three-layered surgical mask and sanitise kit from the airlines near the boarding gate. Before boarding, passengers will have to wear masks and use sanitisers. At last, the display of identity cards by passengers will be mandatory, and check-in will be done by the passengers by self-scanning of the boarding pass.
Inside Aircraft Guidelines
Once the passengers have boarded the aircraft, they must strictly follow hygiene and sanitisation. Also, face to face interactions must be avoided by passengers. No newspapers and magazines will be available for passengers. Not only this, but no meal service will also be provided inside the aircraft and passengers will not be allowed to eat anything during the journey. Water bottles for passengers will be available in the gallery area of the seats. Passengers are also advised to minimise the use of toilets and avoid any non-essential movement. In case if the passengers feel uncomfortable, they should immediately inform the cabin crew.
Airport to Destination Guidelines
Once the passengers have reached the destination, the disembarkation by the airline will be done sequentially. Also, passengers must follow all the air travel guidelines which will be put forward by the airlines. Airports have made all the social distancing arrangement at aerobridges, arrival gates, lifts and more. All the passengers must follow the social distancing markers and sanitise themselves frequently. As of baggage collection, passengers will have to wait at the baggage hold area till the baggage arrives in batches. In the case of transit passengers, they will not be allowed to come out of the transit area. Once the passengers get their luggage and prepare their exit from the airport, they must only book authorised taxis. Also, passengers must follow all the social distancing norms while travelling in any mode of transportation. Once the passengers have arrived at their destination, they must adhere to health protocols as prescribed by the destination states.
What Not to Do?
Government has listed all the air travel guidelines for passengers which are essential for a safer air journey. There are some points listed by the governments which passengers must strictly follow. Government has strictly stated that passengers must not arrive late at the airport. Since the entire boarding process might take time, passengers must follow the time norms advised by the government for a comfortable journey. Secondly, passengers should not travel if they are living in the containment zone as it would increase the chances of Covid-19 spread. Also, passengers must not travel if they have been tested positive for Covid19. The government of India is relying on the contact tracing app Aarogya Setu to identify the status of people. Passengers must install the Aarogya Setu app as it will help the airport authorities for faster processing. Lastly, the government has issued all the necessary guidelines, but passengers must take care of their safety while travelling. They must follow social distancing norms and avoid touching high contact surfaces. Also, they must disinfect themselves frequently to stay away from the clutches of the deadly virus.