Lockdown might be over but the virus is still in the air. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with the new rules set in place to slow the spread. Naturally, I was a bit worried what airports and air travel will be like. Will they be selling less seats to have more spaces between people? Will the airport staff check the passengers’ temperature upon entrance? Will there be more questions before they let you fly?
I flew with Ryanair from Stansted on 12th July. As usual, I was taking a really early flight, 06.50 in the morning so I did not expect many people wandering about. However, I think there were less people than normal. As I got off the bus into an empty bus station, I started the well known route to get into the airport building. There I saw a disinfection station. A good sign! Some measurements are in place. The thing is, if you are in a hurry, you can easily miss these as they are not that noticeable.
Once in the building, there were not that many signs reminding people of social distancing. Apart from the occasional sign telling you to wear a mask, all else was normal, there wasn’t even the usual one way system that can be found in other busy places. I don’t think I saw another disinfection station either. In the toilets there was no guidance on good handwashing technique.
My first reminder that something was different was seeing mask and gloves on all staff and circles on floors (only in queues) reminding you to keep your distance. I would like to point out that the majority of the passengers wore masks, but not all!
The other reminder was getting a “Please step away madam” response to my cheerful “good morning” as I must have got about 5 inches closer than 6 feet from the guy checking my passport on the self tagging bag drop. Once past him, he did not really care how I will get to a free machine to tag my bag – it was total chaos. Three entrance points to the area and no queue for the machines inside so you had to walk around to find one free. And some of them were for paper boarding passes only!
Next step was the security check. I am very meticulous when packing my cabin bag as I try to pack as much as I can in least space possible. I always have my liquids in the small bag and, when travelling with the laptop, I take it out for the check. I don’t remember the last time my bag was delayed for a further check. This time it was. Along with many, many other bags there. Most of the bags just got an extra check for traces of whatever telling me that they amped-up the security checks.
I was surprised to see how many people still don’t know the cabin bag rules. Ryanair is so annoying with the amount of emails sent warning you about the baggage restrictions and liquids yet people come to the airport (plastered with cabin bags rules) with too many bags or with a cabin bag full of full size toiletries.
Many stores are still closed – notices in the windows confirmed they are closed due to Covid, not the time of the day. There are no stickers on the floor reminding you of 2 meters rule nor is there a one way system. The seats in the general area had the “wash your hands, wear a mask” signs stuck to the side. While waiting to board, I noticed that only the waiting seats closest to the gate had a “2 meter rule” sticker on every other seat. The rest of them had nothing and I did not see any more signs about masks, hand washing or 2 meter rule.
There was mention of temperature checks at the airport, but I honestly do not know how they implement them. No one stopped me for it at any point during my 2 hours at the airport.
Lastly, I will touch upon my flight to Pula with Ryanair. We were told masks need to be worn during the whole flight unless you are eating/drinking and everyone I saw respected that which was good as the flight was completely packed!
Have you travelled from any other airport? Have they been implementing the new rules to help stop the spread of coronavirus?