ORLANDO, Fla. – Air travel is slowly starting to pick up again in month four of the coronavirus pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- Air travel is starting to pick up
- But travelers should expect changes due to the pandemic
- Experts say ticket prices are lower because of lower demand
Wearing a mask is the new norm in the skies, but what else should you expect?
Travel experts said it'll probably be a year before things feel "normal" again.
Orlando International Airport has unveiled Personal Protective Equipment vending machines where travelers can buy things like a mask or hand sanitizer.
The machines were installed this following Orange County's mandatory mask order.
"I think the good news is flights are returning. It's relatively slow," said Dr. Alan Fyall Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at UCF's Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
The good news right now, Fyall said it's a good time to travel with ticket prices lower because of lower demand.
"The challenge for fliers, come next summer or certainly the next cycle, prices will probably jump considerably, because to be fair to the airlines, they haven't really got any alternative," Fyall said.
At the TSA checkpoint, agents are also wearing face coverings.
Retired Federal Air Marshal Victor Cabaza said TSA security procedures will be just as sharp, and they'll notice if anyone seems under the weather.
"You have to show identification when you come to security agents with your tickets. They're going to ask you to remove your mask so they can make sure the ID and the face match up," Cabaza said.
Fyall said airlines are limiting or taking out food and beverage service to limit contact, all in an effort to abide by federal guidelines while trying to keep passengers comfortable.
"It's like everything else Justin, if there's a vaccine, a lot of this will essentially vanish," Fyall said.
Some airlines like Southwest Airlines are not currently serving alcohol on board.
The travel experts we spoke to said that's likely because masks can already cause heightened tensions on board and alcohol could aggravate that even more.