14 Jul AIR TRAVEL DURING COVID-19- THE NEW NORMAL
To the airport
Since lockdown started on 26 March 2020, I had not been on an aircraft. So, it was a very interesting culture shock when I took my first flight to the Mother City, with my passport in hand (just in case!).
At the airport
Having spent many years happily working at the airport, I then realised how the world of travel had changed…
I had never seen the ORTIA parking lot as empty as it was, clearly indicating the decline in air travel. This sight aligned to the reports frequently issued by IATA and ICAO. I furthermore noticed that the long row of SAA aircrafts with the national flag livery emblazoning were nowhere to be seen. A sad sight in my view.
I managed to have a quick breakfast of sugarless decaff coffee, toasted rye bread and avo (one of my staples) and off to my flight I was.
I didn’t realise that my natural state of being a germaphobe with OCD to boot had been heightened by the pandemic! I had my sanitiser spray ready and sprayed anything that moved, even my boarding pass, with the disastrous result that the writing came off! Thankfully I had loaded it onto my trusted travel wallet.
On the aircraft
The announcements on the aircraft have changed. They now incorporate an announcement that we are not allowed to eat and drink and something about taking off our masks in case of something happening, but we must keep them on. I was utterly confused! I was hoping that something doesn’t happen during this flight, otherwise it will be a disaster for me -LOL!
Anyhow, the captain still sounds the same (inaudible), and the cabin crew still look very spiffy in their uniforms.
The airport looked deserted, and the disembarking process has changed. It does however manage the eager beavers who always elbow other passengers to rush off the flight to the baggage carousel.
The arrival of our bags took longer than expected and I entertained myself by counting the number of times one black hardcase bag travelled around the carousel…
Based on my observations, the impact of the pandemic – inclusive of the new variant, has had an enormous negative impact on the following:
- Airlines, inclusive of employees.
- Upstream and downstream suppliers.
- Most markets.
- The economy.
- Mergers and Acquisitions.
- Code Sharing.
- Conventions and Treaties.
- Airport revenue.
- Airport retail income.
- Passenger travel habits.
For any comments, advice or further information, please reach out via our website – www.machobanelaw.co.za
Complete an online contact form or send a direct WhatsApp message.
Until next time! Hasta Luego!
Authored by Anastasia Machobane – B. Iuris, L.L.B. (University of Pretoria); MDP (GIBS/UP); Air Law Diploma (IATA); Certificate Editing and Proofreading (University of Cape Town)
This article contains the views of the writer and should not be construed to be legal advice.