What You Need To Know About Getting On A Plane Right Now

What You Need To Know About Getting On A Plane Right Now

As travel restrictions begin to ease, it’s looking more likely that more of us might get a summer holiday abroad. But as every major airplane has its own approach, here we break down some of the different measures currently in place…


Partners: American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines & Royal Air Maroc

Checking in: All passengers, regardless of flight time or destination, are encouraged to check in via the app or online, and download up to eight boarding passes. You will need to arrive two hours before your flight departs the UK (three for long-haul flights). For return journeys, passengers are encouraged to check the local airport website for information. All personal details should be kept up to date, and you should not travel if you’ve experienced symptoms of Covid-19 within seven days prior to departure.

At the gate: Expect to be temperature-checked at the gate. Boarding processes have been changed, with priority boarding only available for those with special circumstances or needs. Face masks should be removed at the gate so BA crew can check identities for security purposes.

On board: Face masks are expected to be worn for the duration of the flight, and will be provided as part of a personal protection pack. They should be replaced every four hours, with old ones thrown away in the sealable disposal bag. A new food service will be offered for long-haul flights; it’s designed to limit contact time with crew members. Special meals and children’s meals are unavailable, but it will still be possible to heat breast milk on board. 

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Partners: Air France, Delta & KLM

Checking in: Passengers are advised to wear face masks at all times, including in the terminal. Virgin ground staff will also be wearing face masks. You might be required to take part in a temperature check, while all passengers are encouraged to make full use of the sanitisation stations at the desks.

At the gate: Boarding will be limited to small groups of customers at a time, starting from the back of the aircraft to minimise contact. Passengers scan their own boarding passes and passports, and receive a health pack once on board.

On board: Washrooms will be available throughout the flight, and thoroughly cleaned at regular intervals. All passengers are required to wear a face mask, with surface wipes and hand gel making up part of the complimentary health pack. Food and drinks services have been altered to minimise contact, with some seats kept empty to ensure proper social distancing on every flight. 

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Partners: Aurigny, La Compagnie, Corsair, Loganair, Norwegian & WestJet

Checking in: Passengers are asked to arrive at the airport at the time indicated on their boarding pass and regularly check EasyJet’s Flight Tracker for any changes. Airport facilities for food and drink may be limited, but bathrooms where you can wash your hands remain open, and there are hand sanitiser stations located around the airport.

At the gate: Boarding and disembarkation may be different. Passengers are encouraged to listen closely and follow the instructions of the ground and cabin crew.

On board: Passengers should stow cabin baggage in overhead lockers. Crew will be managing use of the toilet facilities. A limited food service will be available on most flights, although paper menus will not be available – check the app or website for the most up-to-date information, or ask the on-board crew. All flights are now card payments only. All easyJet aircraft are fitted with HEPA filters – the same as those used in hospitals – which replace cabin air every three to four minutes. Cabins are also thoroughly disinfected daily, providing surface protection from viruses that lasts for at least 24 hours.

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Partners: n/a

Checking in: If you’re checking a bag, use the automated kiosk and deposit luggage at the bag drop desk. Customers are encouraged to use the Ryanair Fast Track where possible, to limit queuing time at security, as well as use hand sanitiser or hand wash as they pass through the airport.

At the gate: Passengers are asked not to queue at boarding gates in order to allow priority passengers to board first. There should be no dwelling in boarding stairwells or air bridges either, while all customers should have their passport open and boarding pass ready to be self-scanned. You’ll be expected to keep your face mask on at all times, with Ryanair crew also wearing face masks.

On board: All aircraft are fitted with HEPA air filters, which can remove particles in the air, down to the size of microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with an efficiency of better than 99.99%. Interior surfaces are disinfected every night, which is effective for over 24 hours. Cabin crew will be wearing face masks and there will be a limited inflight service of pre-packaged snacks and drinks, but no cash sales. Queuing for toilets is prohibited, but toilet access will be made available to individual passengers on request.

For more information, click here


Partners: Air Mauritius, GOL Linhas Aéreas, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, JetBlue, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Qantas, S7 Airlines, TAP Portugal & Virgin America

Checking in: Complimentary hygiene kits (masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser) will be given to every passenger upon check in. On arrival at the airport, thermal scanners at various areas will monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travellers maintain the necessary distance at check in, immigration, boarding and transfer areas. For additional reassurance, there are also protective barriers at each check-in desk and immigration counter.

At the gate: The boarding sequence has been staggered, with passengers now required to board by row (from last to first) and in small numbers. The waiting area has been modified to ensure all customers observe social distancing. Emirates boarding agents, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE), will facilitate the boarding sequence. The boarding gates are deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight.

On board: All cabin crew will be fully kitted out in PPE, with a dedicated cabin service assistant on board flights longer than 1½ hours to ensure toilets are cleaned every 45 minutes. Magazines and other reading material will not be available, while single-use menus and wine lists will be provided to passengers individually. Comfort items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, headphones and toys will also be hygienically sealed. Passengers should only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board, with each aircraft undergoing enhanced cleaning and disinfection on landing.

For more information, click here


*DISCLAIMER: At the time of writing, the UK law states that passengers must wear a face mask for the entirety of their journey on any form of public transport. There are currently air bridges in place between the UK and various countries across Europe and beyond, which state that tourists do not need to quarantine upon arriving in either country. Restrictions are changing daily, so please check for updates before you travel.

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