new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19 – India, being one of the first countries to impose heavy travel restrictions, is now set to operate domestic airlines. After 2 months under lockdown, the Indian airlines are all set to commence operations from 25 May 2020. There is no doubt the airlines have suffered huge losses during this 2 month lockdown period. However, the ‘new normal’ post the lockdown will see new rules for people who travel by flights.
While the airports and airlines prepare to resume operations, let’s take a look at the government issued new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19. Unless you follow these guidelines you may not be allowed to take a flight.
new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19 – From Origin to Airport – DOs
- Practice social distancing and minimum touch.
- You will need to agree to the self-declaration form & will also have to register on the Aarogya Setu App.
- Digital payments & use of authorized taxis.
- Baggage limitations – Only one check-in bag and one cabin bag allowed.
Must Read: How to download and use the Aarogya Setu App
- Vulnerable persons such as very elderly, pregnant ladies, or passengers with ailments are advised to avoid air travels.
- Ensure Web Check-in to obtain a boarding pass.
- Passenger must download the baggage tag/baggage identification number, print, and affix it on the bag at a prominent place.
- In case the passenger is not able to print the baggage tag, then he/she should mention the PNR number and his/her name on a thick piece of paper and affix/tag it with a strong string.
- Before entering the terminal, passengers must ensure to wear a mask.
- Passenger must report at the airport two hours prior to the reporting time of the flight.
- Passenger should only travel in an authorized taxi/personal vehicle, following norms as specified by the MHA.
- During transit to the airport, passengers should take all precautions to prevent infection.
- Passenger must certify the status of his/her health through the Aarogya Setu App or a self-declaration form.
From Origin to Airport – DONTs
- Passenger should not reach late at the airport.
- Passenger should not travel if he/she is staying in a containment zone.
- Passenger should not travel if he/she has been tested positive for COVID-19.
If a passenger who is not permitted to fly, undertakes an air journey, he/she shall be liable for penal action.
Also Read: How to stay safe after lockdown
new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19
Each passenger will need to give a declaration for the following
- I/we am/are not residing in any containment zone.
- I/we am/are not suffering from any fever/cough/any respiratory distress.
- I/we am/are not under quarantine.
- If I/we develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms, I/we shall contact the concerned health authorities immediately.
- I/we have not tested positive for COVID-19.
- I/we am/are eligible to travel as per the extant norms.
- I shall make my mobile number/contact details available to the airlines whenever required by them.
- I understand that if I undertake the air journey without meeting the eligibility criteria, I would be liable for penal action.
- I/we undertake to adhere to the Health Protocol as prescribed by the destination state/UT.
The airlines shall ensure that the boarding pass is issued only after the passenger confirms the above-mentioned declaration. In case of a PNR having more than one passenger, the declaration would be deemed to be covering all passengers mentioned in the PNR.
new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19 – At the Airport
Now, let’s take a look at the guidelines for air passengers at the airport.
- Passengers should continue to wear a mask throughout their journey.
- Passenger should get down from the vehicle with a face mask on and with the required documents/e-documents.
- Passenger should arrive at the thermal screening facility near the entry gate.
- Passenger should get himself/herself checked for temperature and display the status of Aarogya Setu App to the staff at the entry gate.
- In case of non-availability of Aarogya Setu, passengers must be facilitated to go to a counter provided by the airport where the Aarogya Setu App can be downloaded.
- Passenger should show his/her identity card and the boarding pass/e-boarding pass to the CISF staff at the entry gate.
- Passenger must proceed to the baggage drop counter and show his/her PNR to the staff. Avoid using baggage trolley, as far as possible.
- An electronic receipt shall be sent to the passenger.
- Passenger must adhere to the social distancing which would be specified at the Airports through markings like circle, square, or tensor barrier.
- Passenger should complete the check-in procedure and baggage drop at least 60 minutes before departure.
Do Read: Lockdown 4 guidelines in India
new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19 – At Security Check
- Arrangements have been made at airports to guide passengers to walk through the pre-embarkation security screening.
- Passenger should follow the directions as announced by the authorities and take out of all metal on the body to facilitate the security screening.
- Passenger should bring only one hand luggage as per the specified size allowed by the airlines.
- Passenger must cooperate with security staff by following the instructions for his/her own safety and security.
new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19 – Security Hold Area
- Passenger should proceed to the security hold area after security screening.
- While waiting in the security hold area, a passenger should maintain social distancing and sanitization protocols.
- Chairs marked ‘Not For Use’ should not be occupied.
- While going around F&B, retail outlets, etc, a passenger should be aware of the social distancing and must maintain hygiene. He/she should also be aware of the locations where sanitizers would be made available.
- Passenger must dispose off all biohazardous material like used masks, gloves, tissues, etc in yellow-colored disposable bins/bags placed at strategic locations at the airport.
While Boarding – new guidelines for travelling by domestic flights
- Passengers should be attentive towards various communication material displayed at the airport about various health advisories relating to pre-boarding and during the flight precautions.
- Passengers should collect the safety kit (three-layered surgical mask and sanitizer) from the airlines near the boarding gate.
- Passengers must wear a mask and sanitize his/her hands before proceeding to the boarding gate for scanning of the boarding pass.
- Passengers need to be attentive towards boarding announcements and reach the boarding queue by following social distancing.
- Display of identity cards by passengers is a must and check-in of the boarding pass would be done by the passenger by self-scanning of e-boarding pass.
Inside the Aircraft – new airline guidelines for domestic flights after lockdown
- During the flight, passengers must strictly follow hygiene and sanitation. Face to face interaction to be minimized.
- Passenger should minimize use of toilets and must also avoid any non-essential movement in the aisles.
- No queuing at the toilets and only one companion for children and the elderly would be allowed.
- No meal service to be provided in the aircraft. Water bottles will be made available in the galley area or on the seats. Eatables will not be allowed during the flight.
- No newspaper/magazine will be available, no onboard sale of any item.
- If the passenger feels uncomfortable, fatigued, or has respiratory distress, it should be brought to immediate notice of the crew.
new airline guidelines for domestic flights during COVID-19 – Airport to Destination
- The disembarkation from the airlines would be sequential.
- To disembark, passengers must strictly follow the instructions given by the crew.
- Social distance/sanitation should be maintained at the arrival gate, aerobridges, coaches, jet ladders, ramps, etc.
- Trolleys in the arrival area must be used sparingly.
- Passenger should wait k the baggage hold area till the baggage arrives in batches.
- Transit passengers will not be allowed to come out of the transit area.
Exit from Airport
- Passengers should only hire authorized taxis.
- Passengers must follow social distancing and must also adhere to health protocols as prescribed by destination State/UT.
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