Many of our members are probably wondering what airport travel is like during the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted many of the safety protocols and processes at several businesses including at airports, on airplanes, and at restaurants and hotels, among others.
Brittany Blanscet, UVCI’s Member Marketing Manager, spent the first two weeks of August traveling to all of our destinations in Mexico in order to experience how travel is now and to provide our members with valuable insight about what to expect on your next trip to your home away from home.
Brittany reported back to us that airlines are actively enforcing the use of face masks. Passengers are required to wear face coverings at all times at the airport and during their flight (except for when eating and drinking). When booking flights online, you must consent to wearing a face mask, otherwise you will be prohibited from traveling. Mandatory face coverings are used by all airport staff and flight attendants as well.
Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the airports, social distancing is being enforced with strategically placed signs throughout, and airplanes are being thoroughly disinfected. A few airlines, such as United, hand out disinfectant wipes upon boarding the plane.
Temperature screenings are taken on flights exiting the US and between destinations in Mexico. For passengers displaying an elevated temperature, they will not be allowed to board a flight, but most airlines will offer them a full refund and are offering more travel flexibility to passengers than ever before.
Some airlines have launched new health and safety measures in addition to temperature screenings to help make passengers feel more comfortable flying. Airlines, such as United and Alaska, have added a compulsory pre-flight health questionnaire to the check in process. Fliers must declare that they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 or exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus in the last 21 days in order to receive a boarding pass. The purpose of the heatlh assessment is to minimize the risk of exposure during travel. Only one survey has to be filled out per household. Filling it out doesn’t take that much time and won’t add more than an extra 5 minutes to your travel process.
In addition to the questionnaire, airlines continue to block out middle seats and have reduced the maximum capacity of passengers they are allowed to have onboard to give fliers more personal space.
When going through customs in Mexico, they still ask you the same standard questions such as, “How long will you be staying in Mexico? What is the address you will be staying at? What is the purpose of your trip?” The customs officer may check to see that you have completed your COVID-19 questionnaire, so make sure you have it handy, but apart from that, the process of entering Mexico is still the same as it always was.
Going through the airports in Mexico, you will notice that social distancing measures are enforced, everyone is wearing face masks, and hand sanitizing dispensers have been installed at key points.
Many restaurants, including the restaurants at Tafer’s Hotels & Resorts, now offer QR codes (digital codes) for menus that you can scan to be able to read the menu from your smart phone, iPad or tablet, without having to touch a physical menu. For those that still prefer to see the physical menu, each menu is disinfected after every use.
For guests using an airport shuttle, the shuttle driver will sanitize your luggage and offer you hand sanitizing gel before entering the vehicle. Each vehicle is thoroughly disinfected before and after each trip.
Upon arrival at any of Tafer’s Hotels and Resorts, the bell boys will give you a warm greeting and take your luggage inside to be disinfected prior to room delivery.
Before you enter the lobby to complete your check in process, guests will be subject to a temperature screening and offered hand sanitizing gel.
The safety and well-being of travelers is the top priority for everyone working in the travel industry and the world at large. For our members who decide to take a vacation getaway, despite the current pandemic situation, we wish you a safe flight and a smooth journey. We can’t wait to welcome you to our resorts in Mexico again and hope to see you soon!