The pandemic will change the dynamics of the passengers inside the planes. All luggage must be checked in to the hold, including those carry-on bags that previously traveled in the cabin and do not fit under the front seat.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued the protocols for traveling in times of pandemic, an extensive regulation that indicates what it will be like to travel while there is no vaccine against COVID-19.
Among the rules is that passengers may not use the cabin to store carry-on baggage, more than that that fits under the front seat.
“Encourage passengers to travel as light as possible with the check-in of all luggage, except small carry-on luggage that fits under the seat,” says the protocol.
This means that sales in duty-free stores will also be temporarily limited, both in size of the goods sold and in quantities.
While there will be no caps on aircraft occupancy levels, airlines should do their best, whenever the situation permits, to allow separate seats between each passenger.
The crew should have the minimum contact with the passengers and order the boarding and disembarkation of the planes in a way that “reduces the probability that the passengers will pass close to each other.”
ICAO notes that airlines must limit or suspend food and beverage service on short-haul flights or dispense them in sealed, prepackaged containers.
Access to the bathroom will also be restricted. “Whenever possible, a restroom should be designated for crew use only, provided there are sufficient restrooms available for passenger use without encouraging congregation of passengers expecting to use a restroom,” the protocol says.
“To the extent possible, depending on the aircraft, require passengers to use a designated lavatory based on seat assignments to limit movement of passengers in flight, reducing exposure to other passengers,” the protocol states.
Another issue highlighted by ICAO in its protocol is that there will be no magazines or newspapers available inside the planes.