COVID-19 - The New American Airlines Check In Process
This past week a few of our staff members were taken on a tour by American Airlines. We got to see what it was like traveling with the new COVID-19 policies in place. We learned quite a bit and can’t wait to share all that we learned. We will break this up into a multi-part series of articles.
We began our tour with looking at and learning more about the changes to the check-in process. First you will notice that there is signage everywhere. This signage helps to inform you of current policies that are in place as well as where to go and what to do next.
Check in counters are now equipped with plexiglass to provide protection for you and the ticketing agent checking you in. You will see these installed pretty much anywhere you are going to be interacting with any kind of airport staff: ticket counters, TSA security stands, restaurants, store check outs and the gate agents’ desks.
They have also marked the floor with social distancing reminder stickers to help remind you to keep six feet between yourself and the person in front or behind you as you stand in line while waiting for the ticketing agent. We found many times on the tour that we kept forgetting about that. You get into an airport and just start going about your normal process and forget that you should keep distance between yourself and another person. The bright orange stickers on the floor were a very helpful reminder.
American Airlines has also just signed a deal with Purell and so you will see touch-less hand sanitizer stations all through out their check-in area and at each gate.
For those that would like to avoid checking in via a human, American Airlines has implemented many ways to go contactless through out the check in procedure. This starts with downloading the American Airlines app. This app allows you to check in for your flight as well as pre-check your baggage. Once you arrive at the airport you can go up to one of the check-in kiosks, scan your app and it will print your bag tags. Then you just drop your bags off with the baggage handlers and proceed to TSA.
The app is also a great way to be notified of any delays on your flight or to check the occupancy level of your flight should you want to travel later in the day on an emptier flight. American Airlines has partnered with Sherpa so that international travelers can be notified, through the app, of requirements they must meet in order to enter their destination country. This is very helpful as governments are constantly changing the requirements for entry.
Their app is constantly being updated and improved to offer you the best options for contactless travel.
One other thing we were reminded of was that American Airlines does have a mandatory mask policy for their airlines, which is similar to all of the major airlines at this moment. There is a no tolerance policy in place for passengers who do not want to comply with the mandated mask policy. If a passenger boards a flight and then refuses to wear their mask then they will be asked to deplane and could end up on the no fly list. American Airlines has added around 100 people to that list in the last few months. They are not the only airline to have this policy or these consequences. They do this to ensure the safety of everyone on board the plane.
Once we finished up at the check-in area we headed off for TSA and then to see a plane that was in the process of being cleaned between flights.
We can’t wait to share more of our adventure and information with you.