How COVID-19 has changed air travel?

Francis Juma Katambi
4 min readJul 8, 2020


Airlines are starting to schedule international flights. Also the Tanzanian Minister for Tourism and Natural resources Dr. Hamis Kigwangala announced that tourists can enter the country starting from June.

Although things may seem like they are getting back to normal for travelers but the expectation should be different, From airfares to destinations to cabin layouts

At the airport

Expect longer than normal processing times at the airport. You will see sneeze guards set up at key transaction points, including check-in counters and gate podiums.

Thermal scanners and COVID-19 tests may be needed to ensure passengers are healthy enough to fly. Airlines are reducing touchpoints by temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks in most locations; customers will be encouraged to use mobile check-in. Some airports are already adapting face recognition scanners. All of these measures are aimed at reducing physical touchpoints

Airport Check-in and Onsite Covid-19 test
Expect to practice social distancing at security checkpoints


Expect Social distancing to be in place regarding seating arrangements, packaged snacks, and wrapped food.

Wrapped food


Boarding will be from back to front by rows, boarding fewer passengers at one time; this is to allow more distance during the boarding process. It will space out customers to minimize crowding in the gate area and on the jet bridge.

Distance maintained during boarding


The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly caused behavioral changes when sharing public communal spaces.

Airlines are limiting seat selection in all cabins, so customers will not be able to select seats next to each other or the middle seats.

Future passengers will be placing even greater value than ever before on personal space, from a health and safety standpoint. Airlines will need to adapt their cabins, in order to tempt customers back and reassure them that their health is being protected whilst on board. Reduced passenger loads will free-up opportunities to adapt existing cabins, to address this new normal in the short to medium term.


Flight attendants will hand out sanitizing wipes, for passengers to wipe down the seat handle or the tray table. Food and drinks will be served in pre-packed bags to avoid touch. There may no longer be a trolley service for food/drinks.

Pre-packed food and sanitizing hand wipes.


Passengers arriving may have to go through sanitizing tunnels, thermal scanners, and COVID-19 tests, before being allowed to clear immigration and customs; checked bags may also have to be sanitized. Expect delays when arriving at your destination on International travel.


Airfares are expected to decrease through 2021, as there will be more supply (Airlines ready to fly) than demand( Passengers ready to fly). However long term prices will rise due to demand outstripping supply.

Dollar Flight Club analysis shows

Have you encountered something different in your recent travels? Please let me know what you think the future of air travel will be like?



Francis Juma Katambi

I help brands and entrepreneurs that Care about their users as a UX/UI Designer and Website designer Portfolio: