During Your Trip
Whether you’re driving across country or flying above, the experience for road warriors has changed. Although the spread of COVID-19 should not be understated, there has never been a time in travel when so much attention is being paid to the health and wellbeing of the traveler. Suppliers have rolled out a variety of new safety and sanitation measures, including PPE and social distancing expectations of travelers. Access the FAQs and resource links below.
Frequently asked questions:
Due to social distancing measures and changes to the screening and boarding process, it is recommended that you arrive at the airport earlier than you normally would. Check your company’s travel policy to determine whether you can be reimbursed to expedite your process through TSA PreCheck, CLEAR and/or Global Entry.
You will be expected to wear a mask both at the airport and for the duration of your flight. You may also want to check with the airline for their policy. Masks are also required during the security and screening process, however, you may be asked to briefly remove it to verify your identity. Keep in mind that some states and regions are requiring face masks to be worn in public spaces at all times.
Not all airport restaurants and airline lounges will be open, and social distancing and sanitation measures may limit the capacity and services offered. Restrooms and other airport services will be available but may be operating in a reduced capacity.
Most airlines have suspended in-flight food service, and some are providing passengers with to-go snack bags. Depending on the duration of the flight and your own health and dietary needs, consider packing a reusable water bottle and bringing your own snacks (or purchasing at the airport if available).
Most boarding and check-in processes have been adjusted to accommodate social distancing, but each airline has rolled out their own policies and procedures, such as boarding from back to front and spacing out boarding groups. Use mobile check-in and/or e-tickets when possible to avoid standing in lines or handling printed tickets. You can verify individual supplier policies here.
Depending on your flight, you may be subject to a temperature check before you can board. Guidelines vary, but registering 100°F/38°C is considered the general threshold for being denied boarding. You can expect to be rebooked on a later flight at no charge after a minimum waiting period of 14 days.
All major airlines have adopted new sanitation measures, such as fogging in-between flights. This added sterilization step coats the air and surfaces of the cabin with a disinfectant that kills germs but poses no risk to customers and crew. Once sterilized, the air is filtered to remove more than 99 percent of airborne particles via HEPA air filters throughout the flight.
In addition to the increased sanitization procedures taking place before passengers board, some airlines are blocking middle seats, reducing in-flight services, and reducing contact between flight attendants. Additionally, some airlines are contacting travelers prior to departure if the flight is near capacity to offer the opportunity to change to a less crowded flight. You can verify individual supplier policies here.
Rental companies have implemented increased standards of cleanliness to ensure your safety. Some of the enhanced processes include disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as steering wheels, seatbelts, dashboards, center consoles, and door handles; sealing cars after cleanings; and curbside pickup and drop-off to minimize contact. We recommend checking with individual suppliers to verify what processes they are using.
Avoid public transportation when possible. In addition to the challenges of keeping a high-traffic, enclosed space clean, some public transportation options are operating altered routes and/or restricted to essential services only, which may disrupt your travel. Consider taking advantage of deals on airport parking and rental programs instead.
Avoid ride sharing services when possible. Although ride sharing companies like Lyft and Uber have provided some drivers with masks and sanitation advice, , they do not offer the same level of control that a rental car or chauffeured car service have. Without stringent oversight in place, always request that your driver wear a mask and confirm what cleaning methods have been applied if you must use ride share.
All major hotel brands have a protocol that they will contact you/your TMC directly for a hotel status change and assist in the rebooking. Consider contacting the hotel directly before departure to verify which services are available and if any recent changes have been made since booking. In the case of a government-imposed restriction that occurs enroute to your destination, keep key emergency numbers on hand and contact your employer/TMC for help rebooking.
Many hotel brands now offer check-in service via their mobile app. Download the app for a streamlined check-in experience and to choose your preferred room, including the floor location and number of beds. In many cases, you can also obtain a digital key and avoid visiting the front desk.
Nearly all major hotel companies have announced new standards of clean, such as Hilton’s CleanStay partnership with Lysol. These may include sanitizing high touchpoint items like the TV remote after each guest or using electrostatic spray to remove bacteria from the room. Additionally, services such as housekeeping or minibar may be reduced or unavailable. We recommend checking with individual suppliers to verify what processes they are using.
In order to maintain social distancing measures and cleaning procedures, expect changes to food services and onsite amenities. This may include reduced restaurant hours (reservations are recommended), suspension of breakfast buffets, modified or suspended spa services, and housekeeping by request only. Confirm with your hotel before arrival to verify what services you can expect.
When not in your room, wear your mask in all public spaces, including the lobby, hallways, and event spaces. If dining at an on-site restaurant, wear your mask until you are seated at your table. Depending on the city or region your hotel is located in, this may be required by law.
Avoid booking alternative lodging if possible, which shift additional risks onto the traveler and may have non-refundable deposits. Companies like Airbnb have rolled out programs to communicate which hosts are self-reporting enhanced cleaning protocols, but not all properties on the platform will meet this criterion. If booking a rental property, consult the reviews and corresponding accreditations to assess your comfort level with the cleanliness of the property.