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Air travel may be quite different when travel resumes.....

It appears that the airport of the future may be quite different in the post-pandemic world - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-06/the-airport-of-the-future-will-have-no-check-in-security-lines?utm_campaign=news&utm_medium=bd&utm_source=applenews (hopefully the article will be readable by others).

A couple of questions occurred to me after reading the article.....

  • how will people without smartphones check in using a QR code?
  • will the walk-through disenfection booth be a fixture at all airports? (I'm not too keen on being sprayed down with disinfectant).

Interesting times we're living in!

Posted by
3444 posts

how will people without smartphones check in using a QR code?

They check in from home and print the QR code to scan at the airport, just like the boarding passes today. And I am sure there will still be a minimum number of face-to-face check ins for unique situations.

will the walk-through disenfection booth be a fixture at all airports?

I'm sure it will be at least at all international airports. Also, I will have to believe the disinfectant will be a pleasant mist, not a shower of wetness. Do you remember when airlines used to have the flight attendants walk through the cabin on arrival with cans of disinfectant spraying until it was hard to breath? I hope it will be an inprovement over that.

Posted by
31215 posts

Mark,

No, I don't remember the flight attendants spraying disinfectant. Not sure how I missed that unique experience? Inhaling disinfectants, no matter how good they smell, can't be good for health.

Posted by
2284 posts

Cathay Pacific Ltd. is working in collaboration with U.S. Customs and
Border Protection to bring automated boarding gates to LAX and San
Francisco International, joining a similar effort at JFK. They’ll scan
your face and biometrically verify your identity, allowing you to get
on the plane without handing over your ticket and passport.

Hey, journalist writing for Bloomberg, this already exists in Atlanta's F concourse, and I have used it multiple times over the last 18 months to board international flights on Delta without showing a boarding pass or a passport at the gate.

Posted by
3872 posts

Re - not having a smartphone - we don't have a cell phone - well, we DO have a cell phone (we buy minutes for) but use it so little the minutes ran out 2 weeks ago and we haven't bothered to buy more. The few times I've needed a QR code - I just screenshot it with my ipad (and of course could do it with the phone, but since we don't carry it with us...) and show the photo. If you don't have a smartphone or an ipad type thing (that would be my mother), then printing at home would work.

I guess if I had to be sprayed down to fly, I would, but I certainly would rather not - how much would that contribute to disinfectant resistant bacteria? If I flew a lot (which I don't) I would really be resistant - what chemicals are you breathing in?

Posted by
5629 posts

I'm skeptical about all these predictions. It sounds like a lot of show for the sake of calming fearful passengers, without proof of effectiveness. After a while, that fearfulness turns into annoyance (like the TSA security measures). Not sure how a disinfectant spray down (which is not good for your skin or eyes) will kill viruses in your lungs or GI system. Perhaps thats where that injecting disinfectant idea comes into play.

What I am interested in, is how airlines will change airfare structure. If they're going to be turning away passengers at the gate based on temperature measurements, why would anyone book a non-refundable fare? If I was planning a family trip to Europe, I'd be reluctant to commit to tickets or a tour if it were possible one of the kids might have a temperature the day of the flight.

how will people without smartphones check in using a QR code?

Ken, people who cant afford a smartphone, or a computer or printer at home, wont be able to afford the new cost of flying either. 😐

Posted by
3444 posts

Ken, On spraying disinfectant in the plane.

I guess it depended where you were going and what airline you were on. I remember in the 80's going to Jamaica. There was some sort of fruit fly problem in the Caribbean then. The spray canister they used (a charter airline, don't remember the name) I swear was one of those whole house bug bombs you are not supposed to be near when it goes off. They set it off when we landed and everyone was nearly unconscious by the time they opened the doors to let us out. Same on the return to the US. My first time to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines they did a similar thing but with a less annoying spray. Have not seen it this century, thankfully.

Posted by
5629 posts

Makes me think of one of those prison movies, where the new prisoners are stripped, hosed down with firehoses, and then dusted with DDT before they enter the general population.

Posted by
4442 posts

We don't have a cell phone, smart or otherwise. We can print out the QR code, and it scans just fine.

Posted by
6162 posts

I remember insect spray being sprayed in the cabin when we landed in New Zealand.
Last year pre COVID we walked over disinfectant mats and had our temperatures taken remotely when walking from our plane towards passport control in Tokyo.

Posted by
4348 posts

Disinfecting passengers before boarding — maybe we wouldn’t need to wipe down our own seating area any more! On second thought, disinfecting will forever be a permanent part of the pre-seating process.

Posted by
882 posts

Milani reported as spam (unless you want to play an online game....). Sometimes these discussions get a little wild and crazy, so I had to think twice. :)

Posted by
1619 posts

Oh great! If this comes into a permanent plan, we are in trouble with the TSA.

Bad enough a lot of them have a really bad attitude and treat people like cattle.

One time going through Logan, there was this TSA in a tizzy.

Apparently he was overwhelmed at the amount of wheelchair-assisted people coming through and others with mobility aides.

He was barking to the airport escorts to not bring too many wheelchairs in at once. He said a couple of other nasty things too.

From what I have seen, the escort brings the wheelchaired person up first.

This TSA made an elderly gentleman feel like crap.

I was standing in the adjacent line.

When I caught the agent's eye, I looked at him straight on. I told him he should feel pretty lucky that he is able to stand on two feet with no visible mobility issues and that he had a voice box loud enough so that New Jersey could hear him!

He didn't say a word to me.

Another agent asked if I was associated with the elderly gentleman. I said, "No. I am not, but that is not the point."

Anyway, that TSA apologized on behalf of the other one. I said, "Thanks, but it doesn't need to be directed towards me; it needs to be directed towards all the other people within ear shot who are in wheelchairs.

As I recall, there were about 4 wheelchairs coming through two lines.

It is not the passengers' fault nor problem that scheduling or better management from the TSA is needed.

And the practice of patience and respect!

I will concede to a point that some travelers can be very challenging to security. With that though, you should show restraint and professionalism in your job as a customer service agent. When it escalates to a point that you become out of control, call a manager.

Another time going through Logan, a TSA had an attitude.

She was going on and on and on.

I asked her if I should take out my electronics and put them in a bin since she did not specify that.

She was a smart alec. So I sweetly asked if she had just come out of boot camp.

Another agent sitting beside her laughed. He told me I didn't have to take out my electronics.

The best security that I have encountered was in Italy. They are courteous and respectful and don't treat you like a jerk.

Going through Heathrow, most of them are nice.

Posted by
12117 posts

I guess I have led a blessed life. I interact with TSA 8 to 10 times a year on average. That would add up to about almost 200 times since 911 ... never had a bad experience.

Thank you guys, you have a tough job and I appreciate your mission and how well you handle it.

Posted by
1619 posts

The agent who came across as a 'drill instructor' half smirked at me so she knew I was just trying to lighten up the mood between the passengers and the agents.

I realize that a lot of passengers can be really challenging; so it works both ways.

Posted by
2284 posts

My experience is mostly in line with James' experience. I go through TSA about 40 times per year and rarely have had bad experiences. Of course, about half of those screenings are at my friendly smallish Southern airport, GSP (Greenville-Spartanburg, SC). Nearly all my screenings there and elsewhere involve the TSA Precheck lane, so that probably helps, too.

The least happy agents I encounter are the ones in Atlanta staffing the checkpoint for arriving international travelers headed to the domestic side of the airport. They like to bark orders, On one trip, an agent was doing that as I approached her; she looked down at my perfectly laid out items, smiled, and said something like, "You know what you're doing!"

Posted by
1619 posts

I realize there are challenging travelers.

Still, a TSA at any security checkpoint represents the agency as a whole.

For the most part, the agents can be friendly and professional.

A sense of humor is always welcome.

Barking orders just turns into white noise....

Perhaps the TSA I mentioned was having a bad day. Perhaps he had too much coffee. Perhaps he did not get his break on time. Perhaps a customer 10 or 15 minutes before angered him.

Whatever his issue was, that should not have influenced or reflected on the other passengers coming through - namely someone or those who are in a wheelchair. I saw the look on one of the elderly gentlemen's face.

Granted, the TSA looked like a jerk for making those passengers feel bad. It appears the TSA got flustered very quickly because of the number of wheelchairs coming through the security lines at that time.

That is his job. He chose to work as a TSA including all the good and the bad.

That's why I made the point of telling him that he should feel pretty lucky that he is mobile enough to stand and walk.

If the guy had any other issues, he should have left it at the airport door and not take it out on the passengers.

But it was nice of his co-worker to apologize on his behalf. The flustered TSA did calm down as I observed him for a few minutes after I went through security.

Posted by
1619 posts

I also keep my carry bag and purse organized in case it needs additional screening at security. Keep it rolling as quickly as possible.

Posted by
12117 posts

Easy to find trouble if you look for it. Easy to enjoy if thats your frame of mind. Or at least works for me.

I have this neck pouch size cross body bag. Big enough for my wallet, watch, passport and most of the stuff in my pockets. By the time I get to security, that's where everything is. Then I wrap my belt around it and toss it on a tray. Security takes me seconds generally.

Posted by
1619 posts

And, I believe that it would have been less fuss and muss if that flustered TSA took a professional stance and just did his job instead of whining about too many wheelchairs coming through the security lines!

No passenger looked for trouble - they wanted to get through the security lines just as quickly as the TSA wanted to push them through.

People with mobility issues - whether it be temporary or permanent, take a little bit longer to screen.

Posted by
12117 posts

Air travel may be quite different when travel resumes.....

I've been on a few domestic flights and its been pretty much business as normal with masks and a bit more organization .... which is great. In two days I will be flying to Europe. Can't wait to see how that goes.

Posted by
3025 posts

In no way would I defend bad behavior on the part of TSA workers; however, everyone needs to remember that they are poorly paid, disproportionately minority race members. I am sure that, on a daily basis, they deal with plenty of disrespectful, ignorant behavior from travelers. I just do as I’m told in a quiet, polite way; and I have not had a problem.

Posted by
3444 posts

Starting pay for TSA people checking you through security is just over $20 an hour and can be as high as $28 an hour, depending on what part of the country they work. I don't think anyone would consider that "poorly" paid when compared to official minimum wage or many other jobs in different fields.

If someone can't handle the stress of a job and takes out their frustration with one customer on everyone else the rest of the day, that person needs to find a different type of work. That's why I changed careers several times in my working life and I readily admit that I hated what I did, the customers, the schedule, and everything else about the jobs I had until I found what made me happiest. I would not like having a job like a TSA worker has, too many of the people they deal with are complete idiots (whether on purpose trying to annoy TSA or that's just tey way they are), and I never had the patience to deal with that. Glad someone can.

Posted by
1659 posts

Several years ago I was flying out of Nashville.

The TSA JERK, starts SCREAMING at an elderly woman "IF YOU WANTED TO YOU COULD GET OUT OF THAT CHAIR" He then said "well if you won't walk though the scanners you know we have the right to strip search you"

At this point a LOT of us got up in arms. We asked for the Jerk's supervisor. The poor woman is crying, the skycap helping her is beyond flustered and it was a nightmare. With the help of the other travelers the woman was allowed to be pushed through the scanner and a nice agent on the other side did the simple quick examination.

But we didn't leave. About 6 of us stood there and said "we aren't leaving until we get to talk to the person in charge" The JERK screamed at us that we were interfering with a FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT and "I will have you all arrested if you make a complaint" We stayed. Another agent said "you know you will miss your flight, it will take him forever to get here" We stayed. We had photos and video (Jerk didn't know that part) His supervisor shows up and gets and earful. Turns out one of the people staying was a senior staffer with one of the Senators for the state on his way back to DC. He really let the TSA supervisor have it.

I don't know what happened, but I continued to fly out of that airport almost weekly for a couple of years and never saw the JERK again :)

Poorly paid or not there was NO excuse for what I witnessed.

Posted by
12117 posts

I once heard of an accountant that went bizerk due to stress at the office and killed his family. Since then I haven't trusted any accountants ... they are probably all the same. None are good.

Posted by
1659 posts

Accountants totally aren't trustworthy :) (I say that as one)

However, if you don't like us you just fire us. We don't get to threaten you "strip searches" because we are in a bad mood.

And if your accountant plays "it's Tuesday, I made up a new rule" RUN!

Posted by
1126 posts

I’ve got a relative who is obsessed with the the idea that people use wheelchairs for an advantage while flying. They’re never going to change their mind about that.

My opinion is, ok fine, every single one of them is faking it. What are you going to do about it? Carrying all that anger inside won’t change a thing and that’s what the TSA person should have done.

Posted by
1619 posts

There are so many reasons as to why a person younger or older may need wheelchair assistance.

A person could look outwardly healthy but have an underlying condition that prevents them from running through the airport or walking such long distances.

No one knows.

People act like they have an MD after their name.

Even if they did, it still wouldn't matter because that traveler wouldn't be their patient.

The bull-dog behavior of the TSA I saw was really uncalled for.

And if that TSA who appeared to be (plus) middle-aged lives to the age of the gentleman I saw in the wheelchair then he should consider himself fortunate.

Posted by
12117 posts

My only point was dont judge the whole by the exception. If you do, with age there won't be many folks you like .... or like you.

Posted by
1619 posts

Oh boy, lol.

I believe in my few posts on this thread that I did concede there are challenging travelers who can test the patience of Job.

With that, I believe that TSA needed to be called out for his inappropriate and unprofessional actions.

As a representative of the TSA, he was a bad boy and needed to be reprimanded.

You can make excuses for the TSA all you want. I know what I witnessed. I was there. You were not. Just because most of your airport experiences with TSA have been pleasant does not mean that there is not a rogue TSA every now and again.

My empathy lies with the elderly gentleman and the others who were wheel-chaired assisted.

I was brought up to respect people especially the elderly. And I do not like to see the elderly abused or patronized or berated in any way.

And the tsa's co-worker recognized that he was being an ***; hence the apology.

Bottom line: the TSA acted like a jerk; was unprofessional and had no sympathy for the passengers coming through.

And, I think you're judging me based on my defense of the people who were coming through in the wheelchairs. EOS.

It does not bother me whether somebody likes me or not LOL.

There are enough in this world who do like me. I lose no sleep over the ones who don't.

Posted by
12117 posts

Girasole, you are correct, they are all bad, every last one of them. My bad.

Posted by
1619 posts

Poor Ken's thread...

James, that is not what I wrote that all TSAs are bad. Stop with the drama, please.

Obviously you did not read all my posts in this thread.

If you have not experienced any rudeness or abruptness from a TSA, then consider yourself extremely fortunate. I guess it's a win-win for you.

On that particular day, I just could not stand by and allow that TSA to make that elderly gentleman and the other people in the wheelchairs feel ashamed.

I just don't see how you cannot comprehend that.

What if that was his last trip in his entire life? And maybe he was really looking forward to it. It didn't have a good beginning because of that flustered TSA.

Did the elderly gentleman go on his trip and probably have a really good time? Most likely and I hope so.

TPWK

Posted by
31215 posts

This has certainly become a lively and spirited discussion! I suppose many of the replies are still "travel related", so they're "sort of" on topic.

Posted by
12117 posts

Grasiol, I simply stared

My only point was dont judge the whole by the exception. If you do, with age there won't be many folks you like .... or like you.

I you freaked out for six paragraphs. Im going to stand by my opinion that by and large the TSA guys do a good job ... while accepting the fact that you ran into an exception to the rule. They should be fired, but that was so obvious that I didn't think it necessary to say.

Maybe i have had such good luck because of the way and the attitude I have when I approach them. Generally speaking a friendly, pleasant positive attitude generates a similar reaction.

Posted by
1619 posts

freaked out? Lol. Ok.

James, surely you jest.

I find the lingo ironic coming from you since there have been plenty of posts written by you where you were adamant about your own personal feelings on certain topics.

You keep insinuating something about me that is not true.

I don't cause problems going through any security line!

And for some reason, you seem to have a problem with my sticking up for a few people who were made to feel ashamed because they needed assistance going through the security lines.

So to humor you, I will state it again - I was there and you were not. I saw and heard how those people were treated.

Lucky you that you can just breeze through the security line and be the TSA's best buddy.

I never wrote that the TSA should be fired.

Some coaching or rethinking of his position is up to him and his superiors. That job is not for everyone.

He had a bad day, but he is the one that freaked out on the passengers as I have stated in my other posts.

For some reason you cannot grasp that.

The tsa's attitude had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the wheelchair assisted people.

You still don't get that. And it is quite clear to me that you never will.

Posted by
12117 posts

Girasol,

I have uncovered our problem. I wasn't directing anything at you or your experience. I assume your description was accurate and if so, I hope they are punished. I was just pointing out that by and large the world is full of good people, then suggesting, not to you, but in general, with the right attitude one will it more likely to encounter good people and enjoy themselves. As the theme of your posts was a tangent from the main discussion, so was mine. Pece

Posted by
1619 posts

Thank you James for clarifying.

The way I was interpreting your post I thought you were targeting me and not reading the actual points. ✌️

Posted by
12117 posts

I have a tendency to look for the good, especially after what is probably [I hope] an isolated bad. Well, except when it comes to one group .... and we all know who that is.

Posted by
1659 posts

As someone who until a few years ago traveled weekly I have noticed one very strange thing about the TSA. At large busy airports they are no problem. Professional, getting the job done etc... At medium size airports (Nashville) it's hit or miss. And amazingly the smaller the airport the more harassment you may receive. It's like they have "visions of glory" dancing in their head.

My all time favorite was Mobile AL a few years ago. I had a numeric keypad you plug into a laptop (remember I am an accountant) the agent pulls it out and says "make it do something or you can't take it with you" . I tell him it has to plug into the laptop to "do something" . NOPE, I am not allowed access to any of my possessions in his possession. This farce goes on for a while with him threatening to take it away. Finally after they run it through the screening machine 3 times all by itself and dust it for explosives they decide it's not a bomb. I walk into the airport gift shop to buy a bottle of water... there on the wall is a display including these things. I was very tempted to buy one, take it back to the checkpoint and point out that they were selling these dangerous things inside security, but I passed :). And this is not atypical. They are generally nice at small airports, but screening may take twice as long!

Posted by
1619 posts

Since I don't fly out of smaller airports and fly out of Boston Logan for all my flights, I cannot compare. I can only recall my experiences through the large airports around the States.

Some TSAs handle their job very well while a few seem to be on the edge of a burnout.

A lot of them do their job. And those few that take it to a level they should not, can give the agency a bad name.

The large domestic ones I have flown through have mostly been without incident between passengers and agents. (And
International airports probably have incidents that I will never know about.)

With the situation of my coming to the defense of the older gentleman - (there is wee bit more to the story) -

When I addressed the agent, the older man smiled at me and nodded when I came to his defense. He looked tired.

I spoke directly to the TSA but did not yell. I was hoping to give the agent something to think about - maybe in his conscience, put himself or one of his family members in that same situation.

I don't regret it.
I felt I did the right thing. And with the other agent's apology on his partner's behalf, it sort of put an exclamation point on the situation. He knew his partner was out of line.

No one knows why the older man (or any of the others) needed a wheelchair - maybe he walked into the airport okay; maybe he had an incident where he needed to be transported to security to make it through okay to the plane. We will never know.

And it is not for anyone including the TSA to judge as to why someone is in a wheelchair.

Heathrow security is pretty good to very good. They keep things moving efficiently.

As I stated in a previous post, each time I had gone through the Italian airports, security has always been professional and very courteous. I can't recall any passenger incidents in those travels.

Posted by
2284 posts

Yes, Ken, air travel may be quite different when travel resumes.

Posted by
4348 posts

. . . and yet, with certain airport people still involved on some levels, some things won’t have changed.

Nevertheless, Happy Travels!

Posted by
12117 posts

I've been in 4 airports in 3 countries in the last 3 days. Not much different other than the number of people I've been on 3 flights, again not much different other than the masks and maybe a bit more organized getting on and off. If this is it at its extreme, I will not be surprised if things return to normal quickly.