Touchless Travel Technology Interventions in Air Travel

Airlines industry has the reputation to be among the first to adopt innovative technological interventions. How quickly airlines will be able to restore confidence among the travelers will depend, among other factors, how airlines use technology to meet this end? The way tech interventions have been used and will be used in future in response to this Covid 19 has changed the way pandemics are handled on mass scale. This means that the technology companies which are directly involved in providing technology solutions to airlines and/or airports will be required to put their creative minds to work. And, these companies are already responding to this vital need of the airlines now.

One of these companies is Elenium Technologies which is based in Australia. It is a leader in the usage of touchless technology that finds multiple uses at airports. Recently, it was in news for developing special kiosk machines which not only provide touchless check-in facility but are also able to monitor the temperature and heart rate of the person. It can make these checks on health of the person from a distance of 1.5 meters. This self-service touchless device will automatically suspend the process if the vital parameters are not found to be okay. It can be placed at various touch points at airport, such as kiosks, baggage drop counters, immigration and security check points. These act as screening stations for detecting Covid 19 patients.

Another important innovation done by Elenium is to develop ‘hands free’ technologies which work on voice recognition in multiple languages and head movement detection. These interventions can be used during the check-in process for all self-service devices which will minimize the risk of transmission of virus.

These technologies are being tested in the real life situations where there are many passengers a lot more noise. However, technological innovations like these are expected to be the new normal in times to come. These will also go a long way in inspiring confidence among people to take to skies once again. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be used for varied purposes.


How Will Air Travel Change After Covid-19?

One industry which has been hardest hit due to the Covid-19 outbreak is hospitality industry, which includes the airlines as well. Due to its very nature that it can silently cause infection which can remain asymptomatic for many days and which can be deadly, all such economic activity which requires person to person interaction has been halted world over for over weeks. Nations have imposed lockdowns, people are required to self-isolate and quarantine and strict laws have been enacted to implement the same. People have been asked to observe self-hygiene, wear masks, do social distancing and take all steps necessary for prevention of spread. Quite naturally, economies have been hit hard. Demand has dropped worldwide. Confidence of the people in person-to-person interactions has shaken. All avoidable interactions will be avoided. The same will also remain true for the airlines.

There is a big question mark over how the people will behave when it comes to taking a flight. The airline will have to do much to inspire confidence among the people. This will take some time but our creative ad agencies are capable of sending the right communication through mass media. However, in addition to spreading the right messages, the airlines will have to prepare the ground work in the changed circumstances. It would be for their own benefit to make the changes as business is not going to be usual for a long time. The new normal will have to be set. In future, those airlines will be preferred for travel which prove to be best in terms of providing safety against virus and infections.

Airlines will not be alone in setting this new normal. Airport authorities have to chip-in as well. Passengers first arrive at airport. There are certain common facilities which airport authorities provide. Whether it is the parking lots, waiting lounges, restrooms, lifts, escalators, shops, check-in kiosks, ATM machines and other areas, airport authorities have to step up infection prevention.

FOUR MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES

  • Liberal use of sanitizers
  • Mandatory wearing of masks by all-passengers, airport authorities, airline staff and everyone.
  • Follow social distancing norms
  • Reduction in usage of paper as far as possible

Parking-lots

  • Facility-level spraying of disinfectants
  • Once a new car is parked, it shall be sanitized.
  • Trolleys for carriage of baggage shall be sanitized after every use.
  • Wearing mask compulsory from parking lot itself. Entry to parking to be allowed only after ensuring that passenger and companion puts on mask.
  • Provision to give masks right at the parking lot in case the passenger has forgotten to bring one.

Airport Entry/Exit

  • Sanitization of passenger hands.
  • Social distancing for parking cars (markings for car parks).
  • Thermal scanning for temperature.
  • Sanitization of trolleys and baggage.
  • Downloading and activation of contact tracing mobile apps for respective countries.
  • Thermal scanners for people entering or exiting airports.

Airport Common Areas

  • Frequent sanitization and deep cleaning.
  • Social distancing norms for seating or standing.

Check-in and Security Clearances

  • Social distancing norms to be followed while in queues.
  • Kiosks installed with thermal scanners.
  • Countries might mandate “Covid-19 Free” certification before air travel.
  • There might be introduction of Rapid Tests at airports, provided these have high level of accuracy. This might be a good way to avoid people getting quarantined mandatorily after arrival.

Inside Airplanes

The cabin experience inside the airplanes is also likely to change in the wake of this outbreak.

  • Car seats might come with a protective plastic or glass sheet that would keep two passengers seated next to each other separated.

avio interiors seat design

  • Passengers would be allowed to bring their own meals.
  • Sanitizers might be provided on-board and the restrictions on personal carriage of these liquids inside cabin would remain as before.
  • Pet travel might be restricted or curtailed in short term inside cabin and there might be a need of Covid 19 certification from the vet for allowing travel.
  • There might be a revision of policies pertaining to special needs passengers as the high risk ones might not be allowed to fly.
  • You might find cabin crew wearing protective gear or full suits made of protective clothing. AirAsia has introduced on as shown below:

airasia cabin crew protective dress

 

(Disclaimer: The ideas expresses in this article are of the author himself. These may or may not be implemented by the airlines.)


What Are Charges for Delta Airlines Flight Changes?

Delta has waived off the flight change charges for all flights departing in March and till September 30, 2020. This waiver is also applicable for all tickets booked between March 1 and May 31, 2020.

If changes to flights or tickets are done during the “24 hours Risk Free period”, there is no charge for the tickets and just the fare difference is to be paid.

After this “24-hour Risk Free Period” changes to Base Economy Fare tickets are not permitted. For non-refundable tickets on other classes, change invites charges of $200-500 and the fare difference is to be paid as well. For refundable tickets, there is no charge and only fare difference is to be paid.

If flight or ticket change is to be done within 24 hours of flight departure time, it is not allowed in Basic Economy ticket but can be done for refundable and non-refundable tickets on other classes on condition that seats are available and by paying charges starting from $75.


Which Mexican Cities Are Connected to Los Angeles With Non-stop Flights?

Which all cities in Mexico can you fly from Los Angeles in USA with direct flights? Though a number of destinations in Mexico can be reached using connecting flights that have one or more stops in between, the direct flights are rather limited to some of the cities only.
The Mexican cities where you can fly non-stop from Los Angeles are:

City Airport Code
Cancun CUN
San Jose del Cabo SJD
Guadalajara GDL
Mexico City MEX
Puerto Vallarta PVR
Morelia MLM
Mazatlan MZT
Zacatecas ZCL
Aguascalientes AGU
Monterrey MTY
Manzanillo ZLO
Loreto LTO

Click on the links above to know which airlines provide LAX to Mexico flight tickets and on what days and times these operate.
Please note that the time and dates can change without prior notice. Therefore, it is always a good practice to check with the airline you are booked with for any changes in the schedule a few days before the scheduled flight time.
If you have any query regarding the fares, airlines, flights, cabin classes, baggage, check-in, special assistance, refunds, cancellations, changes to itinerary or any other, do feel free to write to us using the form below. We reply within 24 hours.


Which Cities of USA And Mexico Are Connected By Non-stop Flights?

United States shares its southern border with Mexico. Mexico is largely a Spanish and English speaking country. Similarly, the southern states of United States also have large Spanish speaking communities. Mexican immigrants have also settled in US in large numbers, particularly in southern states. The close people to people contacts between the two countries results in good degree of air travel. People from US visit Mexico for its beaches, resorts, historical sites, monuments, cultural elements and other wonders.

There are a number of connecting flights between different cities of USA and Mexico but it is the non-stop flights between the cities of two countries which provide quickest medium of transportation.

Following are the 31 cities in United States which connect with Mexican cities with direct flights:

  1. Los Angeles (LAX)- Check flights from LAX to Mexico cities
  2. Chicago (ORD)- Check flights from ORD to Mexico cities
  3. Houston (IAH)- Check flights from IAH to Mexico cities
  4. Houston (HOU)- Check flights from HOU to Mexico cities
  5. Dallas (DFW)- Check flights from DFW to Mexico cities
  6. Phoenix (PHX)- Check flights from PHX to Mexico cities
  7. New York (JFK)- Check flights from JFK to Mexico cities
  8. Newark (EWR)- Check flights from EWR to Mexico cities
  9. Miami (MIA)- Check flights from MIA to Mexico cities
  10. Austin (AUS)- Check flights from AUS to Mexico cities
  11. Las Vegas (LAS)- Check flights from LAS to Mexico cities
  12. Boston (BOS)- Check flights from BOS to Mexico cities
  13. Charlotte (CLT)- Check flights from CLT to Mexico cities
  14. Atlanta (ATL)- Check flights from ATL to Mexico cities
  15. Denver (DEN)- Check flights from DEN to Mexico cities
  16. San Francisco (SFO)- Check flights from SFO to Mexico cities
  17. Washigton DC (IAD)- Check flights from IAD to Mexico cities
  18. Baltimore (BWI)- Check flights from BWI to Mexico cities
  19. New Orleans (MSY)- Check flights from MSY to Mexico cities
  20. San Diego (SAN)- Check flights from SAN to Mexico cities
  21. San Jose (SJC)- Check flights from SJC to Mexico cities
  22. Fresno (FAT)- Check flights from FAT to Mexico cities
  23. Orlando (MCO)- Check flights from MCO to Mexico cities
  24. Detroit (DTW)- Check flights from DTW to Mexico cities
  25. Nashville (BNA)- Check flights from BNA to Mexico cities
  26. Salt Lake City (SLC)- Check flights from SLC to Mexico cities
  27. Indianapolis (IND)- Check flights from IND to Mexico cities
  28. Cincinnati (CVG)- Check flights from CVG to Mexico cities
  29. Portland (PDX)- Check flights from PDX to Mexico cities
  30. Minneapolis (MSP)- Check flights from MSP to Mexico cities
  31. Louis (STL)- Check flights from STL to Mexico cities

These cities connect with the following 29 Mexican cities with non-stop, direct flights:

  1. Cancun
  2. San Jose del Cabo
  3. Guadalajara
  4. Mexico City
  5. Puerto Vallarta
  6. Morelia
  7. Mazatlan
  8. Zacatecas
  9. Aguascalientes
  10. Monterrey
  11. Manzanillo
  12. Loreto
  13. Leon
  14. Cozumel
  15. San Luis Potosi
  16. Santiago de Queretaro
  17. Tampico
  18. Merida
  19. Heroica Veracruz
  20. Oaxaca
  21. Acapulco
  22. Puebla de los Angeles
  23. Chihuahua
  24. Ixtapa
  25. Durango
  26. Chihuaha
  27. Torreon
  28. Huatulco
  29. Hermosillo

The fact that so many Mexican and US cities are connected cements the fact that Mexico is one of the most popular destination for Americans.


Are there Direct Flights From USA to India?

United States and India are connected in a limited way with non-stop or direct flights. Only 2 Indian cities, New Delhi and Mumbai, are connected to 5 US cities with non-stop flights from USA to India.

The airlines operating these flights from US to India and their flight schedules are given in the table below. This information can help you in planning a travel between the country countries using direct flights.

Besides these direct flights, there are a number of single, double or multiple stop flights which touch down on an intermediate location.

Flights to New Delhi from USA

The cities which are connected to New Delhi from USA are San Francisco, New York, Newark, Chicago and Washington.

United Airlines connects San Francisco and Newark to New Delhi whereas Air India connects San Francisco, New York JFK, Chicago ORD and Washington IAD to New Delhi DEL.

Details of flight schedule are given below.

San Francisco-New Delhi (SFO-DEL) Flights
United Airlines 7:15 PM 11:45 PM (next day) 16 h All days except Friday
Air India 10:30 AM 3:15 PM (next day) 16 h 15 m All days except Tuesday
Air India 1:00 PM 6:00 AM (next day 16 h 30 m Saturday, Monday, Wednesday
New York-New Delhi (JFK-DEL) Flights
Air India 1:30 PM 12:55 PM (next day) 13h 55m All days
Newark-New Delhi (EWR-DEL) Flights
United Airlines 9:45 PM 9:30 PM (next day) 14h 15m All days
Chicago-New Delhi (ORD-DEL) Flights
Air India 12:00 PM 1:05 PM (next day) 14h 35 m All days
Washington-New Delhi (IAD-DEL) Flights
Air India 11:25 AM 11:00 AM (next day) 14h 05m Sunday, Wednesday, Friday

Flights to Mumbai from USA

Only 2 US cities are connected to Mumbai with non-stop flights. These are New York and Newark. While Delta Airlines connects New York to Mumbai, Air India and United Airlines connect Newark to Mumbai.

Check out the details of airlines operating these routes and their flight schedule.

New York- Mumbai (JFK-BOM)
Delta Airlines 9:05 PM 9:35 PM (next day) 15h All days
Newark-Mumbai (EWR-BOM)
Air India 12:45 PM 1:00 PM (next day) 14h 45m All days
United Airlines 8:05 PM 8:40 PM (next day) 15h 5m All days

 

 


Delta Airlines Tech for Extreme Weather Operations, Parellel Reality And Exoskeletons

delta airlines

That technology can come to aid operations of airlines and improving customer experience was again at demonstration at the CES show in Las Vegas. Delta Airlines announced two new measures which it is working on and which are likely to help in smooth operations and higher passenger satisfaction in times to come.

Extreme Weather Operations

The first of these measures is the use of simulation technology to find the way for airline operation even during the extreme weather conditions. It is notable that extreme weather conditions play havoc on airline operations in US year after year leading to cancellations, delays and rerouting of flights which together cause enormous loss to the airline, not to speak about the really bad experience for the passengers. The technology will work through multiple variables during extreme weather conditions to find the best possible way a flight can operate. The system will be using the operational data to test run different scenarios and define the outcomes in future assuming that there are 1000 airplanes in sky at any given time.

Parallel Reality

parellel reality delta airlines

This technology allows multiple passengers to view on a single screen their respective tailored journey related content simultaneously. This technology will assist multiple flyers to find their ways, directions to departure gates and other locations as per their respective requirements. The tech is being tested in partnership with Misapplied Sciences at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, at Concourse A of McNamara Terminal of the airport.

The passengers who want to make use of this tech will be required to scan their boarding pass and select language.

Exoskeletons

delta exoskeletons

What would you say for a person who lifts 200 pounds of weight again and again for about 8 hours? You might call him a super human. Well, consider calling it an Exoskeleton. Delta Airline is introducing this technology of wearable robotic suites which can lift up to 200 pounds of weight repeatedly for 8 hours. These suites will be powered by battery and are designed to help the freight handlers enormously. Sarcos Robotics has partnered with Delta for testing this technology.


AA to Test Google Assistant Interpreter Mode for Multilingual Support

american airlines google assistant

International Airports are truly cosmopolitan places because there can be hundreds of nationalities present at a single time and these might be speaking hundreds of languages as well. For this reason, airlines do make it a point to have multi-lingual airport assistants who can assist with translation of some of the most common languages. What if these assistance are not available and English is not the best medium to communicate? Well, that will be a harrowing experience for the passengers. This linguistic barrier is expected to be broken soon as a pilot project is being undertaken by American Airlines wherein it will seek the Google Assistant technology support in its Interpreter mode for doing translations.

To begin with this tech is being used at the Los Angeles International airport Admirals Club lounge of the airline. Using this technology, it is possible to translate about 29 different languages. This technology can also be used by the airlines at their information desks which will help in clear understanding of what customer is saying and also in providing clear guidance and correct answers. The benefit is obviously in terms of reduced confusion, improvement in airport dynamics and operations, superior customer experience and higher customer satisfaction.

American Airlines had earlier introduced some initiatives aimed at making the check-in process simpler. These were the online virtual 3D aircraft tours and redesigned kiosks. Biometric boarding is another area where the US airline companies are investing heavily and AA is no exception. This will help in clear identification of the passengers for the purpose of boarding the planes.


First American Airline to Be Emissions Free on US Domestic Sector Routes

jetblue-airlines-1

Guess the airline which will be the first to be emissions free on domestic routes in USA?

This is the JetBlue airline. The airlines has announced that it will be a carbon emissions free airline by beginning of July as it will be able to offset all its emissions. Please do note that the airline industry is one of the largest contributors of carbon emissions which lead to global warming. The industry has taken this work of reducing the emissions seriously by a slew of measures. Now, the airline can not reduce the emissions beyond a point, the companies work out other ways to offset the balance. These include contributing to forest conservation, capturing and reusing methane and other ways.

In specific reference to JetBlue, the carrier has announced that all flights from San Francisco International Airport will be flying on sustainable fuel which has 80 percent less carbon footprint that the fossil fuels which airline normally use. This is a direct way of reducing the carbon emissions.

However, the airline goes beyond it to invest in carbon offsets. This is called buying the offsets. These measures include donating to projects of environmental conservation, reducing, capturing and using methane gas from landfill sites, expanding use of solar and other non-renewable energy sources wherever this is feasible.

For the international routes as well, the airline is planning to have a concrete plan in place for becoming a zero emissions airliner.


United Airlines New Routes from California

united airlines new flights from california

There is a good news for flyers of United Airlines from California. The airline has started new routes from California.

The airline is returning to operate flights from Santa Maria which it stopped in 2016. Prior to 2016, it has been operating flights from SMX airport of Santa Maria since 1987.

Santa Maria to Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be the three route getting operational from June 4, 2020. These will be serviced by 50-seater Bombardier CRJ200 airplanes.

Besides, the airline will also be serving the Milwaukee to San Francisco route beginning June 4, 2020.

The airline is also going to introduce a shuttle like service between Newark and Reagan National Airport of Washington (DCA).

On the international sectors, the airline is planning four new flights to Tokyo Haneda (HND) airport.

It shall be noted that the airline is growing rapidly which will required a growth in capacity of about 4-6% on annual basis. In this expansion plan, the airline is paying good attention to its Denver hub. It has already sought increasing the number of gates at the airport for its flights.