What You Need to Know about Flying
Ensuring the health and safety of the traveling public and airport workers is always our top priority. At Wichita Eisenhower National Airport, we are responding to the changing needs and are ready for your next journey.
The airport’s plan #ICTReadytoFly, is based on recommendations from the CDC and other health experts and designed to keep people safely distanced and protected from the spread of COVID-19.
We understand that some of you are anxious to travel again, and some of you are hesitant. We want to assure you that it’s cleaner, healthier and safer than ever to fly. When you are ready to travel, we are ready for you. Here is what you need to know.
- Wear a face mask while in the terminal and onboard your plane.
- Keep 6 ft. away from others.
- Do not travel if you have a fever or not feeling well.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
Currently passenger volumes are low enough that the TSA security lines are relatively short. You should allow enough time to check-in, complete a health assessment if your airline requires one, and get screened. However, when returning to Wichita from a larger airport, plan to arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for international flights. Pack your bags with the intention to expedite your trip through the airport. TSA allows 12 oz. hand sanitizer in your carryon bags. Pack snack items in a Ziploc bag inside your carryon as you will need to place it in the bin for screening.
FACE COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED
It is now mandatory that you wear face coverings onboard the airplane and in the terminal. If you do not, you may risk being on the airline’s do not fly list. The Air Capital Market sells masks and other PPE supplies. A vending machine located on the main floor next to the ATM also sells face masks and PPE supplies.
Refer to the CDC’s Interim Guidance on face coverings.
Visit this CDC website to see what is acceptable and how to make your own face covering.
PARKING AT THE AIRPORT
Currently the Park & Ride shuttle lot is closed. CASHIERLESS, automated pay station lanes are available at the Short-term lot, Economy lot, and Parking Garage. Only one level is open in the Parking Garage until travel demand increases.
ICT’s enhanced cleaning processes include electrostatic spraying, effective against many microorganisms dealt with on a daily basis. Cutting-edge disinfection products are used on high touch areas like seating, handrails, elevator buttons, escalators, restroom doors, ticketing kiosks and shuttle buses. Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the terminal. Plastic protective shields are installed at key high traffic areas with face-to-face customer interaction, including ticket counters, TSA checkpoint, boarding gates, information desk, and concession point-of-sale counters. Social distancing and health messaging have been placed on all terminal advertising monitor screens, along with periodic public address system announcements.
ICT has reduced its operational footprint and lowered overhead costs for cleaning and maintenance by closing the restrooms on the north end of the concourse and the Kids Play Area. Escalators are shut down at night for thorough cleaning.
CHECK-IN FOR YOUR FLIGHT
Check in for your flight at home or use your mobile device to reduce your need to touch things in the ticketing area. Be prepared to check your bags and have your travel documents verified. You will see social distancing labels on the floor at each ticket counter. Check with your airline for new check-in procedures and health guidelines that might impact your trip. Some airlines are requiring a health assessment to be completed at check-in.
TSA SECURITY CHECKPOINT
TSA is now allowing passengers to bring liquid hand sanitizer up to 12 oz in carry-on bags until further notice. You should expect that these containers — larger than the standard of 3.4 oz of liquids — will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to checkpoint screening. Passengers can scan their boarding passes but will have to present their ID to the Ticket Document Checker for verification. Instead of putting loose items in bins for screening, put them in your carry-on bag. Lower your face covering when instructed by security officers to verify your identity. Check with TSA and look for signage at the checkpoint on new screening procedures and health guidelines.
TSA officers wear face masks and clean bins with alcohol after each use. TSA Officers change gloves after every inspection and sanitize in between. The temperature of employees is taken at the beginning and end of their shifts.
DINING AND SHOPPING IN THE TERMINAL
Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick Fil A, River City Brewing, and the Air Capital Bar are open. Floor labels have been installed to remind you to social distance. Food can be ordered “to go” to eliminate close seating. Occupied tables are 6 feet apart from any other tables in all directions.
The Air Capital Market, located in the center of the terminal, is open and offers face masks, hand sanitizers, and other PPE supplies. You can also buy a variety of items such as snacks, drinks, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc. Scanners are available to customers who do not want employees to handle their purchases. All associates wear masks and have their temperature taken each day. Hand sanitizer is available for the customers to use at the registers.
Expect to see plastic guards and shields separating you from cashiers or servers.
BOARD YOUR FLIGHT
Several airlines are taking temperature checks prior to boarding. Please respect signage and closed areas to ensure your health and safety as well as other passengers. Follow boarding instructions provided by the gate agent.
Food and beverages will be limited, depending on your flight length. You can bring your own snacks and beverages, but remember – purchase your beverages after you clear screening. Snacks will also be screened so you may want to purchase those after screening as well. Bring reading material or something to do. Most of the airlines have removed the inflight magazines. Seat-back TVs may also be removed in some aircraft to reduce touchpoints. Bring a jacket or sweater in case blankets are not available.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING THE U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States. Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.
U.S. airlines want you to Fly Healthy and Fly Smart. The safety and well-being of all travelers is the airlines’ top priority. Airlines have been adding layers of protection that meet — and frequently exceed — CDC guidelines, from requiring facial coverings to enhancing cleaning protocols, such as electrostatic and fogging procedures.
In addition, as travelers begin to return to the skies, U.S. airlines encourage travelers to take precautions to further protect themselves and others. Learn about these precautions and how airlines are keeping you safe and healthy at Fly Healthy and Fly Smart.
As airlines continue to monitor travel demand, policies are likely to change. Stay current by visiting these airlines’ websites:
- Alaska Airlines Next Level Care
- Allegiant Air change and cancellation policies
- American Airlines change policies, cleaning and safety procedures
- Delta Air Lines change policies
- Frontier Airlines change and cancel policies
- Southwest Airlines policies and travel information
- United Airlines change policies
Other Helpful Websites
- TSA – Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.
- CDC – Travelers’ Resources
- State Travel Restrictions During COVID-19; A Complete Guide
- Country-by-Country Reopening Resource
- COVID-19: How Carriers are Working to Protect Travelers
- Transportation Security Administration
- Interactive Tool for Tracking Travel Restrictions Around the World
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Covid-19 Testing in Kansas