May 15, 2020

What You Need to Know about Flying

#ICTReadyToFly

The employees at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport have been busy adapting to the impact of COVID-19 and are preparing for the return of passengers.

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.  At ICT, the health and safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority. 

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, you will need to know how to prepare.  Here is what you need to know.

BASIC INFORMATION

  • 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.

FACIAL COVERINGS

It is now mandatory that you wear face coverings onboard the airplane and in the terminal Face covering are required to wear at the gate prior to boarding.

Travelers are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering for their protection and for the protection of others during the screening process. A TSA officer may ask the traveler to adjust the mask to visually confirm their identity during the travel document checking process.

Refer to the airline’s website for up-to-date information.

Visit this CDC website to see what is acceptable and how to make your own face covering. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Airlines are reducing the number of seats that can be booked.  The airlines are either blocking the middle seats or aisle seats, depending on the aircraft and how full the flight is.  Families that want to sit together can. 

You may need to be reassigned your seat for weight and balance of the aircraft.

Each airline has different policies which will likely be updated as they monitor passenger demand.  Please refer to the airline’s websites for these policies.  

Alaska, Delta, and United are boarding from the rear to the front and boarding fewer customers at a time to minimize crowding. 

Southwest is boarding in groups of 10, maintaining distancing throughout the process.

ONBOARD FOOD AND BEVERAGES

  • These will be limited, depending on your flight length. 
  • Allegiant and United are serving prepackaged and sealed food and beverages. 
  • 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.

ALLEGIANT AND FRONTIER

Passengers are required to accept a health acknowledgement on their website or mobile app prior to completing check-in. Passengers are required to certify that:

  • Neither they nor anyone in their household has exhibited COVID19-related symptoms
  • They will check their temperature before heading to the airport and not travel if they have a fever
  • They will wash their hands/sanitize before boarding the flight

Beginning June 1, travelers flying Frontier Airlines will have their temperature checked before boarding.  Frontier said passengers will be screened with touchless thermometers prior to boarding. If a traveler’s temperature reading exceeds 100.4℉, they will be given time to rest before receiving a second check if there is time before boarding.  If the second reading exceeds 100.4℉, the passenger will not be able to board that day. Frontier said it will work with passengers to rebook traveler on a later date or “otherwise accommodate the traveler’s preferences with respect to their reservation.”

TSA

  • 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.
  • TSA officers wear face masks and clean bins with alcohol after each use.
  • Passengers can scan their boarding passes but will have to present their ID to the Ticket Document Checker for verification
  • Officers change gloves after every inspection and sanitize in between
  • The temperature of employees is taken at the beginning and end of their shifts

AIRPORT ENHANCEMENTS

ICT enhanced its cleaning processes with electrostatic spraying.  It is effective against many microorganisms we deal with on a daily basis.  The mist naturally clings to the entire surface it is sprayed on and wraps itself around the surface to disinfect all of it.  This is not a replacement for our standard daily cleaning methods but is another step that we can take to kill a variety of sickness-causing germs and viruses.

In addition to electrostatic spraying, Airport Custodians use using cutting-edge disinfection applications and products on high touch areas like  seating, handrails, elevator buttons, escalators, restroom doors, ticketing kiosks and shuttle buses.

Other changes include:

  • Increasing hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal for passengers.
  • Posting personal hygiene educational signage in the restrooms.
  • Posting personal hygiene educational signage in the restrooms.
  • Coordinating with our airline and tenant partners to monitor and address changes in the status of our region’s health.
  • Plastic protective shields have been installed at key high traffic areas with face-to-face customer interaction, including ticket counters, the TSA security checkpoint, boarding gates, the 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.
  • Face coverings will be worn by all employees in the public areas of the terminal. Passengers and visitors are highly recommended to wear face coverings inside the terminal.

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
  • Closing the Kids Play Area
  • Escalators are shut down at night for thorough cleaning; elevators are operating

PARKING

  • CASHIERLESS, automated pay station lanes are available at the Short-term lot, Economy lot, and Parking Garage.  Until further notice, Park and Ride is closed.
  • Only one level is open in the Parking Garage until travel demand increases.

RETAIL STORES

  • Face masks and hand sanitizer will be sold in the Air Capital Market.
  • Counters, credit card machines and cooler handles are cleaned regularly
  • Scanners are available to customers who do not want employees to handle their purchases
  • Associates have the option of wearing masks and gloves to wear
  • Hand sanitizer is available for the customers to use at the registers

RESTAURANTS

Dunkin’ Donuts is currently open and Chick Fil-A is scheduled to open in mid to late June.  Floor stickers have been installed to mark 6 ft. distances.  Food is set up “to go” to eliminate close seating.  Occupied tables will be 6 feet apart from any other tables in all directions.

OTHER TIPS

  • Bring reading material or something to do.  Chances are the inflight magazines have been removed.  Seat-back TVs may also be removed in some aircraft to reduce touchpoints.
  • Bring a jacket or sweater in case blankets are not available. 
  • Download your airline’s app and use mobile boarding passes to limit using kiosks and touchpoints.

AIRLINE WEBSITES

As airlines continue to monitor travel demand, policies are likely to change. Stay current by visiting these airlines’ websites:

Media Contacts

Valerie Wise

Air Service & Business Development Manager

(316) 946-4780

Brad Christopher

Assistant Director of Airports

(316) 946-4700

Victor White

Director of Airports

(316) 946-4700

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