As domestic flights resumed earlier last month, airports have had to adapt to the changing health guidelines. In a bid to provide a safe travel experience to both passengers and staff, the Kempegowda International Airport has revamped its services with the Bangalore International Airport Limited&rsquos (BIAL) introduction of a Parking-to-Boarding contactless journey.
Parking tickets will be dispensed electronically and payments made digitally. The cash and card payments will require extra caution. The process begins at the terminal gates where the doormats are soaked in bleach to disinfect footwear going in and out of the terminal. Face masks are mandatory, as are carrying pre-printed or e-boarding passes. Along with the usual checking of the boarding pass and a government-issued photo ID (through a magnified glass screen or using electronic equipment), you will also need to show the &ldquoYou are safe&rdquo message on the Aarogya Setu app, and undergo thermal screening.
Self-service kiosks will be the norm hereon, and for those of you who hate waiting in check-in lines, this comes as a blessing in disguise. We&rsquore grasping at the silver lining here, folks. It&rsquos been quite a year. Anyway, back to your regular programming. Luggage tags printed, head to your airline&rsquos bag drop counter. For the uninitiated, the airport also has an assisted option. For now, only one handbag and one check-in bag is allowed, as per the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) mandate.
The baggage drops are installed with transparent partitions, safety distance markers, sensors to scan boarding passes, and you&rsquoll have to flash your ID again for the airline to accept your baggage. For the airlines with Self Bag-Drops, on duty staff will ensure that passengers don&rsquot come in contact with the machines.
There are hand sanitisers both pre- and post-security check, the kind you don&rsquot have to touch to operate, the boarding pass will be scanned at a kiosk, and you&rsquoll have to deposit all your belongings in a tray before walking through the Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMD). Trays are sanitised after every use and the DGCA has suspended stamping of the boarding pass.
Dining and retail options at the airport have also gone contactless. You can pre-order your food by scanning a QR code on your phone, and the food will be delivered to your location of choice within the terminal. Digital payments are encouraged while placing the order, of course. The airport terminal is dotted with touch-free sanitisers as well, just in case.
Airline staff will distribute face masks, face shields and sanitisers to all passengers at the boarding gates, which you will have to use in order to board. Yes, you&rsquoll have to switch out your bejewelled mask for the new one, there are bio-waste collection bins for you to dump out the previous gear. Another boarding pass scan and temperature check later, you&rsquore allowed to board.
For passengers in need of assistance like strollers or wheelchairs, staff will be in protective gear and the equipment&mdashincluding trolleys&mdashwill be sanitised after every use.
As a general rule of thumb, the safety distance markers must be followed, and passengers will not be allowed to wander outside of the transit area upon arrival. Once out of the terminal, taxi boarding areas are fumigated regularly, and drivers screened before each trip. Masks all around, of course. As a blanket rule, everything will be sanitised and fumigated at regular intervals, including the passengers. Air-conditioning will also be controlled to avoid airborne transmission.