Today I had the unique opportunity to visit Laguardia Airport (LGA) and see firsthand what Delta Air Lines is doing to keeping you safe during COVID19. All of the safety steps taken by Delta Airlines shown here in Laguardia Airport are being used in all other airports Delta Air Lines has operations and when you interact with a Delta employee.
At the same time, I learned more about the upcoming construction as New York finishes construction at one of the worst airports in modern history. Laguardia Airport in New York City sits on prime real estate. Still, it is often referenced as a “Third World Airport” because of how inconvenient it is and the amount of delays travelers will often face. Be sure to keep checking VincentWong.info as the LGA Airport Construction post is coming soon!
The Check-In Process
Throughout the entire process beginning from the moment you enter Laguardia Airport, masks are required. The check-in counters are very easy to spot and conveniently located within steps of the curb, where you will see Delta has added plexiglass shields, hand sanitizer, and signage to ensure safe social distancing.
Each passenger will be given a Delta Cares packet, which includes two single-use Purell Hand Sanitizers and a face mask. For travelers who do not have a mask, lose their mask, or need a replacement, a Delta Cares packet with a new mask and hand sanitizer is readily available from any Delta Kiosk or Customer Service location.
Delta Sky Club
Delta has also changed the way that the Sky Club operates. With increased touch-free points throughout starting with a modified Check-In area with plexiglass, hand sanitizers, and face masks available to the bar with plexiglass and a printed menu of the upgradable options to avoid points of contact and the change from the open buffet to pre-packaged foods which is great if you want to bring a meal with you onboard your next flight!
One of the places that travelers are most concerned about is the waiting area and boarding zones, as it is generally tough to follow social distancing, but the great people at Delta have it figured out!
In the waiting area with the seats, travelers will see seats with Social Distancing stickers where they are spaced out to help increase social distancing; however, you may still sit next to them if you are sitting with your family or immediate friends.
To reduce the number of people standing around close to each other, Delta has changed its boarding process to begin boarding from the back of the plane forward in groups of 10 and not utilizing the boarding zones. However, if you are seated in First Class, Delta One, or a Diamond Medallion, you may board whenever you wish during the boarding process.
The gate agent desk has been modified with Plexi Glass, and the check-in table is now touch-free, where passengers will scan their boarding passes from their phone or their physical ticket. Face masks and hand sanitizer are readily available at the gate agent desk.
Upon entering the jetbridge, travelers will see social distancing markers to let travelers know where to stand. Enforcing the concept of social distancing
Delta is currently blocking all middle seats unless passengers specifically request to sit together in the middle seat, such as families. All Delta planes are currently being flown at 60% occupancy, leaving some extra rows in the back of the plane empty for guests who may have a medical need not to wear a mask have a safe area to sit away for guests who can physically wear a mask.
All planes are sanitized during their stay in the airports, and there is no better way to learn how the aircraft is sanitized than from Juan, one of the specialists who sanitizes the aircraft after each flight.
Delta Aircrafts also have stated the airt filtration systems that ventilate the air from top to bottom using HEPA filters that remove 99.99% of particles, including viruses. The air in the cabin is replaced with outside air or filtered through the HEPA filter and recirculated at least 20 times per hour. Cabin air is also never stagnant in the aircraft as it is continuously flowing through air filtration systems. Just take a look at this infographic to learn more.
As of today, August 6, 2020, in-flight meals and beverage services are suspended for the basic economy and main cabin. First Class and Comfort + will continue to receive complimentary beer and wine, First Class will receive complimentary Flight Fuel Boxes, and Delta One flights overseas will receive a full meal. All passengers will receive hand sanitizer packets and a bottle of water upon boarding.
What if I cannot wear a mask?
Delta has thought about it all! We all know that medical conditions may exist that may not be fully visible that prevents you from wearing a mask. To ensure that guests who have a medical necessity do not wear a mask; delta has initiated a Clearance-to-Fly protocol in the airport where a complimentary virtual medical consultation will be provided by a medical doctor facilitated by a Delta Check-in Agent to ensure the traveler has a true medical necessity not to wear a mask. If the medical doctor in the virtual consultation cannot determine a medical necessity not to wear a mask, the passenger will have the option of wearing a mask or a refund of their ticket. A Clearance-To-Fly is required for each trip.
I believe that Delta is doing an excellent job of handling the pandemic, and regardless of your opinions on whether a mask is required, the concept is it is better safe than sorry. I thank Delta for all the work they have put into keeping passengers safe and hopefully bringing tourism back sooner rather than later. Delta Airlines is my preferred airline of choice, which helps solidify me as a continued traveler on Delta! Let me know your opinions in the comments below.