Navigating the New Travel Landscape: How Airports Look Amid COVID-19

Airports have made a number of changes in response to COVID-19.
By Carrie Fediuk

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The focus of the Michigan Alumni Travel program is first and foremost on the health and safety of its travelers. We know the landscape of the travel world is changing with the current pandemic and want to provide you with the best information available. To that end, we have created a series of blog posts that will help you navigate travel when you are ready to get back out there. 

Today we focus on how airports look different.

Here are some of the changes you may experience when departing from the U.S., as noted in a recent New York Times article:

  • Travelers waiting in line to pass through security will see signs asking them to maintain distance from one another.
  • TSA agents will be wearing masks, gloves, and eye protection.
  • Travelers are being asked to scan their own boarding passes to limit contagion.
  • Expect to take food out of your bag and place it in a separate bin so agents do not have to come in contact with it.
  • Travelers stopping at an airline counter to check a bag will most likely find plexiglass separating them from the ticketing agent.
  • Travelers using a kiosk to check in or print a ticket may find one that does not require touching a screen.
  • Most airport restaurants and shops may be closed.

While other procedures should look familiar, one major change is worth noting: Travelers can now pack up to 12 oz. of hand sanitizer in their carry-on baggage.

Not surprisingly, your experience may vary by airport. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, for example, has a list of requirements and suspended programs and services that include airline lounge closures, limited ground transportation, and more. Check your local and connecting airports’ websites for more information before leaving home.


Michigan Alumni Travel trips are focused on the safety of our travelers. We will work closely with our tour operators to develop protocols to protect you throughout your trip, including during your flight.

Look for upcoming blog posts in this series around traveling safely.

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