DES MOINES, Iowa — As the normally travel-heavy summer months approach, the Des Moines International Airport is seeing a little more traffic, even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
That said, you can expect some new procedures to be put in place.
Des Moines International Airport Communications Director Kayla Kovarna says the number of travelers for this year is down about 95% from this point in 2019.
But because the numbers are growing, if only slightly, Kovarna says the airport will implement plexiglass barriers, deep cleaning protocols and social distancing measures implemented within the next week.
On top of that, many individual airlines are now requiring all passengers to wear masks.
TSA workers say they're also doing their part to help combat the virus.
"We [clean] a couple times a shift," one worker Local 5. "We clean out all the bins and we sanitize the tables and bowls we have that people put stuff in; basically anything that passengers would be touching.
The boarding process will be different too, loading from the back of the plane to the front instead of vice versa. Things will look different once you're on the plane, too.
"The airlines are using medical-grade filtration systems in the aircrafts to make sure passengers are safe," Kovarna said. "But it is really important to continue wearing face coverings."
With so much change in people's daily lives, airport staff believes there will be higher expectations for sanitizing going forward, even after things get back to "normal."
"We want people feeling comfortable as they come through the terminal," Kovarna said. "They know we've been cleaning, the airlines have increased all of their cleaning as well, so we are excited and ready to welcome passengers back."
Another change to keep in mind: right now, when buying plane tickets, the aisle and window seats are available, but not the middle seats.
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