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How-to guide when you return to the skies

Mindy Kershner / CVG Airport / November 6, 2020

If you haven’t traveled by air in a while, you may not know what to expect. Airports and airlines across the country have worked together to enhance cleaning procedures and prepare facilities and aircraft for the health and safety of passengers and employees. In this how-to guide you’ll learn what to expect as well as tips for flying during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planning your trip

Review your airport, airline and destination websites for travel guidance, relevant restrictions including COVID testing requirements, insurance policies and more. Links to relevant resources can be found at CVGairport.com/FlyHealthy. Be sure to arrive at the airport two hours before your scheduled departure to allow yourself time to socially distance, wash hands along the way and not feel rushed.


In addition to your everyday items, remember to pack several face masks, cleansing wipes and now you can bring 12 ounces of hand sanitizer with you in your carry-on bag. You can visit tsa.gov for a travel checklist or to view an infographic on “What to Know Before You Go.”


All parking at CVG has been consolidated to the Terminal Garage to minimize shuttling, ensure social distancing and continue offering convenient and safe parking for all passengers.


Plexiglass guards have been installed at all airline ticket counters and CVG has significantly increased the number of hand sanitizer stations for in between hand washing. When checking a bag or approaching any line or crowd, be sure to socially distance yourself from fellow travelers.

The airport’s housekeeping team has developed an intensive cleaning routine. All surfaces throughout the Terminal are wiped down and sanitized regularly throughout the day. This includes handrails on escalators and moving walkways. A new addition to the housekeeping team are autonomous floor-cleaning robots to allow housekeepers to focus on those other, important tasks like sanitizing and wiping down high-traffic areas.


There have been a number of updates at the security checkpoint to reduce physical contact with TSA officers. You no longer hand your boarding pass to the officer. You can scan your own pass, and then allow the officer to visually inspect it along with your identification. It’s helpful to remove belts and all items from your pockets such as wallets, keys and phones before you enter the checkpoint and place them in your carry-on bag instead of a bin. You can also remove food items from your carry-on bag and place in a bin for screening since these items often alarm the screener, and that way the officer doesn’t have to dig through your bag. You’ll be glad to know the officers wipe the bins down after each use, and TSA now allows you to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer on your flight.

For more COVID-19 updates related to going through the security checkpoint, visit tsa.gov/coronavirus.


Many shops and restaurants are open, but not all, and hours may vary. Those that are open are following their company policies on cleaning and sanitizing each location. This includes, but not limited to, regularly scheduled cleaning of all surfaces, increased cleaning in high-traffic areas, hand sanitizer available for customers, wearing of masks and gloves, and practicing physical distancing. Before you leave home, you can look up what is open and when at cvgairport.com/flyhealthy and click on the “Concessions” tab.

Gate area

Plexiglass guards have also been installed at gate check-in desks. Most gate areas include signage reminders and/or markers showing the proper distance travelers should allow between one another. Seats aren’t blocked to enable families to sit together, but again there are reminders to encourage social distancing and respect each other’s’ space. If a restaurant has a crowd, or you don’t have time to sit down to grab a bite to eat before your flight, you can get items to go and eat at your gate. Many concessions have increased the number of individually wrapped, prepared food.

Passenger in TSA Line Interacting with TSA Agent

Many airlines are boarding from the back of the plane to the front to minimize passengers walking past one another. The friendly gate agents remind passengers again to physically distance themselves when boarding the plane.

On the plane

All airlines operating out of CVG are requiring passengers to wear masks while on board. Airlines have also enhanced their cleaning procedures, spraying down seat areas, cabin walls, overhead bins and lavatories. And, all aircraft have HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters which can capture respiratory virus particles at more than 99.9% efficiency. These are the same filters used in hospitals and doctors' offices. You may be curious about that middle seat. It varies by airline – some are leaving it open, others are not. It’s also a policy that’s being updated often. It’s best to check with your airline before you travel. To learn more about what your airline has done, you can visit cvgairport.com/flyhealthy and click on the Airline Info tab.

One final pro tip to reiterate: Make sure to research your destination before you go especially during the pandemic. You’ll want to know what restrictions there may be. For example, look at what food and entertainment are close by and what their hours are for planning purposes. You can also determine if your destination requires COVID testing, where face masks are required and any other planning you can do beforehand to ensure your trip goes smoothly and exceeds your expectations. 😊

Airports across the world are working together to share best practices and develop a seamless travel experience for you. Once you land at your destination, you may see similar updates at your destination airport. We hope you find this how-to guide helpful for when you return to the skies. If you have further questions before your next trip, you can message the airport on Twitter or Facebook or contact your airline for additional details.

Two men looking through a window at a plane approaching Plane full of passengers