Strict boarding groups and no snacks: Air New Zealand's new guidelines show what domestic air travel could look like for the near future

Air New Zealand is showing how its travel will be done. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Air New Zealand is resuming domestic flights – and, in the process, showing the rest of the world how it could be done.

The airline plans to operate around 20% of its usual domestic flights in line with New Zealand’s Level 2 restrictions.

This level allows domestic travel to restart, businesses and public places to reopen and gatherings both indoors and outdoors to have up to 100 people.

Air New Zealand released a YouTube video detailing the changes it’s making on its aircraft, which could signal how other airlines could adjust their own flight experience for the ‘new normal’.

Passengers will be encouraged to check-in through the company’s app. At the airport, every second self-serve kiosk will be open – to account for social distancing – and boarding will be done by zones.

Air New Zealand will be cleaning high touch surfaces regularly and will provide hand sanitiser across the airport, at its kiosks, service desks and planes.

When it comes to the flight itself, passengers will be spaced out with an empty seat between those travelling alone. Food and beverages won’t be allowed until at least May 25, with the airline also ditching its inflight magazine Kia Ora.

When the plane has landed, you won’t be able to go rushing for your luggage in the overhead lockers. Instead, you’ll be asked to stay seated until it’s your turn to get off the plane.

And of course, the airline warns that if you’re feeling sick, don’t travel.

“It would be appreciated if customers could exercise a bit of patience as everyone gets used to this new way of travelling,” Air New Zealand General Manager of Customer Experience Nikki Goodman said in a statement. “We’d also advise allowing a little more time to navigate through the airport process and be mindful of social distancing requirements.”

Doug Grant, Air New Zealand’s Senior Manager Customer Care and Communications added in the video, “We’re really excited to help get New Zealand moving again.”

Check out the video below:


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