OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 recently walked through the Oakland International Airport to preview some new safety protocols in place for flyers this holiday season.
The 2020 holiday travel rush is not expected to resemble the chaos of years past, with pandemic uncertainty cutting the demand for flights.
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However, some Bay Area residents may still catch a plane to visit loved ones near the end of the year.
If travelers opt to drive to the airport, their first point of contact will likely be the parking lot.
Airport officials have designed this drop-off to be a touch-free experience from entrance to exit.
Parking tickets will be automatically dispensed by a machine as vehicles enter the lot.
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To exit the lot, drivers will simply insert their ticket into a corresponding payment kiosk and swipe a credit or debit card to pay.
If travelers instead take public transit, the first point of contact with the airport will likely be the Oakland Airport BART station.
As people exit the train station, they will have access to hand sanitizer dispensers that line the path to the domestic terminal.
Upon entering the airport, travelers will reach the ticketing checkpoint.
In recent years, frequent flyers have shifted towards online check-in and electronic boarding passes, which are recommended to limit contact in the airport.
But if a passenger needs to check bags, there are airline kiosks available where they can get a boarding pass, attach luggage tags, and drop their belongings for loading onto their plane.
Hand sanitizer will be available to use at these baggage kiosks.
After passing through ticketing, holiday flyers will reach the airport security checkpoint.
There are two available options for passage through airport security: general boarding and TSA Precheck.
In the general boarding line, travelers must take off their shoes, load electronics into a bin, and pass through a full-body security scanner.
There are not many measures in place to help make this route a contact-free experience.
In TSA Precheck, passengers are able to avoid the COVID risk of shifting belongings around and removing their clothing.
Travelers simply need to walk through a metal detector and put their belongings through an X-ray machine.
Hand sanitizer will be available for use on the other side of the TSA Precheck station.
If passengers need to fill up their water bottles after going through security, there are several hands-free filling stations throughout the terminals.
If one plans to purchase food or a drink at the airport, officials recommend looking up what options are open online before arriving.
After passing through ticketing, security, and concessions, travelers will arrive at their flight gate.
Airport staff has devised public signage to ensure individuals socially distance while waiting for their flights to board.
Lastly, getting on the plane will also be a contact-free experience for holiday flyers.
The passenger simply scans their boarding pass or phone, and hand sanitizer will be made available before embarking.
While holiday travel will be different this year, the circumstances have not stopped airport officials from helping ensure travelers reach their destinations safely.
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