Travel in the New Normal
We continue to receive a lot of enquiries and questions about the post-Covid travel experience. What better way than to try it for ourselves, which we did at the end of July 2020. Our sales team are standing by to answer any questions you have about travelling in the New Normal.
Heathrow to Milan
The flight experience was almost normal. Everyone’s in a facemask, all over the terminal, temperature checks are taken before check-in and social distancing measures are in place everywhere. But in T5 most shops were open, restaurants serving and amenities available.
BA Business Class passengers will notice a difference in the Galleries Lounge. Table service instead of buffet, but with all the usual choices available. The plane is boarded in reverse, so the back row gets on first. This is perhaps the main drawback since Business Class passengers will be used to boarding first.
On board; masks on at all times, except when eating or drinking. The business class food service with BA was scaled back, a pre-prepared breakfast or lunch box instead of the usual hot options on china plates. Milan Malpensa had all the same social distancing measures in place, mask obligatory at all times in the terminal. A bit of extra hassle at the car hire desk as we had to speak to the call centre, which added about 15 minutes to the pick-up process, but we were through the airport and on the road in good time.
Personally, I was a little nervous about the travel experience but within 5 minutes of getting to Heathrow and seeing the set up, I felt reassured. Everyone behaved sensibly, all rules are followed and I felt safer there than walking around the local supermarket!
Club Med Pragelato Vialattea
This is a wonderful Club Med mountain resort
. We normally recommend this place heartily for ski holidays; it’s also a lovely destination in the Summer
. A unique village feel, offering Alpine charm that other Club Med resorts struggle to offer.
The weather was kind, allowing a lot of the food, drinks and entertainment to take place in the open air. Staff wore masks at all times when serving, guests were asked to have a mask on at all times when indoors. The only exception was when seated to eat or drink. I wasn’t sure if this would affect the atmosphere negatively, but it didn’t.
Capacity limits in all communal areas were well managed, but they did well to avoid making people feel unwelcome.
Hand sanitiser stations were in place throughout and staff actively encouraged their use prior to entering certain communal areas. Restaurants, bars, the boutique, swimming pool area and childrens' facilities were all equipped and well managed.
At the buffet, there were more pre-prepared dishes, all up to Club Med’s usual high standards. Staff serve you at all stations, clients must not touch the serving spoons or dishes. This added to the feeling of cleanliness and Covid-security.
The overall feeling at Club Med was that they've given a lot of thought to ensuring safety, which is a big positive. They've given just as much consideration to keeping it as close to a "normal" Club Med experience as possible, and they succeeded in this. If you're used to Club Med, then you'll notice differences but not that many. If you're new to it, then it's a still a fantastic all around experience!
Milan to Heathrow
Much the same on the inbound leg of our journey. Milan Malpensa was a lot busier on the departures side, with the vast majority of facilities open and active. Reduced capacity was in operation in all bars, restaurants etc which again offered us reassurance.
A funny anecdote developed on our inbound flight. As it was an evening return, and not having to drive home from Heathrow, I decided to indulge. An ice-cold Heineken was served with dinner and went down a treat. Having finished my food and drink, my facemask was back on and I asked the flight attendant for a Whisky. She reappeared with a lovely selection of biscuits! Communication with masks will take some getting used to, but one small error aside, I couldn't fault the overall experience.
We travelled in July 2020 and all experiences are relevant to that moment in time. You should ensure that you are fully informed about the current picture before booking.
For more information about post-Covid travel, you can call (0203 384 3300) or email our sales team. Also make sure that you check our Covid-19 guarantee. You can book in confidence that if lockdown restrictions do affect your holiday, you'll be protected.
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