Air Travel Will Be Changing In 2020, Here’s What You Need To Know

By Kelsey Marie


With only a month left in this decade, everyone is preparing for the changes that will arise next year. The travel industry will be going through changes of its own, especially air travel. 

We experienced a lot of changes in air travel during this decade — both good and bad. Airlines began charging travelers to bring luggage, which is a pain, but at least airfare has become more affordable and we can access WiFi on flights. 

This decade has been vital for air travel but 2020 is going to be packed with more changes. 

Here’s how air travel will change in the upcoming year:

You’re Going To Need A Real ID

You better get started on securing your Real ID because starting October 2020, you won’t be able to fly without it. In case you didn’t know, a Real ID is either an enhanced driver’s license issued by your state of residence, a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or another form of Real ID-compliant ID with a star at the top of the card. 

Congress passed this law in 2005 but it’s only in 2020 that the law will be enforced. 

Carry-On Luggage Size Allowance Might Shrink

Unfortunately for us, carry-on luggage size allowance may be getting smaller. Ryanair and Wizz Air in the U.K. and Europe have already banned the standard carry-on luggage size. 

Reducing carry-on luggage allowance sizes means airlines will start charging for standard carry-on bags and setting their own standards of what a carry-on bag should look like. 

Less Legroom

Here comes unpleasant news for those with long legs…airlines may be getting rid of legroom. 

According to Sara Rathner, a travel expert at NerdWallet, “The FAA is testing to see if seating configurations get in the way of passengers’ ability to evacuate a plane within 90 seconds. But who knows, maybe in the future, we’ll stand on planes and hold onto straps like we’re riding in a sky subway.”

There Will Be An Increase On Sustainability 

From fashion to travel, it seems like companies are going the extra mile to become more sustainable. 

Michelle Martin, founder, and CEO of Travara, says: “I am hopeful that more airlines and government policies will take similar measures to decrease the negative impact flying has on the environment because, beyond that, the benefits of global travel are undeniable.”

Air France has already begun to reduce its carbon footprint. The airline has announced it will “offset 100 percent of its carbon emissions on its domestic flights in 2020, and France will soon be implementing an eco-tax on all flights departing out of France,” according to Reader’s Digest.

Emotional Support Animals May Be Required To Get More Training

Brining your emotional support animal with you on a flight? Your airline of choice may require your animal to receive more training.

Christine Benninger, President, and CEO of Guide Dogs for the Blind, says: “The title ‘Emotional Support Animal’ is losing the respect it deserves because it’s being abused by people who simply want to travel with their pets on board, free of charge. Because these emotional support animals are not required to have any training, there have been many incidents where these animals have lashed out at people and trained guide dogs, causing serious damage.”

Benninger predicts that airlines will start enforcing tighter rules, requiring animals to receiving licensing and additional training as an emotional support animal. 

Delta Will Start Limiting The Amount You Can Recline

According to the Los Angeles Times, if you fly Delta’s A320 planes, the airline will be reducing the amount you’ll be able to recline. A320 planes comprise about 7 percent of Delta’s fleet and are primarily used for domestic flights. 

You can currently recline four inches on A320 planes but in 2020, you’ll only be able to reline two inches. 

United Airlines Will Have MileagePlus Changes

If you’re a loyal Unite Airlines flyer, there will be changes in the upcoming year. 

The Points Guys tell Reader’s Digest, “you won’t be able to earn miles toward status tiers as you had been doing in the past. Now, you can only get your miles based on Premier Qualifying Points and Premier Qualifying Flights.”

Say Goodbye To Unlimited Drinks

Although it’s not set in stone, there have been predictions that unlimited drinks on international flights will soon be no more. 

Renee Rayles, publisher of Travel Guide Los Angeles, says, “With all the problems and issues with drunk airline passengers causing a variety of issues to distract flights, the serving of drinks seems to be much less than in previous years.”

More WiFi On Turkish Airlines

According to Reader’s Digest, Turkish Airlines has recently signed a deal with Global Eagle and Turkish telecom company Profen. This deal will enable over 100 aircraft in-flight WiFi. 

According to Paxes.Aero, passengers will be connected to high-speed internet for the duration of their flight. 

Travel Noire

Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie

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