In anticipation of jumping onto a plane and heading off into the blue yonder, below are a few travel rules that should become the new normal for when you take a flight. Of course, this is considering that COVID will not have been totally stamped out.

1. COVID scanners—yet to be created—should be installed at every entrance to the airport terminal.

2. Microchip everyone that has been vaccinated. It will alleviate the need to carry or lose one more piece of paper with your passport.

3. Hanging out in travel groups should be banned. Checking in at the airport will be faster, hence less time for any spread of contamination. We have all been in a queue at the airport where one person is handing over 20 passports while the owners of the said passports huddle together behind this one person. The limit should be one or two to enhance that feeling of progress in the line and eliminate any deep breathing on your neck from the rear.

4. Face masks should be worn at all times from the moment you enter the airport. Your name and flight number should be written in texta pen on the front of it—somewhat similar to posting a package. If you are catching multiple flights, you should wear numerous facemasks slung around your neck with each flight leg listed—change the face mask on completion of each leg of your flight. Check-in staff would not have to translate muffled replies through a face mask, if this was adopted.

5. The idea of disposable hazmat suits automatically flicked at you upon checking in for your flight would be worth considering—if it had a built-in breathing apparatus, even better.

6. No greetings such as hugging, kissing, bumping elbows or shaking hands. A graceful and straightforward 'bow' adhering to bowing etiquette used predominantly in Asian countries should be internationally adopted.

Notable points for this lower back workout include:

  • Bend at the waist with your back, knees, neck and head straight.
  • Do it in slow motion, and don't linger at the bottom of your bow—depending on your age, you might not be able to stand back up.

7. When seated on the plane, if the person or child behind you continually kicks the back of your chair, you should have access to a button that sends them an electric shock. Repeated use of this button is allowed if the annoyance does not cease.

8. Antiseptic gloves should be worn at all times and changed regularly—there would be no need to use the bathroom on a plane to wash your hands.

9. Toilet cubicles on planes require an automatic antiseptic misting system that sprays everywhere once the door closes after use. To dry the area and especially the floor, an army of miniature 3-legged origami designed 'tribots' would scurry around with disposable cloths. Upon completing their task, a spray would be released of a 'before you go' brand, such as 'Poo-Pourri' for the comfort of the next occupant.

The idea of everyone wearing incontinent pads for urination purposes only is probably taking the toilet contamination possibilities a bit far.

10. Wine should be in 750ml bottles instead of the little bottles that disappear in one big gulp. This is another attempt to limit service contact and nothing to do with the desire for more alcohol.

11. If a passenger totally ignores COVID health practices, they are given a parachute and asked politely to vacate the plane. There are no repercussions visited upon the air steward that ejected the person.

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.