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The World’s Busiest Airport Goes Smoke-Free

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The world’s busiest airport is making a dramatic change sure to affect thousands of customers.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which has been the world’s most-trafficked airport in terms of passengers since 2000, went smoke-free starting Thursday, Jan. 2.

“In an effort to maintain the health, safety and welfare of the traveling public the City of Atlanta has passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping inside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ref. no, 19-O-1205),” the city of Atlanta said in a statement. “In accordance with this smoking ban, all smoking rooms inside the airport will close on January 2, 2020.”

Many U.S. citizens who are accustomed to smoking bans in public buildings and parks, as well as restaurants, will likely not have too much to say. However, foreign travelers who are used to smoking in their home countries and home airports might find the ruling difficult to comply with.

To that end, the airport said in a statement it will launch a 30-day accommodation package and give out complimentary lozenges to passengers with limited access to the exterior smoking zones. To receive the complimentary lozenges, visit concessions locations in Terminals A, B, C, D, E and F.

ATL has designated smoking areas (smoking zones) outside of the domestic and international terminals. These designated smoking zones are located at least 25 feet from the Terminal entrance. Persons under the age of 18 are prohibited from smoking in designated smoking zones.

The airport defines smoking as “inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying a lighted tobacco product including cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco. Vapor products are defined as any noncombustible product containing nicotine that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit, or other electronic, chemical, or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size that can be used to produce vapor from nicotine in a solution or other form. It includes any electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device and any vapor cartridge or other container of nicotine in a solution or other form that is intended to be used with or in an electronic device.”

Persons who violate the ordinance are subject to a civil penalty up to a $200 fine.

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Airlines Scaling Back On Some In-Flight Services Due to Coronavirus

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A few airlines, including those already affected by the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back on some in-flight services as a way to help fight the virus.

The Points Guy writes that Singapore Airlines – obviously based in Asia, where the coronavirus has been most dangerous after originating in China – recently sent its frequent fliers an email about such changes.

Singapore advised its customers that some in-flight amenities will be discontinued, such as hot towel service, after-takeoff drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, said that Chinese and Taiwanese carriers have taken similar precautionary steps based on government guidance, including removing pillows and blankets on some flights.

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“They’re changing their cabin service procedures, so the passengers will notice this,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy.

But Harteveldt also remained optimistic that passengers wouldn’t pitch a fit given the circumstances.

“Passengers will accept (the reduction in services) because they’re being done in the interest of health and wellness,” he said.

As the virus, now known as covid-19, continues to expand globally, it remains to be seen if other airlines – including those based in the U.S. who offer international travel – adopt the same practice.

The aviation industry is quite often a copycat business, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some similar changes put into place.

“As adults, we have to be logical and rational when we experience these inconveniences,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy. “This isn’t cost-cutting, this isn’t random, this is in the best interest of public health.”

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