FLYING ON AN AIRPLANE DURING COVID-19
Before I dive into this article, with flying on an airplane right now, I want to disclose that each and every area of the world is in different stages right now, mostly what I’ll be referring to is US-based.
Please do not travel if you’re feeling sick in any way and if you can assure that you’re taking the necessary steps to keep yourself safe and others safe.
What I share here is purely based on my own experiences from flying during COVID-19. Circumstances are always changing, each and every day, and it is essential to realize that things aren’t back to “normal”.
Things have changed and with how long this has gone on now, there may be a new way of ensuring safety, that wasn’t previously in place when it was “normal”. This is a new era of adapting.
GETTING THROUGH TSA
When first arriving at the airport, it had seemed normal busy, but shorty after checking in on the kiosk, that’s where chaos started. Typically, flying on an airplane is a pretty breezy process.
Unfortunately, TSA was Completely packed and had a line that ended out in the parking lot. The line was the longest I had ever seen, and even the flight attendants said it’s been the busiest they have seen on a regular basis.
A lot of businesses and companies don’t have as many workers right now, and even the airport is struggling to employ people. I guess they are operating with a quarter of as many employees as they once had.
So, the flight attendants recommend arriving 3-4 hours in advance and ensure arriving to flights on time.
INSIDE THE AIRPORT
After getting through TSA, the airport seemed quite active and similar to the capacity before COVID-19.
However, masks mandated, some shops closed, and workers would walk through often to clean and wipe everything down to ensure cleanliness.
I highly recommend preparing snacks and food ahead of time to avoid the risks of contaminated food and drinks.
ON THE AIRPLANE
So far, I have had the opportunity of getting to experience flights both when COVID-19 was still in the beginning stages, and after the release of the first two vaccinations.
However, both of those experiences were completely different. The flight in the beginning stages had many empty seats for social distancing protocols, masks required, there were almost no lines, and no food or drinks allowed.
After the release of the first two vaccines; the planes are full, the lines are out the door, masks are on again, and food and drinks handed out.
HOW TO PREPARE
The best ways to prepare ahead of time is to:
- Look into the airline and travel destination ahead of time.
- What is mandated?
- Do they require masks?
- Do you have to obtain a negative COVID-19 test?
- What cleaning protocols are in place?
- What is closed vs what is open?
- Is a quarantine required?
Check out the government’s travel page on COVID-19 here. Make sure to stay updated, things have been ever-changing and continue to shift. Being on top of the news and receiving updates, will allow you to ensure your safety as well as the protocols in place while traveling on an airplane.
COVID-19 TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
The COVID-19 essentials go beyond the typical carry-on items, adding a little extra safety to your trip.
A spray sanitizer is a personal favorite, they almost never leak and are so easily accessible. The other sanitizer bottles can get goop around the cap, which can harbor dirt and bacteria. This sanitizer is a great option, always opt for fragrance-free (fragrances are toxic) and bead-free (plastic balls that pollute the ocean.
- Masks and an optional shield
- Negative COVID-19 Test
Now more than ever, travel is soaring, and I know people want to enjoy their trips with less fear and stress. Hopefully, this article shows the precautions and perceptions of this traveling season.
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