So, what’s it like to fly during a pandemic?
Honestly, it’s probably the easiest and simplest flying I’ve ever done in my life.
No one is flying! Of course, flying on an airplane with complete strangers who could potentially be carrying a deadly disease is a risk that you have to decide if you want to take or not. In this instance, I said yes. I live in Houston, Texas, so I’ve had to battle with the virus infecting my city for the past few months and needed to escape the city for a bit. A friend of mine has flown a lot during this pandemic as well, so she gave me some tips as to how to stay safe.
Whether it’s your first time flying or your millionth, flying during a pandemic is scary. I was so nervous to fly and didn’t want to become a carrier. Of course, this is my personal experience and yours may be different and I traveled between smaller airports, so it may vary. I’m also loyal to Southwest Airlines, so my experience is exclusively with them. I have zero problems or concerns flying with Southwest. Here’s my experience flying.
When I got arrived at my local airport, it is required to wear a mask at all times. Duh. I have a reusable cloth mask that I wore the entire time. It’s annoying to wear at first, but I got used to it after a while and even felt comfortable and safe wearing it. You can take it off to drink and eat, and I even saw some people on the phone or talking to others in their group without a mask. Do it at your own risk. I only took mine off to eat and drink.
Going through security was a breeze. I never check my bag and use my phone for my boarding pass, so I never need to go to the front desk, but there didn’t seem to be a long line at any of the desks. I always go straight to security and this time, I was done within 15 minutes. When you get to the front of the line and give the TSA officer your ID, they ask you to briefly take off your mask so that they can verify your photo, but then they’ll ask you to put your mask back on. The rest of security is like normal, where you take off your shoes and separate large electronic devices. Like I said before, from the time I first stood in line to putting my shoes back on, I was done in 15 minutes.
It didn’t take me too long to find my gate and my flight was perfectly on time. I arrived about an hour early so I didn’t have too much time to wait before boarding. (I know that this may be cutting it close, but I figured that it wouldn’t take too long to get through security and I didn’t want to have to wait at the airport any longer than possible). The airports were quite empty, compared to what it normally would’ve been. There was space for everyone to socially distance and have their own space. Everything in the airport was very clean, there were signs to remember to social distance, hand sanitizing stations were everywhere, and bathrooms were clean and had no lines (women, you know that lines can sometimes get long). Everyone wore a mask at all times, except for when I mentioned before, like eating or drinking.
Southwest Airlines are keeping their planes 2/3rd’s full, meaning that the middle seats throughout the plane were empty. They boarded in groups of 10, instead of the mass of 60, and it only took about 20 minutes to fully board. On Southwest, you can sit anywhere you want. On my first flight, the plane was “entirely booked,” so I sat in an aisle seat towards the middle of the plane. On my return flight, I sat near the window, again in the middle of the plane, and had the entire row to myself. The planes seemed to be clean to me, but I had my hand sanitizer handy and used it frequently. For drink and food services, the flight attendants handed out cups of water and a snack of something like Chex Mix. They frequently came around with trash and required everyone to throw their trash from the plane away so that it could be properly disposed of.
Each plane flight passed by uneventfully. Like I said before, this was literally the easiest flying experience I’ve had.
Once we landed, people were eager to get off the plane and, of course, there was a conglomeration of people when we stood up to grab our stuff. It’s inevitable to get close to people on a plane, so just be sure to be aware of that and use your hand sanitizer and wear a mask.
And that’s it. Uneventful. Easy. Fast. Overall, it wasn’t quite as stressful as I thought it would be. In case you’re still nervous, here are some tips for flying:
- Wear. A. Mask. Please! You won’t be allowed inside the airport or plane without one, but just in case you need a remind. Please wear a mask.
- Bring your hand sanitizer, and use it frequently! Any time you touch something or someone, use it. Or, better yet, go wash your hands or wear gloves. I saw a few people wearing gloves so if you’re really nervous about touching things, wear latex gloves or something.
- Drink lots of water. Of course, you’re traveling so you should drink water anyways, but drinking water helps detoxify your body.
- Take vitamins, especially vitamin C. I take vitamins every day, and leading up to my flights, I made sure that I got full doses of vitamins, especially immune boosters. It’s crazy how much better you feel when you take vitamins.
- Change your clothes, wash them as soon as you get home, and shower. This will get rid of anything that you could possibly have on your body. It’s an extra precaution, but if you’re nervous, it might make you feel safer. This is something that I do as soon as I get off a plane anyways, regardless of the pandemic.
Good luck, and safe travels!
Thank you for reading! Have you flown during the pandemic? What are your thoughts on flying? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!