Plane Travel in the Time of COVID
As someone who travels quite frequently yearly, I’ve been getting an itch to travel. For months, I had been following the plane and airport protocols to see what my comfort level would be. Watching a Gupta video months ago made me feel more comfortable, but I would wait several months before actually getting on a flight.
This month, I decided to plan two trips – one out of the country and one domestically.
The first thing my mother said was to wear long clothes to avoid my body touching any material. I had to get everything I needed to make me feel comfortable.
Things to prepare:
- Face masks- an absolute must. You have to wear a mask at all times on planes and airports
- Glasses or something else to shield your eyes.
- Disinfectant wipes or Lysol spray to wipe down your area on the plane
- Your airlines app so you can have a digital copy of your ticket so you don’t have to touch a lot or touch the hand of the any staff.
Okay so let’s get down to it. When I arrived to Atlanta’s airport— the only thing you really had to touch was the bins when you go through security. Once you touch that- you really don’t have to touch anything else
In Atlanta’s airport, I was on terminal D and there were sanitizing stations at almost every gate. The first station I saw after touching the bins, I immediately sanitized.
The waiting area seats will tell you to socially distance so some seats will have a sign to skip. There are also distancing signs underground with the train. It is drilled in your head to give people space.
I didn’t see one person without a mask on in the airport so I didn’t see anyone have to regulate it. I was actually shocked everyone was compliant— but at this point…Everyone has heard they aren’t playing in the airport or planes. I was definitely happy that Atlanta airport was doing a great job at keeping us as safe as possible.
Just a note – not all airlines are offering middle seat free so you may be on a full flight. Just be aware of that if you are extra nervous – being in that close proximity would make you extra anxious.
Onto the plane ride, if you don’t have a bag to put up top (me), you can just slide into your seat. The overhead bins should already be open so you shouldn’t have to touch. You will have to touch your seatbelt. You can maybe use some fabric from your outfit or gloves if you decide to wear them.
I saw everything on the plane from simple protective glasses/goggles to full on wrap around goggles. I also saw a ton of faceshields. Travelers are taking it very seriously I see.
I wore my regular prescription glasses and a fabric mask.
On the plane they make several announcements to keep the masks on. Going out of the country, there were no issues. On the way back, there was a girl near me that kept taking hers off so the flight attendants did say something multiple times to her. You can only take off your mask if you are actively drinking or eating. It also must be covering your nose as well.
Another note – it is mandatory if you are over 3 to wear a mask- regardless of medical condition. They will turn the plane around or kick you off. If you know you aren’t willing to or your child is not willing to, probably best to do a road trip.
All in all, I never felt unsafe or that I was putting myself more at risk than going out to eat at a restaurant in Atlanta or going to the grocery store.
It’s all based on your comfort level. Just wanted to share my experience traveling late August.