I’m writing this from my seat on a flight from Washington DC headed to Dallas where I will connect to McAllen, TX to spend a week at my sisters place. I figured I’m working from my apartment… why not work from hers for a week and enjoy some Texas germs *wink*. Still sitting at the gate but we should be pushing back shortly.
Everyone is itching to resume travel and I’m right there with you. My goal is to be safe and not paranoid (although I think it’s in my blood to be a little paranoid… I’m a DuPraw). I’ll try to offer some tips on traveling during this pandemic and let you in on what has changed, and what hasn’t changed with air travel since the new world of COVID 19 began.
What has changed since COVID-19 began:
- Everyone is wearing masks… it’s not like walking down the street where it’s a bit more optional… in the airports and aboard the flights, EVERYONE is wearing them. Some airlines are removing passengers from flights if they aren’t willing to comply. It’s not that big of a deal to wear one and it’s the rules so go ahead and put yours on 🙂 Don’t be a doofus and just wear a mask.
- There are a lot of stickers on the floor telling you where to stand. No… no one really pays attention to them, but it’s the thought that counts.
- Clear dividers at all gates so there is no spitting!
- American Airlines greets you on the longer flights with a little “goodie bag” with a water, a snack and a disinfectant wipe. Score! They have discontinued their in-flight service to avoid spreading germs and honestly this is a lot less anxiety inducing. They just hand you a bag with a gloved hand and say “welcome aboard! Here’s a little snack and some water”… and then you just head to your seat. Great!
- Some passengers are wearing hazmat suits so you feel like you’re in outer space or something. Whatever, we’re all used to this type of stuff by now.
- My guess is the airports are probably cleaner than ever before but we can’t really be sure… I’ve seen some employees cleaning so I feel a little better.
- Expect more connections than usual. There are less flights so you might have to bounce around a few times before getting to your final destination.
- SOME airlines are reducing capacity on flights to leave the middle seat open.
- So far there have only been a handful of food options available in the terminals and the lines are usually waaaay long. 30 minutes later and I’m no longer pretending to be in a rush… I just am in a rush. But I have my coffee. so everything is fine.
Now here are some things that have NOT changed:
- Gate agents are still kinda mean. At least they are consistent.
- The people ahead of you in line for security still forget they can’t take liquids through.
- Everyone is still in a mad rush to get off the plane… even before the door opens. Relax people.
- I’m still afraid they might loose my bag but I’ll hope for the best.
- First class passengers still pretend to be asleep one minute after they sit down. It’s fine… I know my place… peasants in the back. I prefer the last row anyway that way I can smell the bathroom and know who just did a poo poo while flying through turbulence… sorry… is that too much???
- You should still put your own oxygen mask on before helping someone else with theirs!
We interrupt this blog post to bring you this special message: you have just been upgraded to first class. Please confirm you are good at fake sleeping and we would love to invite you up to make you feel more special than the peasants around you… we will give you a moment to say your goodbyes. *Be right back, ordering a whiskey ginger…* Yes I know it’s 9:30am and everyone else is ordering coffee but like… come on… free alcohol, am I supposed to say no???? Besides, this is my second flight of the day and I’ve been up since 4am so it’s practically noon in airport hours! Also, pro tip regarding airplane coffee… rumor has it that the water used for the coffee on flights comes from tanks that never get cleaned… so stick to pre-bottled drinks or get your coffee in the airport.
One other thing I should note just in case you’re wondering… clouds still look like snow from up in the air 🙂
I’m halfway into this drink and realizing maybe I should have just stuck with coffee… well things can only get more interesting from here. Sorry Mr. Yellow Bandanna Mask Man in 2B if I ask to pee halfway through the flight!
All in all the airport and flight experience isn’t wildly different from before corona. My advice to you if you go: wear a mask, bring some hand sanitizer and don’t touch anything! If you feel like flying isn’t for you right now, no shame in that at all. I’ll be up here trying to boost the economy with my free upgrade to first class 😉
I think this is a good place to sign off while I still have some dignity before this whiskey really kicks in and I…