Things have changed! It’s a whole different world!
A few weeks ago, I had my first flight post-covid. Now, I am an experienced flyer and LOVE to fly! One of my best friends moved to Atlanta and I wanted to achieve 2 things: 1- Go see my friend and 2- See what the flying experience is like Post-COVID. Until I took this flight, I hadn’t been on a plane in over a year. Like some of you my vacations this year were nonexistent because of COVID. I had 7! Yes 7! Some for business, and some for pleasure. What a bummer, huh?!?!
Flying to Atlanta is an easy nonstop flight, with the flight time just over an hour from Raleigh/Durham. I still have clients of Kendra and Company who are still traveling the last few months of 2020 and I wanted to see what the flying experience is like so I can have the first-hand experience and be able to better inform my clients of what to expect. COVID isn’t going away anytime soon, so for the foreseeable future, I think it’s important that we know how to travel as safe as we can. Keep reading to see what my post-covid flight was like!!!
So, as you may know, masks are required to fly on a commercial airline. All travelers are encouraged to bring their own, however I noticed at the airport that they have masks available in case someone forgets their own. Social distancing is definitely in effect at the airport. The airport has social distancing lines to encourage you to stand 6 feet from others and airport personnel. You will notice that there is Plexiglass at counters where there is contact with airport personnel. I did notice that a lot of the restaurants/lounges at the airport were still closed, but it looks like they are slowing reopening, with restrictions relaxing.
Approaching the security line, TSA does ask you to pull your mask down to identify that you are indeed you, but otherwise, that is the only time they ask you to uncover your face and then you continue through the next checkpoint. Everyone had their boarding passes on their phones vs. having paper boarding passes to give to the TSA agent. I hate having to keep up with a paper boarding pass, so having my boarding pass on the phone is all I know. It seems like contactless will be the way to go for future travel.
In the airport, it seemed as if everyone was taking the wearing of masks seriously. All airport personnel were wearing masks. The only time you can pull your mask down is to eat and drink and pretty much everyone abided by that. There is also an abundance of hand sanitizing stations around the airport to encourage using hand sanitizer while in the airport. I noticed that passengers while waiting for their flight where social distancing and leaving several seats in between each other while in the gate area.
Typically, during boarding, the normal experience is that passengers cluster around the gate during boarding. I noticed that everyone was giving each other space and not crowding around each other during boarding until their actual group number was called. They do encourage passengers not to crowd around the boarding area in large groups and the gate attendant makes several announcements to remind all passengers of social distancing.
I flew Southwest and was fortunate that Southwest is blocking the middle seat to promote social distance. Some airlines have started back booking full flights. Southwest has committed to blocking the middle seat up until October 31st, which really shows how committed they are to keeping their passengers safe. United, American, Spirit, & Frontier have all started back selling each seat. Delta and Southwest are the only airlines who are blocking the middle seats as of right now. I expect that to change soon as the demand for flying over the holidays will increase.
During the boarding of the flight, I took some extra precautions and brought some Lysol disinfectant wipes to wipe down my seat and seatbelt, which is more than welcomed. My best friend, Avery laughed, but hey- I gotta do what I gotta do to be safe. By looking around the plane, the plane looked clean and even smelled cleaned, but a little extra cleaning ain’t never hurt anybody.
During the flight, there is limited snack and beverage service. On my particular flight, there was pre-packaged chex mix that was given out and the only beverage option was water. If you are eating and drinking, you can pull your mask down to do so, but otherwise, your mask has to stay on the entire flight. The airline personnel checks often to make sure that everyone is in compliance by wearing their masks.
I do encourage that if you have a connecting flight that you make sure there is plenty of time to deboard your flight and make your next one. Deboarding does take a little longer. With Kendra and Company, I make sure that you have plenty of time to deboard and board your next flight, if you have a layover, without having to rush through the airport. I also advise that you leave for the airport a little earlier than normal, just to give you time to get through the necessary checkpoints and not be rushed.
For those of you who are considering your next vacation soon, I hope you find this helpful. I’m ALWAYS going to be the first partaker of the travel experience because I care about what my clients are experiencing when they go on their next adventure. I am up to date on all things travel and can help and assist with navigating through the new normal. As always, if you are seeking to start planning your next adventure, reach out to me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can schedule a complimentary consultation where we can talk about your next vacation ideas.
Talk to you soon!