Many activities that we once considered normal are now quite taboo due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, flying has become a significant casualty of COVID-19, however, some of us will inevitably take flights as the pandemic moves forward. So, how do we navigate the scary prospect of getting on a plane? Keep scrolling to learn the best practices for planning and boarding a flight in the age of COVID.
Book With Airlines Who Are Not Filling Middle Seats
Which airlines aren’t filling their middle seats? Some airlines are selling all available seats on their planes (yikes), but select airlines have blocked their middle seats to allow for social distancing. Specifically, Delta (through September 30th, 2020), and Southwest (through September or later), are keeping their middle seats empty to create some social distancing. You can feel confident in booking with these airlines that, at the very least, ensure you won’t be seated directly next to another human.
Pick Your Seat
Some airlines, like Spirit and Southwest, don’t allow you to pre-book your seats. If you’re flying an airline that allows you to choose your seat, opt for one by a window. Being away from the aisle helps you to avoid unnecessary contact with people moving around the cabin.
BYOS: Bring Your Own Sanitizer
There’s no doubt that airlines are thoroughly cleaning after each flight, but if you want to be sure your specific area is 100% clean, do it yourself. Bring alcohol-based wipes or a travel-friendly disinfectant of your choice to wipe down your seat. Be sure to disinfect the back of the seat in front of you, the window area, the controls up top for lights/air, and your armrest. Sanitizing your space can bring you peace of mind so you can try to relax.
Wear Your Mask
At this point, this should go without saying: You should wear your mask the entire flight. In fact, many airlines require it and have a zero-tolerance policy for customers who aren’t compliant. The exception is when you are eating or drinking, but if you want to be sure you are staying as safe as you can, eat or drink before your flight so you don’t have to remove your mask.
It’s the People, Not the Air
Did you know, the air filtration systems on planes are quite impressive and keep the circulated air very clean for everyone aboard? According to experts, your chances of contracting COVID-19 on a plane come from human contact rather than breathing the plane air. This fact drives home the essential points: choose airlines that practice social distancing and trying to keep your movements on the plane to a minimum.
At its core, safe air travel all comes down to using good judgment. If you must take your mask off, try and keep the time you’re sans mask to a minimum. If you need to use the restroom, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Lastly, if you need to take a walk to stretch your legs on a longer flight, keep interactions to a minimum.