Flying after Covid-19 Pandemic is in full force. After I typed that title I wondered if it was accurate. Are we post pandemic? Realistically we probably are not judging from the cases in other countries but for this post I am kind of assuming that we are at the end of the pandemic. We really aren’t because there just is no way to signal the “all clear” but hopefully my readers understand what I mean.
Chris and I made our first airplane trip post vaccination over the past two weeks with a trip to New Jersey. Destination: Grandson.
Was I nervous? No.
Was it different? Yes.
Did it feel odd and a little weird. Absolutely.
Things look different and rightfully so. They need to look different as we are definitely not out of the woods with this awful virus.
So what can you expect if you are going to take a flight to someplace? Here are a few things to expect.
You will be expected to wear a mask, even if vaccinated fully, in the airport and on the airplane. For us we had a long day traveling home with layovers so that meant about 10 hours with a mask on. If you can’t do that, don’t book travel this way. It’s that simple.
You are permitted to lower the mask when eating or drinking but on our Delta flights they were clear that you were not to take the mask off but simply lower it quickly as you took a bite or drink. Then raise it back. It was stressed many times that the mask is to cover nose and mouth fully.
Boarding our flight (again on Delta) was done differently than pre-pandemic days. After pre-boarding those who needed more time, the boarding followed with First Class and Diamond Medallion members and active duty military. From there the plane was boarded from what I think was back to front by row number. Order is being stressed and also that you just stay seated in the boarding area until your row is called.
I did see some people who were wearing masks that the flight attendants asked that they use different masks. Those gaiter masks were allowed on some flights and not on others. Also the ones that had exhalation valves were asked to be replaced. I am not sure of the consistency and it might depend upon the airline and flight crew but be prepared to change masks if you wear one of these types. The airline has them available if you need one.
Sanitizing wipes are handed to you upon arrival on the aircraft and the planes have been super sanitized and have heavy duty ventilation system upgrades now. They want us to fly so they are doing everything to make it safe and comfortable . Bathrooms are “refreshed” multiple times during flights.
Snacks and drinks were still served with an emphasis on safety. In the terminals there are a lot of venues open and busy but it just has a different vibe to it now.
The biggest difference I noticed is that people really did kind of keep to themselves. While the terminals and waiting areas were busy and very full, people just acted a little bit more cautious and it was evident that many folks are continuing to keep their social distancing guidelines. I think that is fine. It’s going to take awhile for people to feel “safe” and I think erring on the side of caution is a good thing.
Will I fly again? Yes.
We had a very good experience and did not encounter any of those incidents that have been circulating on social media of out of control passengers. Thank goodness.
So here’s to traveling again. To going to places we all want to go. Being with family and friends and exploring this great world that we live in.