Last week I took the long flight from New York to Sydney and I was nervous! Not only is it a long flight, I was nervous about flying during COVID. Here is my experience of flying during COVID, as well as tips if you are flying during COVID.
Flying During COVID
I arrived to the airport really early, like 3 hours before my flight! Since I was on an international flight I did have to arrive at least 2 hours early, and I wasn’t sure if it would take longer to go through security or not if the airport was implementing additional Coronavirus measures. I departed from Newark airport, and I breezed through security and check in. I literally saw no other people anywhere. Now this may have been due to the fact my flight was at 6.30am, but there also was not any additional measures in place for Coronavirus, such as taking temperatures.
Both of my flights were very empty, which made social distancing very easy to do! The one thing that really annoyed me though was that the airline still seated everyone together. I got on my flight and was shocked that people were seated on both sides of me, and the guy next to me had his mask off and was eating already. Needless to stay I got up and stood at the back of the plane until we were allowed to move! As soon as the doors closed we were able to spread out within the economy section, although I feel the airline should have done a better job of seating everyone separately when issuing the tickets.
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Things to know when flying during COVID
The airport requires masks
It was required to wear masks throughout the airport, except for when eating and drinking. This really helped me to feel a lot safer and comfortable in the airport. There were people without masks on, however security and police would ask them to put them on.
Masks are also required on the flight
I flew with United and masks were required on the flight with the exception of eating or drinking. I would recommend taking an extra mask or two, as I wanted to switch mine out after wearing it for hours on end.
Food and drink on flights its limited
The food and drink options on flights were very, very limited. On my flight from New York to San Francisco we did not receive any meals, and on my flight from San Francisco to Sydney I received only one meal and minimal snacks. My recommendation is to eat at the airport or before you leave home, and take a lot of snacks.
Food and drink at the airport is also limited
With that being said, a lot of food and drink options at the airport were closed. While there most definitely were choices, there wasn’t as many as you typically may be used to.
Wipes were provided on board, but still bring your own
As you boarded the plane you were provided with one wipe to use on your seat. I brought my own from home, and was so glad I did. I used my clorox wipes not only to wipe down my seat, tray table, television, and seats around me, but also for the bathroom. From what I saw it did not appear the bathroom was regularly being cleaned, so definitely take clorox wipes to wipe things down in there! I also only received one wipe the whole flight, so definitely bring your own.
Bring hand sanitizer
Most of us now have hand sanitizer with us religiously, and flying is certainly a time when you should have it with you. I used my hand sanitizer so many times at the airport and on the plane.
Flying during COVID was definitely an experience! I would only recommend flying on shorter flights, and would not take any long unnecessary trips, as it really wasn’t much fun. If you are flying during COVID make sure that you take plenty of snacks, masks, and hand sanitizer with you! As always, thanks for reading!