7 Tips For Flying During COVID
Flying during COVID was really stressful for us, but we learned these tips and hopefully they can help you too!
It’s been two weeks since we got back and I am thankful we stayed healthy during it all. Flying during COVID was VERY stressful for me. There were multiple times for me I had to focus on my breathing because I was so stressed, and I learned this is really hard to do while wearing a mask! I wore a tank top underneath my sweatshirt on the plane because I knew I would get stressed and warm, and that helped a lot (A bonus tip I guess :P). We learned so much while on our trip and I want to share these tips with you, so if you are flying, you can maybe be a little less stressed!
1. Continually Watch The Seat Map For Weeks Leading Up To Your Flight
This is a tip that we are happy we learned quickly. We noticed when booking our flights in September that a lot of seats were open, but figured it would start to fill up with Thanksgiving. United doesn’t block middle seats, so we decided to pick a window and aisle seat with hopes that no one would sit between us. We continued to watch this over the upcoming weeks in case someone did sit between us on one of the flights. If this did happen, we would have switched to another row. This helped with knowing that a random person would not be sitting by us on the plane. I really believe picking the window and aisle seats helped with no one picking the seat between us!
2. Be Willing To Possibly Upgrade Your Seats
As talked about above, while checking in on the seat map for a flight back home, we noticed one of the planes was filling up. No one was sitting between us yet, but we knew they would eventually. We decided it was worth it to pay $40 more per ticket to upgrade to first class for this flight to sit with no one next to us. With not flying very often right now, and my fear of getting COVID, I knew it was worth it. And overall, upgrading our seats helped a lot with any anxiety I faced. If you are worried about flying during COVID and have the means to do it, being willing to upgrade to a higher class might be a good tip for you. We didn’t do it for the glamour or anything like that, it was just to feel safe and to have piece of mind when we got home. I also didn’t have to do as much deep breathing on this flight because I felt a lot more comfortable! Maybe it would help you too! :)
3. Be Comfortable With The Guidelines Set By The Airline You Are Flying
The only flight we could fly to Wyoming was United. I was really nervous about flying United before the flight because they aren’t blocking middle seats like Delta is, and I didn’t want to get stuck sitting next to a complete stranger. If this is the same for you, you should consider this when picking an airline to fly. After reading more about United before the flight, I felt a lot more comfortable with the airline I was flying. They seem to be doing everything they can to keep everyone safe, and going above and beyond when cleaning (both their planes and at the airport). I also liked the signs they had up as we were boarding the plane to help me feel a little more at ease about the precautions they were taking to keep us safe. Moral of the story, I was happy with United, apart from not blocking middle seats (which we figured out a solution for). However, I might not have felt as comfortable on another airline if they aren’t as strict with their precautions, so do the research beforehand when picking which airline you are flying!
4. Find A Socially Distant Spot In The Airport
Flying during Thanksgiving, we were at the airport during one of the busiest times of the year. However, we were still able to find areas to sit that hardly had any people. This was really important for me, because I honestly felt more nervous at the airport than on the plane itself. Airplanes have added top of the line filters on their planes, but airports are still as hectic as ever. We had about an hour layover for both our flights, so even if we had to walk a bit, we found areas that didn’t have many people and where we could be socially distant from everyone else. Another tip for find these spots is away from all the major food areas. One, because that is where a lot of people congregate and two, because by food places, of course people are eating. And what comes with eating? No one having their masks on. This stressed me out because people tend to stretch the line of drinking their coffee or eating their sandwich and have their mask off for way too long. And lastly, finding an area that is socially distant like the one I took in the picture above, is just so much quieter. And this helps with stress too :D
5. Maintain Your Distance From Others While Walking Through Airport
Walking though The airport we were able to learn a lot about people and their habits. Vince and I like to observe and try to teach ourselves the best lessons about everything and when it comes to walking through the airport during COVID and trying to stay safe, we came up with a few tips! One thing we realized is people get WAY too close on escalators.. So, we did an experiment where if we slowed down and let the person in front of us get three or four steps away, the person behind us realizes what we are doing and would do the same for us. We also put our luggage on the step behind us in order to ensure we at least had some distance if the above experiment doesn’t always work! Another tip we learned was if someone was walking to close to us in the airport we decided to stop and wait until there was a more clear area to walk. Lastly, we had to take a shuttle through the Denver airport to another terminal, and the first couple We’re very full, so since we had lots of time, we waited until we found a shuttle that was less crowded. All of these tips may seem silly to some, but they helped us feel safer when being at the airport.
6. Wipe Down Your Seat
Most airlines right now are giving everyone a sanitizing wipe when they get on the plane. Even though we were the only ones doing it on each flight, we made sure to wipe down our seats, the window, the air vent knobs, and the seat back trays, before we touched any of them. And after, we used hand sanitizer on our own hands just in case. This is another thing that might seem silly to some, but its just another thing that was a piece of mind thing for me. I know the planes sanitize and clean the planes between flights, but I honestly don’t know if they are doing a super good job every time. If you can see in the picture on the left, there is garbage on the floor on the plane before even anyone was on it. This was a bad sign for me because if they missed that, what else did they miss? So doing this extra thing for my seat, was well worth it to me. And the smell of everything smelling clean is always a good thing, right!?
7. KEEP YOUR DANG MASK ON
Sorry for the tip about to be given - it is not for most of you, only the few people that do not want to abide by the rules).
This is something that drives me NUTS! Both airports and airlines require it, but yet there are those people who do not wear them. We saw a handful of people walking through the airport without them on, and I honestly just don’t know what goes through their mind. I was really thankful for how seriously the flight crew were taking things on United, though. Someone a few rows back from us was napping without his mask on (eye roll), and one of the flight attendants came over and yelled at him and made sure he was embarrassed enough to not do that again! We all just need to come together and wear masks. We all have a reason for traveling, and some of us don’t feel as comfortable doing it, so in my opinion, just all being respectful of each other’s health is the number one priority right now.
Traveling right now can be stressful. Some people have done it a lot more than others so they may be more used to it, but this was my first time flying. We learned a lot, stressed a lot, and in the end are thankful we stayed healthy. We all need to stick together to get through this. We got this!