[Belinda Fewings / unsplash]

Is it Safe to Fly Yet?

14:26 May 29, 2020
By: Caroline Hebert

Most people miss travel these days, but getting there isn't even HALF the fun if it isn't safe.

As the first wave of reopenings is bringing back selective businesses, does this mean flying is safe? New precautions will be put in place from the moment you step out of the car and onto the curb of the airport. The New York Times has provided safety tips to help navigate air travel.

How to get to the airport:

It is preferred if someone who you quarantine with brings you to the airport. However, if you need to order a Lyft or Uber, prices could possibly be higher, and recommendations include wiping down seats and door handles, wearing a mask, and providing cleaning supplies to ensure safety.

Airports are making adjustments to their drop-off, pickup, and parking process to urge travelers to keep moving. It is recommended for you to know the drop-off and parking policies of the airport you are visiting.

Preparing for your flight:

Being prepared with masks, wipes, and hand sanitizer is important to protect you and others, since airports are a very high-touch experience. Airlines suggest that travelers download their app prior to arrival, in order to use touchless boarding and reduce having to exchange papers. Airlines like United are using touchless kiosks that allows travelers to print their bag tags from their own devices and to scan QR codes.

Expectations within the airport:

Keeping the environment clean is a top priority; therefore, one can expect to see lots of cleaning. The New York Times has reported that certain airports are using Continuous Air and Surface Pathogen Reduction. This system continuously sanitizes the air and surfaces. Another airport, Pittsburgh International, is the first American airport to use robots with UV-C rays to disinfect and clean floors in busy areas.

Many airport shops will be closed, and food will not be served on your flight. Airports are deterring the use of cash, and travelers may want to use tap-to-pay on their phones.

TSA has tweaked their requirements and still encourages travelers to be socially distant. Other TSA efforts include reducing how much guests have to touch security bins, asking travelers to hold up boarding passes for inspection, and recommending putting food in a clear bag to lessen the chance of a TSA inspection.

Boarding has also changed to benefit your safety. Limiting groups to 10 when lining up to prepare for boarding and boarding by row are a few of the adjustments. Policies can differ airline to airline, so be sure to check before arrival.

Cleaning your seat is not a bad idea; however, airlines such as Delta have installed an "electrostatic sprayer," which releases a mist of disinfectant into the plane. Planes are cleaned for long periods of time, and airlines have created COVID-19 pages with information about their safety precautions to ease passengers of worry.

Wearing a mask within the airport and the plane is a highly recommended suggestion from, well, everybody.

Yes, someone might be next to you on your flight. However, flights have also been boarding less passengers. Depending on the airline, efforts to have less-full flights is ideal, but not all circumstances allow this to be possible.

The world is getting back on its feet, and airlines are ready to fly their passengers in the safest way possible. To ensure your own safety as a traveler, it is ideal that you check policies for your airport and airline before traveling.

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