Flying During A Pandemic
Updated: May 20
The world is at a stand still with most international flights canceled for the last two months and even domestic flights canceled on the regular. Now two months into quarantine, I have taken two round trip flights during the pandemic. The first time was in mid March when most states still weren't even on stay at home orders yet. The second time was in the beginning of May when the transition back to "normalcy" was beginning to take place.
My first roundtrip flight was from Fort Lauderdale International to Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson. Personally I love flying out of FLL more than MIAMI because TSA is always simple. Firstly, let me say that I booked this flight around 4PM off of Kayak for 7PM that night for under $20 one way. These quarantine prices are crazy!
This time it was still very easy to get through but quicker than usual and TSA didn't ask to see my boarding pass, only my license. Also, they didn't just check my ID under the light like usual, they put it through a scanner that I hadn't seen in FLL before the pandemic. The majority of restaurants are closed with the exception of the news stand type stores that have some drinks and snacks in there. I've only been on one other flight that I can remember that was as empty as this flight. I have to say, when I landed in Atlanta that night, I had never seen it so empty.
On the return flight I went to the ATL airport earlier than I usually do because even though it was a breeze in FLL, ATL is a different beast when it comes to airports. But to my surprise, once again I was able to go through TSA easily. Since I had time, I figured I'd stop and grab a drink. Ironically enough, this time it was super normal in the ATL airport. I was able to sit at a bar and have a drink and no one seemed to be concerned about the amount of people in there or social distancing.
Side Bar: In fact, the women next to me asked if there was really a shortage of toilet paper in the States. She couldn't believe it telling me that she had been in Mexico for the last week and a half until she had to end her trip early due to fear of the border closing. I asked if customs was longer or more difficult to get through and she told me that it wasn't at all. It really goes to wonder what protocols were in place during this time.
My second round trip flight was on American Airlines. I timed myself from the time I walked into the airport to see how long it would take me to get through TSA for this blog. It took me 8 minutes. 8 MINUTES! By this time, it was required for airline staff to wear face masks but not for passengers just yet. They made sure to announce that if you wanted to be moved to have more space that you could after take off.
On my return flight they made sure to reassign all middle seats so that no one would have to be seated directly next to someone else. I ended up having a row to myself which is always the dream.
Keep your hand sanitizer and wipes on you. This may be "over" soon but it's a great practice to have regardless.
Even before this pandemic, I was always somewhat of a germaphobe about airports. I always wear or bring socks so my feet don't have to touch the ground if I’m in an airport that doesn't have clear. I don't wear outfits that will have my skin touching the seat. (I'm a comfy traveler not a dress up traveler) Above all, I always travel with hand sanitizer.
I'm genuinely curious what policies the airlines will put in place when travel bans are lifted and everyone is able to travel again. Will they stop booking flights to 100% capacity or truly not let you on if you don't have a face mask?
I've heard people say there hasn't been a safer time to fly because you have so much space and they're cleaning the planes more than ever. While I see what point they're trying to make, you have to think that being in a plane is almost like being in a petri dish. I will probably hold of taking excessively long flight for about a year but I can not wait to be able to travel internationally again.
Exciting news You Trippin' Tribe! You Trippin' Travel Co has made it onto the Top 40 Black Travel Blogs on the web by feedspot.com and I'm beyond honored and excited! Click the link to check out my rating. Thank you to everyone for your support. YTTC is coming up on its one year anniversary and hopefully we will be back to trippin' by that time to celebrate!
Until Next Time, Stay Safe