Cupid's Pulse Article: Travel Tips During the Pandemic: Is Flying on an Airplane Safe?Cupid's Pulse Article: Travel Tips During the Pandemic: Is Flying on an Airplane Safe?

By Diana Iscenko

The world is still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though cases in the United States are still rising in some areas, many states are reopening in phases. The threat of getting sick is still real, so many businesses are open with new social distancing measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. This combined with the summer weather has caused many people to want to travel again.

So, is it safe to travel on an airplane right now? The CDC warns against making unnecessary trips anywhere, including on airplanes. Air travel includes the time spent in security lines and airport terminals, both of which can bring you in close contact with people and frequently touched surfaces. Social distancing can be impossible on crowded flights, so you may be stuck within six feet of someone for hours at a time.

That said, if you need to get into a plane for a necessary trip—or if you’re otherwise willing to take the risk—there are ways to travel as safely as possible.

Whether you’re taking a mandatory trip or hitting a vacation destination, here are three travel tips for flying during the pandemic:

1. Pick Your Airline Carefully

Many airlines have implemented new safety requirements to lower the risk of staff and passengers being exposed to the virus. These policies vary from company to company, so it’s crucial to research your airline’s procedures before booking a flight. Most airlines are requiring everyone to wear face masks. Others are flying at half capacity, increasing the frequency of cleaning procedures or conducting temperature checks before allowing anyone on their airplanes. Airlines are being transparent about their requirements so you can fly on an airplane where you feel as safe as possible.

Related Link: Travel Tips: Traveling During the Coronavirus Outbreak

2. Masks and Sanitizers are Your Friends

You should be wearing a face mask the entire time you’re traveling, regardless of what the airport or airline recommends. It’s also important to bring hand sanitizer and wipes to keep your hands clean and to sanitize the surfaces you’ll be touching throughout the flight. If possible, skip using the bathroom while flying. You’ll expose yourself to more germs walking to the bathroom and touching the surfaces while in there. If the flight has unassigned seats, try to sit by the window so you’ll have less contact with those walking down the aisle.

Related Link: Travel Tips During the Pandemic: Should We Cancel Summer Travel Plans?

3. Self-Quarantine at Your New Location

Traveling from city to city and state to state brings you into contact with countless people. You should self-quarantine for two weeks after your arrival if possible to make sure you didn’t catch COVID-19 and won’t get anyone else sick. This should be easy for those making necessary trips—like moving into a new home in a different city—but it’s not great news for those looking to vacation. This is something you have to consider if you want to book a trip. Are you willing to take the necessary health precautions, even if it means sitting in a hotel room for two weeks?

Would you be comfortable with flying on an airplane right now? Start a conversation in the comments below!