Having just took 4 flights in 4 days 3 international/1 US domestic here are some thoughts on flying in a COVID world overall less stressful flying than it is finding damn flights to fly on
- Generally, quieter, quicker and cleaner than before – all good things in my book – I’ve never cleared immigration so fast in the US – 5 mins compared to up to 1-2 hours on previous visits
- Other security seems to have calmed down a bit – less focus on liquids, removing laptops etc
- Don’t assume you’ll have social distancing on board unless you’re paying for it. In two flights I had the row to myself, in the other two all three seats were taken – it was a bit of a shock to have a stranger so close after lockdown
- Less service on board but not a bad thing less interruption every 5 mins. Snacks either given out on arrival or on seat to minimise contact. Still got a full food service inc option of alcoholic drinks flying Delta NYC – AMS.
- Massive generalisation but American advice is to practice social distancing – feels kind of apt – many need the practice. Much clearer and easier to put distance in between yourself and others in Europe (aside from onboard), if you leave space in the US someone will jump ahead of you in line
- You will have to wear a mask on board and at the airport. Unless while eating. Yes, it is annoying, but please if you are sharing a row put it on before you’re asked don’t just have on your chin
- Don’t change your seat before everyone has boarded. I totally used to be that person that would switch seats beg forgiveness rather than ask permission when changing seats but having to move someone out of your seat who hasn’t been wearing a mask was a little disturbing – especially when he says he’s come from Florida another hotspot
- Arriving into Spain was easy, a health questionnaire collected from Schengen flights and temperature taken after bag collection – need to detail where you have visited in past 14 days
- I’ve not been put off flying and will certainly fly again before long when needed. But will probably avoid the US for a bit – for fear of getting stuck there. Although I do have a return flight to NYC in the summer…
- On the note, if you are looking to fly home, check the cost of a return flight vs one way, airlines are stiffing those that are stuck and it was cheaper for me to book a return back from NYC than a one way flight
But the key thing for flying in this post COVID world is once you’ve figured out where you want to be, be prepared to move fast, the world is changing all the time. Don’t book too far in advance and be light on your feet and prepared to move quickly once you’ve decided on your destination.