Over the weekend, I braved the airport for a quick weekend strip. While I already told y’all about How I Pack for A Weekend While Flying, but I wanted to fill you in on my experience flying in the era of COVID-19.
First, I want to say that I am not the most educated in the field of COVID-19 safety, and you shouldn’t take my experience as anything more than a suggestion.
Second, my experience was not as bad or scary as I expected.
I went through security in two airports – Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport and St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Birmingham is a much smaller airport than St. Louis, which meant I already knew the lines were going to be shorter and the screening process much quicker. I got to the airport 2 and a half hours before my flight departed, figuring that COVID restrictions would delay the process, but it took no longer than 10 minutes! At St. Louis I surprisingly saw the same thing! Even though it was a much larger airport, there was still minimal people there with a lot of space to keep 6 feet in between.
It was crazy how I didn’t feel crowded at all! I’ve been getting a little bit of COVID-induced social anxiety in crowded places, but I was all good all day. That was mostly due to the other people in the airport and American Airlines. My fellow fliers stayed socially distant, sitting far away from eachother in boarding and dining areas. Even the areas that are most crowded typically were spacious! Security put us in a line with six feet in between, tables in food courts were spaced out with only 1 or 2 chairs, and I saw many janitors walking around sanitizing seats and hand rails.
As for the actual flight, if you caught my Instagram stories over the weekend, then you would’ve seen how spread out we were on the flights. Most, if not everyone, were able to get their own row of seats. If someone was seated in the same row as someone that they weren’t traveling with, flight attendants would ask if they were comfortable or if they wanted to move seats. I thought that was a nice touch.
The biggest (and most obvious) thing you should know about airport travel during the pandemic is to WEAR. A. MASK.
I wanted to make sure that I was wearing the most comfortable mask possible that was also the most protection as possible. I decided to wear a P-95 mask with a cloth mask over it. The cloth mask was looser than the P-95 mask, which have my ears some relief! I’ll link the cloth mask from Amazon here, which comes in a pack of 3.
And trust me, don’t bother with make up. I’ve never been one to walk out of the house with at least base makeup on my face, but there is really no point here. If you’re a brows girl, do those. If you’re an eyelash girl, do those. Anything else is futile.
Now as to what you should and shouldn’t bring:
Bring food. Most staple fast food locations within the airport will be closed. This means that you won’t be getting Starbucks or Chic-Fil-A while waiting for takeoff. Most of the little shops were open, where you could grab bags of chips or a water, but we both know how overpriced and expensive it can be to fuel for an entire day of travel from one of those places. I brought along a refillable water bottle and a couple granola bars. Next time, I will absolutely bring more snacks!
Bring disinfectant wipes. I know I already said that the airports were on top of cleaning, but I still felt better sitting down after I had wiped down surfaces myself. I will say that I was extremely glad I had brought wipes when one of my flights was delayed by the incoming plane, causing my boarding process to be immediately after the other flight landed. There was no possible way that the flight attendants had the time to disinfect the entire plane! I also wasn’t the only one that took the time to wipe down my seat thankfully.
Don’t bring gloves. This might just be personal preference, but I was mad that I took up place in my carry-on bags for gloves. I didn’t use them, more did I feel the need to. As long as you aren’t putting your hands down on random surfaces, you won’t need the gloves. I didn’t see anyone else wearing gloves, only food workers. Again, this in a personal preference.
I, Chloe Thies, am not legally liable for harm or loss that may result from the previously stated.