Flying During Covid-19

After several months at home we decided we would make the trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles to see our family in July. Below is a recap of our journey and the safety guidelines we followed to stay safe and healthy. It was very important to us to not only protect ourselves but also my youngest nephew has Cystic Fibrosis, so we were extra careful so we didn’t expose our vulnerable family members as well.

We booked our tickets on Delta and opted to go business class in order to limit our interaction with others on the plane. We also booked an early afternoon departure (3pm) in hopes that not as many would be flying. Arriving at the Atlanta airport we decided to skip the shuttle parking and go directly to onsite airport parking, again to limit interaction and closed in spaces of the shuttle bus. We were able to find plenty of parking in the daily lot ($19 per day). We masked up and walked into the airport to check our bags, the airport was busier than I expected, but the majority of people were wearing masks and were keeping a safe distance apart.

We have Clear and TSA Pre-check so we were able to go through security without touching anything (we used eye scan) and no need to remove anything from my purse or to take out my photo id. Clear also gave us a mask that included some alcohol wipes as well.

Next to our gate, we were departing from Terminal A so we decided to walk and skip the “Plane Train” again to reduce our contact and enclosed spaces, it was about 5 minutes walking from security to the gate. At the gate every other seat is marked off to keep distance between passengers.

Boarding with Delta now begins with Military, then First Class, and then they board by row starting at the back of the plane. We waited to board at the final call to limit our time on the plane and people walking by us. As we boarded the flight attendant welcomed us aboard along with the pilot and handed us a sanitizing wipe.

I had purchased PDI Sani wipes to wipe down our seats and all surfaces we would be touching so as we entered our row I wiped everything down from screens, to tray tables, seat belt, head rest and arms of the seat. Delta is only allowing 50% occupancy in each cabin class, so in first only 10 of the 20 seats were occupied. Delta also requires that you wear a face mask at all times on the plane except when eating and drinking, to be extra safe we brought face shields to wear while eating or drinking. Our flight was 4-1/2 hours so I knew we would need something along the way. As we boarded the flight crew also handed us snack bags that contained a water, crackers, cookies, and hand sanitizer. In first class we were also offered beer or wine along with snack boxes that were sealed.

We had a smooth and pretty uneventful flight, I did have to use the bathroom and I skipped the lavatory sink and washed my hands with rinse free soap at my seat, followed my hand sanitizer. Upon landing at LAX we were asked to wait and keep space between us as we deplaned, this seemed to be pretty organized and we quickly departed and made our way the restroom for a through hand washing before heading to baggage claim.

Overall we were able to keep a safe distance and stay healthy by practicing good hand washing, wiping all surfaces down and avoiding crowded spaces as much as possible. The only exception was the shuttle to the rental car facility which was packed, we did make our way to the back of the bus which helped a little but overall they were not limiting the number of customers on the bus and everyone piled in to the rental car facility. In retrospect I might take an Uber next time to avoid the crowded space.