Covid-19 has badly hit the aviation industry. Flight bookings have considerably dwindled due to paranoid commuters and travel bans. While the lockdown has started to ease out in different countries, people are still trying to limit their journeys, especially international flights.
The virus is showing no signs of backing off, so travelling with restrictions and precautions seems to be the new normal. However, if you are thinking of booking a flight amidst this crisis, consider the following points to stay safe.
Travel If Necessary
While airlines and authorities are taking all the possible measures to make air travel safe, it isn’t the same as travelling in the pre-COVID world. People around you can be potential careers or even be asymptomatic.
Thus, consider your existing and previous medical conditions and make sure you don’t travel until necessary. Try to postpone the trip, that way you’ll buy yourself, your hosts, and your government some time to prepare.
Checking the Airline’s Policy
Different airlines are offering different customer policies on seating, insurance, and boarding patterns. Thoroughly check out if they are filling the planes up or they are leaving some seats and rows empty for practising in-flight social distancing. Also, choose trustworthy and well-established airlines for your travel.
Guidelines to be Followed
The state and national guidelines are fluidly changing to make air travel more secure. If you are flying domestic, make sure you check out the rules laid out by the state governments where you intend to land. Check specifically about the quarantine regulations; the period and method of quarantine. Is it going to be a home quarantine or at a government facility? If you have made hotel reservations, do check with them if they’ll be accepting new guests and what are their quarantine policies as well.
Being Safe While Flying
Plane ventilation systems have HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters which are efficient in extracting bacteria, moisture, and even viruses. However, there are a few tips that can help you further ensure that you are safe.
- Booking a window seat might significantly reduce your risk of getting infected.
- Avoid selecting a seat near the lavatory.
- Keep your masks and face-shields on while flying for added safety.
Dress Accordingly and Go Prepared
Travelling isn’t going to be the same anymore. Thus, it is best to get accustomed to the new normal and take all the measures to make sure you are safe.
Here are some important tips.
- Avoid wearing clothes that may expose your arms or legs. Prefer long sleeves over half sleeves, pants or leggings over shorts.
- Use canvas luggage bags instead of metal or plastic ones since the virus is known to sustain longer on hard surfaces. Bubble wrap your luggage for added protection.
- Carry disinfectant spray, an extra mask, hand sanitiser, wet wipes, a few pairs of disposable gloves, and folded garbage bags for hygienic disposal of the used equipment after your journey.
- Take a meal before the flight and avoid eating anything at the airport or while airborne.
- Although the cabin is sanitised before every fight, don’t shy away from cleaning your seatbelt, front flaps, armrests, and the window with a spray or wipes before taking a seat.
Factor-in Last-minute Cancellations
Last-minute cancellations have become far too frequent with states and countries accounting sudden lockdowns. Thus, it is best to opt for insurance along with your ticket or opt for a ticket that comes protected by a third-party such as Credit Shell. Also, in case you are part of a frequent flyer program, do check their policy on the expiration of miles or points earned from flight booking or any other means. Most good programs have suspended expiration to make it easier for its members to use the earned points.
“Prevention is Better than Cure”
While you should only travel out of necessity, if you are sitting in the airport lobby right now and you’ve followed the above instructions properly, do know that you don’t have much to worry about. Trust the authorities and take steps to make your travel smoother and safer.