My husband Bryce and I have just returned from our first trip since the Covid outbreak.
We traveled from Seattle, WA to Pittsburgh, PA to visit with my friends and family there. We spent ten days in my hometown and at our family's cabin in the nearby Laurel Highland mountains.
Here we'll tell you what travel was like and the steps we took for extra care and safety while flying. On Tuesday I'll share a video of our travels so you can see even more of what traveling during Covid is like.
We chose to travel because we feel it's safer to do so now while everyone is still being careful, rather than in a few months when companies and individuals might be more relaxed. Of course your level of comfortability is up to you!
The Travel Process
Selecting an Airline
We are already loyal Alaska Airlines customers and their level of detail regarding safety and messaging throughout the pandemic gave us comfort to fly.
Read Alaska Airlines FAQ about safety & cleaning procedures or this June 9 blog post about social distancing aka "minding your wingspan."
We took the nonstop Seattle - Pittsburgh flights both to and from my respective home and hometown.
In the Airports
Both the Seattle and Pittsburgh airports have been transformed with social distancing stickers on the floors, signs all around, and hand sanitizing stations that didn't exist previously.
Masks are required in the airports and you are asked to remove yours momentarily to show your face to a TSA agent.
In the terminal most of the stores and restaurants are closed. The biggest stores that sell snacks, books, and drinks are still open and a handful of restaurants are open for quick service or contact-less orders.
On the Plane
Bryce and I had a row to ourselves on both flights. We sat in the window & middle seats to keep our distance from the aisle and the incoming humans.
Our flight out of Seattle was 1/3 full and there were only 1 or 2 people in each 3 person row.
On the way back from Pittsburgh the gate agent alerted us that they'd booked too many passengers to socially distance properly and we were given the option to rebook on the next day's flight. At that point we'd already been through security and the whole airport and exposed to a few hundred people along the way. Doing it again the next day didn't seem to be a good option. Bryce did a good survey of the plane and saw just two rows that were filled with 3 people.
The magazines were removed from the seat backs and only a tiny water bottle and small snack were distributed during the flight. Everything was minimal.
Additional Precautions & Travel Tips
1. Sanitization Station
We brought our own sanitizing wipes on the plane and wiped down everything around us.
We focused on the high touch items first like the tray table, arm rests, seat belt buckles, and window shades but kept wiping until everything was wiped down.
2. Minimized Mask Removal
We ate before arriving to the airport on both travel days to minimize mask removal time in the airport and on the plane.
We did remove our masks for sips of water periodically and for a snack during the ~5 hour flight.
We were careful NOT to remove our masks when everyone else on the plane did. We waited until long after the water and snacks were distributed before we un-masked and ate.
3. Post Plane Protocol
We instructed our pickup teams at both locations to stay in the car and away from us. We hopped in and headed home.
We got to our destinations, showered, and changed into clean clothes before any hugs were given.
We washed our plane clothes and masks immediately.
4. Restroom Recon
We avoided the plane restrooms (which I've always done) and opted to use the airport restrooms only.
Before and after each flight we made sure to do a thorough hand wash with soap and water.
5. Continued Care
While at our destination we were careful to practice mask wearing and social distancing in public and with our oldest and youngest friends and family members.
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Thanks for "flying" with us!
Hello, I'm Angela.
Figs and Flights is all about traveling near and far & eating great food both at home and away.
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