Flying In The Age Of Covid

Going to Denver last month required flying. I normally enjoy flying but was apprehensive given the state of Covid in this country.

I am selective about where I go and who I spend my time with on a normal day. Travel is by car. Dining out is rare and typically in the car or outside. Shopping is mostly utilitarian now rather than entertainment.

I have found ways to travel around the region and even down to Virginia while being safe and feeling secure but it is always by myself in a car.

The thought of air travel – even a couple of weeks before the holiday rush- made me squeamish but my research was reassuring. Friends who fly regularly were able to provide some insight. What I had read about my airline was reassuring too.

Flying out of the John Glenn International Airport in Columbus on a Tuesday afternoon was a smart choice.

The place was a ghost town.

Some shuttle lots are closed, most businesses were closed or operating with limited hours, and there was no security line. Literally, friends, there was no line. I walked right through.

There were people cleaning and so few travelers it was easy to social distance.

Flying in and out of Denver was arguably a mistake.

This is one of our country’s busier airports. Getting off the plane and leaving was fine. The airport train wasn’t at all busy and I managed to get out the door without cause for concern.

Sadly, the flight out was a much different story. The TSA line was enormous. It moved quickly but most people were making no effort to social distance.

Once through security, there was plenty of space to spread out even though it was busy. Everything felt extremely clean and there is hand sanitizer available everywhere.

All the same, if I had known it would be this busy, I would have flown out of a smaller airport.

The experience made me grateful that I’m typically a road tripper and am not flying during the holidays.

Have you flown lately? I would love to hear your story.

14 thoughts on “Flying In The Age Of Covid

    • I was shocked at the difference between the two airports as Columbus is usually pretty busy. And I didn’t write about this part today but the actual act of flying on the plane felt pretty safe.

      How is your life in the UK right now? Are things opening up again?

      • We have come out of lockdown 2 but have been put straight into a tier system, wereby things can happen ( or not) depending on what tier you are in. Basically it means tat most shops are now open again but pubs are shut. Also we cant go into other peoples houses, except for 5 days over Christmas. We are all very excited about the vaccine though. They are starting to distribute it to the elderly and vulnerable next week. Hopefully normality is not far away. Take care Brandi, its really interesting to hear and see how you guys are getting on too.

      • It’s interesting to hear how you are getting on over there too!

        There’s no national plan here so our state governors are calling the shots. Here in Ohio, there’s a state wide mask mandate and curfew. There are occupancy limits in public buildings and lots of suggestions but most people do as they please.

        Thanks for popping by and please stay safe!

  1. I think the key is to not be in proximity to even masked people for long periods of time. If the TSA line moved quickly, your risk was probably managed. Not zero, but managed.

    • The line moved quickly with some exceptions. Since they don’t have you take anything out of your bags, there are higher instances of bag scanning and searches that slow down some individuals. I had to wait several minutes for my bag to be physically opened and searched in Denver. That left me standing in the middle of everything for several minutes.
      That said, it seemed to be more emotionally trying (after months of little exposure to crowds) than a real threat.

    • Honestly, it was a hard call to make. I do wish I had skipped the big airport but the actual act of flying felt perfectly safe. That said, it isn’t for everyone and I’m not in a hurry to do it again soon.

  2. I am terrified of flying so one of the benefits of having to move in with my elderly mother was knowing I never have to get on a plane again, EVER!!!!!! Ha ha.

    That being said, if I ever CHOOSE to fly again, I would rather face an airport full of COVID then get on one of those Boeing planes that crashed twice and is now “fixed” and back in service.

    Glad you had a safe flight and hope you had a great time once you reached your destination!

    • Oh, I’m so sad for you! I love to fly! I hate the airport experience – parking, shuttle, Security, finding a place to cram my carry on. Such a pain to go through all that but I do enjoy the actual act of flying.

      Nonetheless, I am glad that you don’t have to face the horrors of doing something that scares you.

      • I love riding the shuttle to the airport and I love getting food from the restaurants in the airport but Lord…I know I’m going to die every time. LOL

      • Haha. Girlfriend, you just need some good reading material or maybe a sedative.

        I once sat next to a guy who travels for business. He told me a story about talking to a woman for an entire flight just trying to keep her calm. She screamed when they took off and at every bump in the sky.

        I’m so sorry you don’t enjoy the experience!

      • Oh lord no! I can’t read on a plane and I can’t have anyone talk to me!!!! Talking is the worst. I have to sit next to the window, looking out of it with my back a firm wall between me and the rest of the people trapped in that flying coffin so that even the flight attendant would not dare to ask me if I want something. I wish everyone would just sit quietly in their seats and not move or open their mouths until we arrive at the gate of our destination. I’m only SLIGHTLY exaggerating. I have, on occasion, calmed down enough to enjoy some coffee or those adorable cookies shaped like airplanes. I think I would be ok if they would let me sit up front between the pilot and copilot. They can see what’s in front of them.

      • Oh, Jinger, you gave me a much needed giggle with this vivid and detailed description. I’m sorry this is so stressful for you and only wish you could relax and enjoy it as I do. Right now United is passing out goodie bags with the cookies AND the pretzels so you don’t even have to choose!

        Have you ever flown in smaller planes? Like a two seater? I wonder if that’s as terrifying as the big ones. I do sometimes wonder how something so large could ever make it off the ground.

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