Flying and Safety During the Coronavirus Pandemic
If you have a flight booked or need to travel, you might be getting a little nervous right now. Will the flight depart as scheduled? Will you be able to return to your country of origin? Is it even safe to fly during these ever changing times? We will try to answer some of these questions about flying during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Is it safe to fly now?
Yes. Flying now is just as safe as any other day, and possibly even safer than before the Coronavirus began. Airplanes are now cleaner than ever, fellow passengers are taking extra precautions while flying, and airports are adopting rigorous measures to screen passengers arriving and departing.
The real risk right now while traveling is not the virus itself, but the laws/rules of the country to which you are traveling to. There is a very real possibility that the borders could close and you will be trapped a long way from home.
One of our writers was blocked from traveling to Russia for upcoming set of articles due to the government placing a ban on non-Russian citizens from entering the country. There is also a possibility that your airline could go bankrupt before you can fly home.
If you find yourself stuck in a situation like this, make sure you have adequate travel insurance in place before departing on your trip. Make sure your policy includes ‘travel disruptions’ so that you are covered for things like hotels, airline insolvencies, and alternative flights.
What should you do to fly safely?
Your flight is booked and everything is listed as on-schedule to go ahead, but you are still worried about your own safety. What should you do? Most governments are advising people to practice ‘social distancing’ and to keep away from other people as much as possible. This is not an option when traveling, so how can you protect yourself?
The most important point is that airliners have never been cleaner than they are now. Prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, airlines operated on tight turnaround times, and employees could only give a quick once over on the plane. This includes picking up some trash, resetting pillows/blankets, and possibly running a quick vacuum for lots of crumbs if the time allows. That was it. Now, with the virus in full swing, airlines are far more thorough and diligent in the cleaning process.
Make sure that you are healthy and feel well enough to travel. Make sure you have enough sleep, eat well and do some basic exercises to ensure your immune system has the tools it needs to fight off an infection. If you don’t feel well enough, you should postpone your travel plans. Most airlines are allowing travelers to reschedule their flights for free during the Coronavirus crisis.
If you are planning on traveling, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are a must have for your trip. Washing your hands with soap and warm water are more effective, but these extra items can help to ensure you stay healthy while traveling. Don’t forget to avoid touching your face!
While on the plane, the window seat could potentially be safer than an aisle seat, due to the fact you will have less contact with people. Make sure to wipe down your tray table, armrests, and seat belt before getting comfortable.
What are the airlines policies on Coronavirus?
Each airline is taking extra precautions to keep the airplane clean and safe for passengers during these ever changing times. You should contact your specific airline for exact details, but here are a few direct links to the largest airlines and their updates on the virus.