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Has anyone flown recently?

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
How was it? Did you feel safe, even with someone sitting next to you on the plane, since they're now booking all seats? How did you handle the experience? I'd love to hear your impressions.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@ski diva FWIW discussed this very topic w/ DH last night as we need to travel out of state on family business. DH was flying during the fall (Aug to early Nov) w/ out any hesitation and staying in a hotel. No issues. But with the spike and the potential multiple strains and fuller flights we have decided to drive 6.5 hours and CAMP. In a tent. Yes, I'm making it an adventure (mine, not his lol). We could have booked really cheap flights but having to spend time in airport and then renting a car anyway (usually another 1.5 hour ordeal) just makes more sense to "rent a really nice car" and drive. I think if I was leaving from a regional airport and going to a destination with lower covid numbers I would feel lot more comfortable flying. It was always N95 w/ another double mask and some type of sealed eye protection when he flew previously.
 

bsskier

Angel Diva
I've been flying domestic coach on a 3-3-3 or commuter 2-2 config with Delta and JetBlue, both of which still block the middle seat. I'd always sanitized the seat, seatbelt and straps, tray table top and bottom and all other points of touch pre COVID so my pre-flight ritual didn't change. Masks have been mandatory on every flight I've been on since mid-March 2020. My mask choice is a new KN95 for each flight segment mainly because it has that snout form that doesn't make me feel smothered. Early on, I thought I'd have to dive into a very small supply of N95's for flying, but decided to keep those on reserve. I feel safe flying and understand not everyone does. I hate hearing people cough or sneeze though. It makes me wonder 'do they have it?"

Soon I fly on an airline that doesn't block seats. The more comfortable option would be to book my party of 2 in First Class where row seating is 2-2. Instead, I check the seat map for each segment to see if anyone has plopped into the middle seat of the row we're seated (DH does window and I do aisle) So far, I've not had to move us, but I'll be prepared if we must move or have a stranger with us. I chose this airline knowing a stranger could take the middle seat if I didn't buy it outright. .
 

bsskier

Angel Diva
My bad, I meant that I've been flying on on 1-1-1 or 1-1-config. Messed myself up with that one.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for your responses. I've been considering visiting my elderly parents in Florida, but the whole flying thing has me really spooked. I flew in October before cases went up and the new more transmissible variants emerged, and the airlines were still blocking middle seats (BTW, JetBlue no longer does). So I'm trying to decide whether or not to go. The whole thing would be a lot easier to decide if I'd received the vaccine; unfortunately, that's not going to happen for a while.
 

alison wong

Angel Diva
Flew last Dec from DC to SLC by Southwest, returning home by Delta.

Got tested before and after the trip, both times negative.

I double masked: N95 + cotton mask. Did not use restroom, did take off mask when eating/drinking.
For returning flight with Delta, I had window seat, middle seats were filled, flight almost full. I ended up chatting to the guy sitting next to me (middle seat) about skiing.
I did not see anyone without out mask on flights.

To answer the question, my impression flying is safe.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
Thanks for your responses. I've been considering visiting my elderly parents in Florida, but the whole flying thing has me really spooked. I flew in October before cases went up and the new more transmissible variants emerged, and the airlines were still blocking middle seats (BTW, JetBlue no longer does). So I'm trying to decide whether or not to go. The whole thing would be a lot easier to decide if I'd received the vaccine; unfortunately, that's not going to happen for a while.
Have your parents been able to get vaccinated? My mom has had the first shot.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I flew Southwest in Dec from Raleigh to SLC. SLC airport was pretty busy when I was waiting for my flight home but 99% of the people near the gates were properly masked. Easy to avoid those who weren't. Flight home was almost a full flight since it was the Saturday before Christmas. Had someone next to me both legs. Flights were very quiet, with few people talking at all. I was using a KN95 mask. No issues.

Just flew to Denver from Raleigh, via Nashville. Nashville to Denver was a full flight. Not much different than Dec. Perhaps better mask usage in the airports. Has always been good on Southwest on the plane. Announcements in the airports and on the flights are very clear that proper mask usage is required. One airport noted it was "federal law." Most announcements are from 2020 and are from local authorities.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
Have your parents been able to get vaccinated? My mom has had the first shot.

Yes. They had their second shot this past week. My dad is almost 98 and my mom is 91.

My main fear is being seated next to someone on the plane. I can avoid people pretty well in the airport; it's being in close proximity to others on the plane that worries me.
 
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Jenny

Angel Diva
Yes. They had their second shot this past week. My dad is almost 98 and my mom is 91.

My main fear is being seated next to someone on the plane. I can avoid people pretty well in the airport; it's being in close proximity to others on the plane that worries me.
Understood. Just glad they’ve been able to get theirs.
 

Getting Ready

Angel Diva
We have flown a few times. Most recently around Christmas. We flew Delta and used amex points to upgrade to first. The plane part felt relatively okay to me. One of the airports was a little crowded. I wished I’d booked a red eye because the return home had us arrive at midnight and airport was empty. We did not check bags so we could move through airport as fast as possible.
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
My first flight was on a full 1-1 1-1. I realized my anxiety came primarily from being near so many people (after not having been in so long). I feel confident about air filtration in planes and was actually less anxious flying all the way to Europe with a layover in the fall after ‘getting back on the bike’ with the domestic flight first.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
Maybe it would be worth looking into your economy plus or first class options, so you have a little more space from strangers. I just booked a flight to Alaska for September, to make up for a trip that was canceled last September (It's still not clear the backcountry lodge where we are heading will be open, but anyway...) and that's what I did--first class one way, where it wasn't an reasonable cost, and premium on the way back, when first was pretty pricey.

But If you are uncomfortable with flying, what about a good old-fashioned road trip? If you can drive, there is something to be said for not stuffing yourself in a tin can where you are relying 100+ other strangers to follow the rules.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
^^^
That was my thinking, making it a road "trip" although 6-7 hour drive in the southwest is easier than north east to south east. I was actually surprised to find open tent sites in a regional park close to where we need to be.

My flying concern was traveling between two covid hot spots on a full plane.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
But If you are uncomfortable with flying, what about a good old-fashioned road trip? If you can drive, there is something to be said for not stuffing yourself in a tin can where you are relying 100+ other strangers to follow the rules.

I think driving from Vermont to Florida would kill me. Not going to happen, unless I'm going to be there for much longer than I currently intend to stay.
 

sk8ski

Certified Ski Diva
Flew from Newark, NJ to Orlando and back several weeks ago.
If my family hadn't had (and recovered from) Covid several weeks prior to that, we would have most likely walked into the airport, and walked right out.

You may think you can easily avoid people I'm the airport - in many situations it is out of your control, however. For example, in TSA screening line, all distancing goes out the window, generally. Or queued up to enter the plane - had a woman literally breathing down my neck, and even if I'd have asked her to keep the distance, she wouldn't have been able to - people were breathing down her neck, too (someone took much longer than others to settle in on the plane, creating a huge bottleneck). Perhaps experience would have been a little different if plane would have arrived on time instead of being a little delayed.

Your mileage may vary...
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yeah, sometimes the difference between First and Economy is not that vast, so it may be worth checking. You may still be next to someone but at least it's less dense in First.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
I just saw in the NY Times that they're considering requiring testing before getting on a plane. That won't make the airports safe, but likely safer.

Excerpt:
"Federal officials are considering whether to require airline passengers to have a negative coronavirus test before boarding domestic flights, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Proof of a negative test result is already required for passengers boarding international flights bound for the United States, under a policy imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month.

In a program that aired on Sunday night, Mr. Buttigieg told “Axios on HBO” that “there’s an active conversation with the C.D.C. right now” about whether to require a negative test for domestic travel as well.

“What I can tell you is, it’s going to be guided by data, by science, by medicine, and by the input of the people who are actually going to have to carry this out,” he said.

end excerpt
 

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