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Has anyone flown recently?

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
I know some people who traveled at Christmas, then one of the people they were staying with tested positive, so after days of being exposed they ran to the airport, jumped on a plane and flew home. This is the selfishness you're up against.

Someone in our family is a NURSE!!!!!! Who lives in Florida and has not been able to stop complaining about how non-seriously everyone there is taking the pandemic this WHOLE TIME!!!! And then her and her fiancee went to MA for a wedding, got positive covid tests while there, and FLEW HOME!!!!!! The test results ended up being false positives, but that in no way invalidates all the exclamation points and capital letters I used in this post. I'm really hoping there's more to the story that we're not getting that takes this from insane to understandable, but I'm not sure there is.

Edited to add: AND!!! AND!!! They were staying with her dad, who for complicated and long past small business reasons, basically owns two houses next door to each other. Would have been easy and free to quarantine for 2 weeks in MA.
 
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gingerjess

Angel Diva
Someone in our family is a NURSE!!!!!! Who lives in Florida has not been able to stop complaining about how non-seriously everyone there is taking the pandemic this WHOLE TIME!!!! And then her and her fiancee went to MA for a wedding, got positive covid tests while there, and FLEW HOME!!!!!! The test results ended up being false positives, but that in no way invalidates all the exclamation points and capital letters I used in this post. I'm really hoping there's more to the story that we're not getting that takes this from insane to understandable, but I'm not sure there is.

Edited to add: AND!!! AND!!! They were staying with her dad, who for complicated and long past small business reasons, basically owns two houses next door to each other. Would have been easy and free to quarantine for 2 weeks in MA.

Yikes. I imagine there's some serious Overton window shifting going on due to living in Florida, but regardless, yikes.
 

blueskysunnyday

Diva in Training
I'm so grateful to have a place to discuss these concerns. None of my friends or family seem to think flying is worth worrying about. To me, that is in itself worrying!

We have a weeklong trip planned for early March. Currently, we fly from Richmond to Denver (1 hour layover) and then to Montrose. We will rent a car to drive from Montrose to Telluride/Mountain Village. Would you consider changing the flight to cut out the Denver-Montrose leg and drive to/from Denver instead? Anyone familiar with that drive? My husband says axing the flights altogether is NOT an option without canceling the trip; he won't drive from VA. (That's probably my fault for having the family to watch Vacation and the newer re-make in the past couple of weeks. Oops.) We do have cancel-for-any-reason insurance for all but the flights.
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
... Would you consider changing the flight to cut out the Denver-Montrose leg and drive to/from Denver instead? Anyone familiar with that drive? ...

If you're already flying from Richmond to Denver, I would personally pick another short flight over 5 hours of driving, especially when any route you'd pick for the drive is mountain-y and has a real chance for weather, and you'd be doing it in a rental car of questionable winter readiness. If you're not familiar with those routes already I would def just go with the flight.
 

Leesa

Diva in Training
I'm so grateful to have a place to discuss these concerns. None of my friends or family seem to think flying is worth worrying about. To me, that is in itself worrying!

We have a weeklong trip planned for early March. Currently, we fly from Richmond to Denver (1 hour layover) and then to Montrose. We will rent a car to drive from Montrose to Telluride/Mountain Village. Would you consider changing the flight to cut out the Denver-Montrose leg and drive to/from Denver instead? Anyone familiar with that drive? My husband says axing the flights altogether is NOT an option without canceling the trip; he won't drive from VA. (That's probably my fault for having the family to watch Vacation and the newer re-make in the past couple of weeks. Oops.) We do have cancel-for-any-reason insurance for all but the flights.
I would just fly. Be really diligent about masks and not touching your face and you'll likely be completely fine.

Check your credit card terms with whatever card you used to book the flight. We were shocked to realize our card had travel insurance included which was amazing- you might be fully covered.
 

TeleChica

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@ski diva Rates are coming down overall. Perhaps give it a couple of weeks and go when rates are a bit lower? Just a thought. Definitely a hard decision.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
Someone in our family is a NURSE!!!!!! Who lives in Florida and has not been able to stop complaining about how non-seriously everyone there is taking the pandemic this WHOLE TIME!!!! And then her and her fiancee went to MA for a wedding, got positive covid tests while there, and FLEW HOME!!!!!! .

Stuff like this is what makes me really worried about flying. There are just too many people who just don't take this seriously or who bend the rules to suit their particular situation.

I keep putting off making a decision. Which is sort of like making a decision. And I keep hoping that Vermont will speed up its vaccination schedule so it'll include me sooner rather than later.
 

BReeves215

Certified Ski Diva
@blueskysunnyday, I’m with you 100%. It’s an agonizing decision (if you are thinking). There’s no way to anticipate, much less eliminate, all the risks involved (i.e. our sardine-packed 2.5 hour security line in Atlanta in late June when masks were STILL not required in the airport ). On a more positive note, for Delta travelers, I received an email today that the middle seats will remain blocked through April 30. This news, along with Biden’s universal mask mandate for air travelers, has me feeling better about our April trip. Also, I purchased “cancel for any reason” travel insurance for our pre-paid travel expenses (I did this last February for our family’s 2020 spring break trip to the US Virgin Islands and our claim was paid quickly after the flights/lodging were cancelled). We are flying to SLC on miles, so the only prepaid expense is our lodging cost at Alta Lodge. The policy price was very reasonable and if we have to cancel because of some medical reason on our part or in our immediate family (including Covid), or if for instance the resort closes like last winter, we get 100% of our money back. Perhaps more valuable in my mind, if we cancel because we just don’t feel comfortable going at the last minute, we get 75% of our money back. I think it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
 

blueskysunnyday

Diva in Training
We DO have the cancel-for-any-reason insurance, but did not insure the flights because they are technically not a "non-refundable cost" since the airline offers a credit if you cancel the flight (under the new Covid rules). For those considering a cancel-for-any-reason policy, read that fine print! I found that the insurance companies would have been perfectly happy to accept our money to insure costs that they would never consider eligible for reimbursement.
 

skibum4ever

Angel Diva
We will be flying Southwest to Denver in March. I'm a little less nervous about it now that we have gotten our first Covid shot, and will get the second a couple of weeks before our flight.
 

snowburgh

Certified Ski Diva
I have flown for work several time since March and just got back from a Ski vacation in Utah - from from Philly
  • most folks are following protocol with face masks. Boarding was not socially distant ... so if you are concerned, board last and make sure you are prepared to check bags if there is not room
  • we flew on 'off days'. Our flights were direct and were not full. I was able to get a whole row of 3 chairs to myself. Overhead storage was not an issue
  • you can control your area but bringing your own cleaning wipes, etc. I also turned on all overhead fans so that the air around me was in motion at all times and nothing could hang out in my 'space'
  • i also try to get a window seat, so you are further away from people boarding (if you board before them and not last, for example)
  • Check your flights and seats. There are often folks who get upgraded the day before and you may find empty seats not he plane with no passengers next to you. Some airlines are still not allowing middle seats to be occupied ... i don't know who they are, but think Delta is one.
  • I would fly again. the slopes had 1 minute lines (on weekdays) and was great to get away from everything in the area i live (we have been under lockdown)
  • i also was able to order groceries valet and rent a house with full kitchen, so did not really go out more than to ski (and the wine shop).
Good luck, If you want to be safe, you can. I will take a little more since some people may not be as careful as you would prefer
 

snowburgh

Certified Ski Diva
i was actually in Park City. Sunday was 6 minutes, and every other day (Mon-Thurs) was 1. However, they did not get snow that week, so that may have explained the lack of interest.
 

BReeves215

Certified Ski Diva
Good to know that with regard to lift lines “your experience may vary.” It’s certainly hard to gauge based on what I’ve seen online - everything from seemingly 500+ people in line at Vail, compared to 10-20 people on a powder day at other Western resorts
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Good to know that with regard to lift lines “your experience may vary.” It’s certainly hard to gauge based on what I’ve seen online - everything from seemingly 500+ people in line at Vail, compared to 10-20 people on a powder day at other Western resorts
It's not much different that trail ratings. Each resort is unique in terms of weather patterns, market, and what happens with lift lines. The only factor that seems to be pretty consistent is that Saturdays and powder days are general much busier than midweek. Lines at base lifts also tend to be longer. So starting early enough to get away from the base at a larger resort is worth while. Even for people who aren't really "morning people."

In the same way, each airport is a bit different. I hadn't been at BWI for a while. It felt much smaller than I remembered. Especially compared to the new terminal at SLC or Denver. With social distancing in mind, I noticed the higher density of people waiting around for their flights more than usual. It was just as well that my Denver flight arrived a little late.
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
Yeah DH said lines this weekend were as bad as 60-90 minutes. Traffic backups can be worse... But it was a powder weekend. And if you don't go up early you won't get a parking space at all. That's weekend traffic for you...
 

bsskier

Angel Diva
I just came back from flying on United 2/10-2/14. Inbound, I had to tell the family of three behind me to put their masks on after we landed in DEN. They were literally on top of me attempting to defy UA's policy of row by row orderly deplaning, which by the way was an epic failure with zero enforcement. My husband, who sat across the aisle from me, said these heathens never had masks on during our 4 hour flight. I’m disappointed in husband for not saying something to the crew about them because prior to takeoff, the crew had to remind these people TWICE to put tray tables up and get off the phone. I was left to report them (and the crew) via UA's post flight survey.

On our return flight, people were congregating in the aisle at the midsection bathroom, which unfortunately I was seated near. I quietly asked the attendant to please try to prevent the ongoing congestion. Standing around was never tolerated before COVID and it certainly should not be now. Once home, I felt my flying experience and subsequent reporting turned me into a hall monitor. The airports were fine as were passengers mulling around. My negative experience was onboard, in flight, and deplaning.

Between these flights and arriving a day late, I did enjoy some fabulous skiing at Vail and Beaver Creek though! I'll count myself lucky if I don't get an exposure notification.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I was left to report them (and the crew) via UA's post flight survey.
Interesting. I think there is a difference between airlines. Just as there are differences at ski resorts depending somewhat on the people who are around.

I find that people who fly on Southwest are generally pretty patient and helpful. On one recent flight a father with two young kids missed the announcement about Family Boarding. It didn't take long at all for people to volunteer to move so that he could sit with his kids. Even with full flights, no one was congregating near the rear bathrooms. EVERYONE kept their masks on the entire time.
 

ski skuhl

Angel 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...

I feel a little late to this "flying" forum but for what it's worth...we flew from PHL to SLC, yes to ski, in mid January. I felt safe on the plane, family members on both sides of me. Planes are safer than many stores that are in older buildings without optimal ventilation. But like Sk8ski said - and I can't stress this enough - there is no social distancing in the TSA queue or plane boarding. That freaked me the *&#@ out. We did wear N95s as well as face shields.

Was it worth it? Yes, we had an amazing 6 days of powder. Would it have been worth it if we got infected? Maybe not but thankfully we had negative test results within days of our return. These days, everyone needs to do risk assessment and personal threshold for holding that risk. No judgement, only support for decisions made.
 

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