How to fly safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo of a plane landing/taking off
Antonio Martin/Staff

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Air travel, similar to nearly every aspect of our lives, looks a little bit different this year. And while it’s not recommended that anyone travel for unnecessary reasons, we at the Clog want to make sure that those of you who do have the need to get on a plane know how to best prepare for the experience. Airports are empty and planes are no longer packed during the holiday season, but staying safe is more important than ever. Whether you’re flying across the country or across the sea, here are a few tips for having a COVID-19-safe flight. 

Wear more than one mask

A mask is the most important item on your travel list. Airports already require you to wear a mask at all times unless you are eating or drinking, but I recommend double-masking. Wear a disposable surgical mask underneath a reusable mask for an extra layer of protection. Also, be sure to bring backups. Keep a zip-close bag full of extra face masks in your travel bag. It’s always good to have more than one just in case.

Bring travel size disinfectant and hand sanitizer

As you pack, remember to grab hand sanitizer and a small pack of disinfectant wipes or a travel size bottle of alcohol spray. When you get on the plane, wipe and spray down your seat before settling in. Remember to sanitize any surfaces before interacting with them, too — the bathroom included. With so many people from all over the world passing through the airport, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Avoid eating

If your flight is short, avoid eating and drinking. If you’re on a longer one, such as the 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to South Korea, this may be a bit more difficult. It’s especially important to stay hydrated and fueled on longer flights. These flights will serve meals, so if you eat, sanitize your hands and avoid touching your food with them. You can also eat quickly to minimize the amount of time you’re unmasked. More importantly, try to get some sleep! Sleep is critical for a functioning immune system, and ultimately, that’s your greatest line of defense. 

Distance yourself from others

When selecting seats on the airplane, leave a seat or two between you and the next person. If you choose your seat upon boarding, find one that’s a good distance away from other passengers. Maintaining social distancing on a plane can be tricky, but some space is always better than none!

These are just a few tips to keep in mind for the next time you need to fly. Remember to always do your research about your flight’s safety measures and your destination’s COVID-19 travel policies. Whether you’re going to a different country or returning home for the holidays, taking these few steps to stay extra-safe can bring you and your loved ones some extra peace of mind. Safe travels, Bears!

Contact Kristie Lin at [email protected].