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I Flew During the Pandemic

What it’s like to fly during a global pandemic.
By Carrie Fediuk

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Read time: 2 minutes

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to linger, I find myself falling into a sort of comfortable rhythm. It has helped me to realize that life goes on. I have a personal milestone approaching. I do not want to lock the door and close the shades until a vaccine is developed.

The main reason for my resolve is this: my husband and I are preparing to retire at the end of 2020. What a year to do so! We recently purchased a home in Florida. An ideal property came on the market in mid-September. We aren’t the type to make a purchase like this sight unseen, so one of us had to venture down to see the house. I pulled the short straw!

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. I have flown thousands of miles with my job, but these are not normal times. I booked a flight with Delta, since they continue to block the middle seat. Not all airlines are doing this, but it created a sense of comfort not having someone sitting directly next to me.

Here are a few things I observed or experienced:

  • The airports in both Detroit and Orlando were more crowded than I had expected to find. There were not as many travelers as before COVID, but there were plenty of people. In addition, there was a lot of staff on hand to clean waiting areas and restrooms.
  • Security changed only slightly. I had to pull down my mask so the agent could see my face.
  • There were all kinds of people traveling — young, mature, small children.
  • The plane appeared clean. I used the sanitizer wipe Delta provided when boarding to personally go over the area around my seat — the trays, armrests, and the like.
  • Snacks and water were provided in a zip-close bag. When taking a sip of water or a bite of apple, we were instructed to not remove our masks entirely, but to instead pull the mask down temporarily, then immediately put it back in place.
  • My hotel room appeared clean, and there were signs that extra sanitation efforts had been made. Personally, I was more anxious about staying in a hotel than sitting on the flight.

Bottom line: I survived. This was only a two-hour flight, so flying was tolerable with a mask. I think it would have been much different had it been for a longer period of time, but Delta did a great job making passengers feel as comfortable as possible.

Would I do it again? Yes. In fact, I have to return to Florida soon, as we bought the house! In my mind, it was worth the effort to make my way south. Life does go on, even in a pandemic.

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