- Flying during the spread of the novel coronavirus is possible, but there are many opportunities for the virus to spread on flights and in airports, and on March 19, the US State Department essentially advised against travel abroad.
- I flew between Austin, Texas, and New York three times during the spread of the coronavirus in the US to work and back home to my family to wait out the pandemic.
- I took actions to prepare for and protect myself during my flights, like being hyperconscious of human contact and washing my hands after I touched anything.
- I picked up some tips along the way about what to pack how to stay away from germs at the airport and on the plane.
- You should avoid flying if you can right now. But if you have to fly in the US as the virus continues to spread, here are 15 tips and tricks that will help you get through domestic flights during the coronavirus pandemic.
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1. Don’t fly, if you can help it.
The safest thing to do right now is stay away with places with more than 10 people gathered, according to the President Donald Trump. I have stopped flying, and I recommend you do the same. If you must fly, consider these tips.
2. Check-in for your flight online.
This way, you don’t have to touch the machine used to print boarding passes and you can avoid physical contact with airport employees.
3. Eat before you get to the airport.
Eat breakfast before you go to the airport to avoid additional human contact and germs, which linger in airport food courts, according to CNBC.
4. Bring your own water bottle.
Bring your own water bottle and fill it up before the flight to avoid unnecessary contact with flight attendants on the plane.
5. At the TSA checkpoint, fit your items in as few bins as possible, and put bags and shoes directly on the belt.
This will expose your belongings to as few germs as possible.
6. Wash your hands every chance you get.
Soap is awesome.
Remember to thoroughly wash your hands for about 20 seconds, and don’t forget to about those fingernails, as the CDC states.
Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
7. Use the restroom before your flight to avoid using it during the flight.
Avoid aeroplane bathrooms because many passengers touch them during flights. Getting to them requires walking through the aisle of the plane, which will also expose you to germs, according to Business Insider.
8. Try and stay six feet apart from other travellers.
If the terminal is somewhat crowded, walk slowly to maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and the travellers because the novel coronavirus spreads mostly through mucus and saliva, which can spread to people up to six feet apart.
9. Avoid stores.
Normally, I peruse airport stores to kill time, but not during the coronavirus pandemic – too many potential germs. I suggest you avoid them too.
10. Sit far from crowds while you wait to board.
Again, this is to avoid germs.
11. Wear a face mask if you’re sick.
Face masks are more effective in preventing the spread of the virus when they’re being worn by those infected.
As you’ve probably heard, they face a shortage, per Business Insider.
12. Have your boarding pass on your phone.
When boarding the plane, have your boarding pass on your phone to eliminate the need for any physical contact between the gate and the plane.
13. Get a window seat and stay seated.
14. Wipe down everything that is going to touch you during the flight.
Before sitting down, wipe down your seat thoroughly with wet wipes, including the buttons, the tray table, and the inside pocket of the seat in front of you.
15. Bring hand sanitizer and use it each time you touch anything throughout your journey.
Once you finish wiping everything down, sanitize your hands. For the remainder of the flight, sanitize your hands every time you touch anything.
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