Flying Safe During Covid-19
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have seen their holiday plans get cancelled. Same happened to us but after some initial disappointment we decided to reschedule our plans without giving up on our summer break.
Hopping onto a plane now might look more complicated and stressful than ever before, especially with a 7-month old baby. Our reality however is different than others – we live on an island without any family – so traveling is our only option to stay connected.
In July we traveled to Belgium and due to the poor connection between Menorca and Brussels, we had a layover (in Palma for the inbound flight and in Barcelona for the return flight). Then a couple of weeks later we boarded a direct direct flight to Geneva for our trip through the Alps. We hope that sharing our experience helps you understand that traveling as a family in these uncertain times is definitely possible.
Airport and in-flight experience
It was mid-July and the airports of Palma and Brussels looked like ghost towns. Shops, restaurants and airport lounges remained closed so our only lunch option was a snack from the vending machine. There were few people traveling at that time so luggage drop-off and airport control went very smooth. I can’t imagine the last we traveled without cueing nor delays!
Except for our return flight Barcelona-Mahón, all planes were almost empty allowing lots of space between passengers. Airlines also adapted to the back-to-front boarding which reduced the waiting time considerably. Wet towelettes were distributed to all passengers from the moment we boarded the plane. The on-board meal service was very limited and there were no menus in the back of the front seat.
That being said, although we noticed a weird atmosphere in the airport and on the plane, we’ve never had such a smooth flight experience. No delays (which is rare in high-season), no crowds, no cueing, empty planes; there are definitely some perks to flying now!
Don’t arrive too early at the airport
Arrive at time but don’t get there too early! Although it’s high season, there’s less traffic than during low season. The more time you spend at the airport, the more you expose yourself. Also, if there’s a chance to pack light, do so as it’s the fastest way to get in and out off the airport.
Wear a comfortable face mask
Sounds logic but did you already wear your mask for 12 hours straight? After a full day of traveling (leaving the house at 9am and arriving at our destination at 9pm), we felt so relieved to be able to take off our mask. We use a washable cloth face mask but after an hour or so we felt that the ear loops were too tight.
Hand sanitiser – use it all the time!
This is a general rule but worth mentioning here as well. We disinfected our hands after every single contact with other humans or objects (so yes, we basically did it all the time!). It’s was tougher with a 7-month old baby who started to crawl and put everything in her mouth 😉 We tried to disinfect her hands as much as possible but when you get out with a baby, you know there are certain things you can’t control so we didn’t want to stress too much about it either.
Bring your own snacks
Everything was closed in Palma airport so our lunch options were limited to the vending machine snacks. On our return flight, we brought our own sandwich – tastier, cheaper and safer!
Don’t stress out too much
Probably the best advice we could give you. True, there’s a pandemic going on but as long as you’re in good health and you follow some basic safety measures, there’s no need to stress about traveling. Honestly, we’ve boarded so many flights but few times we’ve had such a smooth and easy experience as we did this summer.
As an extra safety measure we did a PCR test when we arrived back home from our last trip. We had been through five airports and traveled to five countries in the course of eight weeks but luckily our tests came back negative (and it also confirmed that we had never been in contact with the virus).
Note: We’re not mentioning some other basic safety rules as we assume you’re all familiar with them at this point but you can check this list for a quick recap.
We hope this article helps you to understand how Covid-19 has reshaped the way we travel. We are frequent travellers but since the coronavirus outbreak and the birth of our daughter, we had only taken one short flight back in February. So yes, we were nervous but we wanted to give it a chance. For us it turned out to be a (very) positive experience and we want you to feel confident about your upcoming flight. If you have any questions for us, please let us know!
Stay safe and safe travels!