Advice for air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic

A travel companion who is very happy that the author is taking appropriate travel precautions. Photo by Todd Curtis
Gidget Wiliams and Todd Curtis flying in a socially distant section of a JetBlue A321
  • Consider taking fewer trips or reducing the opportunities to be on an airplane,
  • Choose a nonstop flight or a flight that allows you to stay on the same aircraft for the entire journey.
  • Consider taking a different airline for the outbound flight or the inbound flight if it allows you to complete the trip in fewer flight segments..
  • Choose an airline that has minimal or no penalties for rescheduling or canceling your flight.
  • Avoid taking the last flight of the day for your destination.
  • Choose an airline that has multiple flights a day to your destination.
  • Whether you are on a domestic or international trip, check to see if there are legal restrictions that may apply to you once you arrive.
  • Avoid checked baggage, which avoids not only the people handling your baggage before the flight but also the crowd of people waiting to pick up baggage after the flight.
  • Check in online and either print or download your boarding pass at home.
  • Avoiding public transportation when going to and from the airport, with your own private vehicle perhaps being the least risky choice.
  • Keep your distance from others in the airport terminal.
  • Limiting your exposure to bars, restaurants, stores, and other businesses in the terminal.
  • Wear a mask or other covering over your mouth and nose at all times in the airport, in an aircraft, or in any kind of public or shared transport that you may take to and from the airport.
  • Consider using disposable gloves.
  • Carry extra face coverings, gloves, and other protective equipment.
  • Consider carrying disposable wipes and hand sanitizer. Note that TSA currently allows each passenger to carry one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces (354 ml).
  • Consider upgrading your ticket to travel in a roomier part of the aircraft like first class, business class, or premium coach.
  • Consider choosing an airline that has a policy of leaving some passenger seats open.
  • Avoid moving around the cabin.
  • If possible, avoid going to the lavatory during the flight.

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Former USAF and Boeing engineer and creator of aviation safety and security site AirSafe.com.

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Todd Curtis (airsafe)

Todd Curtis (airsafe)

Former USAF and Boeing engineer and creator of aviation safety and security site AirSafe.com.

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