I received a lot of questions from my blog and social media followers after my California Bound post as to how safe I felt while flying yesterday and wanted to provide you with my thoughts on flying to help inform and hopefully comfort you.
First off, I was extremely impressed with the precautions that Delta Airlines put in place to help ensure that their passengers remain safe during the flights. Here are some of the safety measures they have in place that I noticed. Details on Delta’s electrostatic spraying and enhanced cleaning procedures can be found on their website.
- Prior to boarding, the plane is cleaned using electrostatic spraying and enhanced cleaning procedures for high traffic areas. For instance, the bathrooms are cleaned several times throughout the flights.
- During check-in, all passengers must confirm that they don’t have COVID symptoms or have been exposed.
- All passengers must wear masks throughout the flight. There are no exceptions, even if you have had the vaccine.
- When boarding, it is done slowly by rows starting with the back of the plane to ensure that the isles don’t get crowded and people can socially distance.
- Prior to boarding, all passengers are given a sanitary wipe package to further sanitize their seat area if they would like.
- The middle seats are left empty in each row (in rows of three) and only one person is seated in rows of two to provide spacing between passengers unless there are family members sitting together. I did not sit next to another person on either of my flights.
- HEPA filters were installed in the planes to clean the circulating air.
- For refreshments, crew members handed out sealed plastic bags with a water bottle and sealed snacks.
- When disembarking, people are asked to stand and disembark row-by-row, starting with the front of the plane and moving backwards. Again, the isle never got crowded.
Overall, I felt very safe during my travels. The biggest factor of all was the level of compliance that I saw from my fellow passengers. I didn’t see a single person in any of the three airports I was in not wearing a mask. I heard no one complain about any of the safety requirements put into place by the airports and the airlines.
There are also far fewer people traveling by air right now, so the airports are far less crowded. I flew thru Atlanta (which is the busiest airport in the world) and the train that takes you between terminals was virtually empty.
I even saw some very innovative new technology that has been deployed at the airports to help keep often-touched surfaces sanitary. Some great examples of this were the self-cleaning elevator buttons (pictured below) and the self-opening garbage cans that are motion activated that I saw.
I hope this post provides you with some clarity about how the airports in the United States and the airlines are currently handling safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides you with some comfort that safety remains a top concern within the travel industry.