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East Coast To West Coast. What It Looks Like To Fly During The Pandemic

Updated: May 18, 2020

What it looks like to fly during the pandemic

Despite many cancellations and the huge decline in air travel, a handful of flights are still operating across the country. Most of flights are virtually empty, but some are operating near capacity.

As per the CDC's guidelines people should avoid all unnecessary travel. If you need to fly somewhere, there are a number of precautions you can and should take like wearing a mask, frequently washing and sanitizing your hands and surrounded surfaces, taking a window seat, and staying as far away from other passengers as you can.

Sylvia Granato, the yoga instructor from New Jersey, shared her flying experience with us after she took a flight from Philadelphia to San Diego with the connection in Dallas. Here is what she told us..

When I arrived at Philadelphia International Airport at 7 in the morning, the inside of the terminal was deserted.

"It's not common to see more than 10 people nowadays", one of the airport workers said.

Philadelphia International Airport

Every single person I saw that day at the airport was wearing a face mask. Beginning May 11, customers and employees are mandated to wear face coverings, except to the extent the passenger or employee who is eating or drinking, or who is alone in the office. This measure will remain in place for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak.

There were marks on the floors along with other reminders to practice social distancing.

They have installed protective shields at security checkpoints, ticket counters and cash registers. I had to pass my ID and boarding pass through the tiny window. Security check process didn't seem to be different from what I was experiencing before the pandemic.

While boarding, the flight crew announced that every passenger was supposed to keep six-feet distance and we were required to have a face mask on during the whole flight. In addition, you had to scan your boarding pass by yourself.

As soon as I stepped aboard, the flight attendant handed me a plastic bag with bottle of water and snacks. Food and drinks services were not provided by airline anymore.

In flight attendant's announcement, she described the extra precautions American Airlines was taking, including new rules distancing passengers from one another, air-filtration systems, use of disinfectants and reduced in-flights services.

There was plenty of room on the plane. Most of the seats around me were empty. It felt like I had the whole plane to myself.

Philadelphia to Dallas

I saw people wearing face masks throughout the whole flight, they only took them off to drink and eat. Overall it was a pleasant worry-free flight.

As soon as I arrived to Dallas, I felt completely different vibe. There were many people without masks and some folks appeared to be abiding by guidelines to stay six feet apart from each other. Notably, the passengers in Dallas didn't seem to be very concerned about coronavirus.

I had a very different flying experience on my way from Dallas to San Diego. We didn't have to scan our boarding passes like we did before boarding at Philadelphia International Airport. The plane was packed and, despite the social distancing policy, many passengers couldn't obviously be six feet apart from each other and not everybody was wearing a face mask.

If you cannot avoid traveling, check the latest updates with the World Health Organization (WHO), with the ECDC, and with the public health agency of the destination you plan to visit. There you’ll find the latest case numbers, the restrictions and quarantine requirements in place, and how overwhelmed the local health care system is.

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