Fully vaccinated people are feeling a new sense of freedom. For many that means traveling – often for the first time in more than a year. The number of airline passengers is definitely picking up, with the TSA now screening more than one-million fliers each day. A recent report by HuffPost.com breaks down everything you need to know – and consider – before you book your next flight.
Non-stop flights are best. The HEPA filters on planes do an excellent job at purifying the air. That, coupled with the fact that airplane passengers are required to wear face masks, has prevented flights from becoming super-spreader events. Experts say the bigger COVID-19 risk is in the airport sitting at the gate, eating in restaurants, even while boarding and deplaning. So, if you can eliminate some of that airport time by flying direct, then you will reduce your risk of exposure.
Pick a window seat. Airlines are no longer blocking the middle seat, so physical distancing onboard a plane may be difficult. Experts prefer the window seat to an aisle seat because you don’t have people walking past you. The window seat also offers better airflow.
Upgrade if you can. Purchasing a seat in the roomier business- or first-class cabin will reduce your risk of exposure. But, if you can’t afford the upgrade, experts suggest taking a window seat at the far back of the plane. Most people prefer to be closer to the front so you might have an empty seat next to you – and you will definitely have less people standing near you during the slow boarding process. However, you don’t want to be too close to the restrooms where people tend to congregate.
Continue to follow health and safety protocols. It’s important to continue to wear a face mask when flying and at the airport. Experts recommend wearing a surgical grade (or N95 mask) or double masking, with a cloth mask over a medical mask. And, if you are eating or drinking onboard, be sure to keep your mask on between bites or sips. You should also make sure you are washing and sanitizing your hands frequently when traveling. It’s also a good idea to pack antibacterial wipes to clean and disinfect your seat, seatbelt, and tray table.
Have you flown or are you planning a flight anytime soon? What do you plan to do to make sure you stay safe while in the sky and in the airport? Message The Seniors Trust on Facebook or Twitter and share some of your safety tips.