I had to take an unplanned trip to Michigan this past week. The decision was not made lightly; like everyone else, we are doing our best to “stay home, stay safe.”
Although I arrived at the Denver airport mid-day, it felt eerily like the middle of the night.
- Very few of the inside ticket counter/bag drop off stations were open.
- There were two people in front of me at the TSA Precheck line
- There was no line for the standard TSA checkpoints
- Only two other people were in the train car that took me from the terminal to the gates
- Two carryout restaurants and a couple of sundry shops were open in the gate area. All the other shops and restaurants were closed.
Once at my gate, I noticed that people were sitting farther apart and generally practicing social distancing guidelines. For the most part, everyone wore a mask. I flew Delta on my way to Michigan and was not able to find a direct flight on any carrier. The ticket was purchased on the day of the trip so that may have been the reason I was unable to find a direct flight; my options were slim.
- When making my reservation online, I noticed that Delta had blocked all the middle seats.
- The aircraft was boarded from the rear of the plane first.
- Before boarding, we were told we would need to wear a face mask to enter the aircraft and that it would have to stay on for the duration of the flight except when eating.
- As we entered the plane, we were greeted and handed a prepackaged antibacterial wipe.
- Once airborne, a zip lock bag containing a small bottle of water, snack crackers, granola bar, napkin, and single-use antibacterial gel pack were handed-out. No other food or beverage service was available. They did not bring the big beverage carts out, just a plastic tray full of the snack bags.
- The inside of the plane appeared exceptionally clean and well maintained.
My flights connected in Atlanta; the airport experience was like the one in Denver. There seemed to be more people at the airport itself but not as many as I would have expected under normal circumstances. Boarding procedures for this flight were consistent with my first flight.
I returned to Denver at the end of the week on a Southwest flight. There were no restaurants open in the Detroit airport only a few sundry shops. Southwest had also blocked the center seats and only served a snack and water.
Overall, I found the experience reassuring. When it is time to travel again, I will be comfortable in doing so. State guidelines and airline policies are changing daily; you need to check both the airline you are flying and the airports you will be using for what is and what is not available. A travel adviser can answer your questions and help you navigate the post-COVID flying experience. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.