Desperate airlines are trying to convince Americans hoping for a shot at escaping the ongoing stress of the pandemic that it’s SAFE to come back to the airport.
You can travel again… flying is fine… or so they say.
But don’t book that flight just yet. Because no matter how low the price or how badly you want to get away, the risk might be too high.
A new report just out offers up a sobering reality check about air travel in the coronavirus age.
Forget the friendly skies. You’re flying with some unfriendly germs – a lot of them. And that could put you at a higher risk for catching something.
So before packing those bags, be sure you’re willing to take the risk of not only exposing yourself but also exposing the folks you’re going to visit.
Air travel in the age of COVID-19
Normally, we’re starting to make holiday travel plans around this time of year. But there’s nothing normal about what we’re living through.
In many places, all plans are on hold. Yet many folks are tempted to book a trip to see family during Thanksgiving or Christmas anyway. Or to just take advantage of low airfares with a quick vacation after months of lockdown.
And when you watch airline commercials, it might be reassuring to hear them talk about their advanced air filtration and the sanitation process they use between flights. But a new small study shows how you could be exposed to all kinds of germs when flying, including COVID-19, despite precautions.
The study looked at a flight that that had seven passengers on board who had the virus. After touching down, two other people developed an infection. And these were folks who weren’t sick before flying.
Both sat within two rows of a passenger who had the virus during the nearly five-hour flight.
Skip flying or keep it as safe as possible
It’s not entirely bad news. Only two people became sick rather than the dozens who were potentially exposed. Plus, since people are now required to wear masks on flights, which wasn’t the case for this one, your risk may be lower.
And so far, we’ve yet to hear of any significant outbreaks linked to a single passenger flight.
On the other hand, the study does appear to confirm that air travel isn’t risk-free. And that means if you’re in a high-risk category… especially if you’re a senior… it’s probably best to postpone those flying plans for now.
But I get it. Sometimes, you don’t have a choice. Your work may require air travel. Or there may be an urgent need to fly.
So if you have to climb aboard a plane and spend a few hours in tight quarters with other folks, be as safe as possible.
- Contact airlines to find which ones are still offering flights with extra spacing between passengers.
- Wear a mask the entire time except when eating or drinking.
- Wash your hands often.
- Carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
Don’t forget to be just as careful in airports as you are on the plane–especially going through security. Stay masked, maintain your distance, and clean your hands frequently. Also, be sure to follow local health advice at both your departure point and destination.
And for all other cases, at least for now, it’s far safer to forget flying. Either plan on a holiday at home or a place you can drive to. That way, you can control who is around you, and you can be sure everyone has been tested and is virus-free.