On July 28th 2020, our family took our first flight during the Pandemic. The last time we had flown was back in early March when we went to Disneyland and spent 72 Hours in San Diego but as soon as we returned home, it seemed like the world came to an end. After months of staying at home and social distancing safely, we finally felt decently safe flying in the middle of our move to Las Vegas. Our flight was from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport to Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport and totaled around 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Early on, we decided to fly Delta Airlines not only because the price was comparable flying hub to hub but also because we appreciated Delta Airlines care standards in the midst of Covid-19.To learn more about their care standards and practices, click HERE.
What to Expect in the Airport During Covid-19
While I cannot speak for all airports currently, we noticed in Las Vegas that social distancing was properly enforced. There were frequent social distancing reminders and floor markings of 6ft apart. Hand sanitizer was readily available and within arm’s reach every so many feet and it was considerably easier to be socially distant with less people traveling overall. On the monorails, we chose to sit down rather than hold on to polls but even if we did, hand sanitizer was taken with us and again, readily available at every turn.
Social Distancing and TSA Covid Procedures
The only place in the Airport where it was difficult to remain socially distant was in the line for TSA. If you do have TSA pre-check, I highly recommend using it especially during Covid to avoid as any people as possible. If not, the agents were very understanding and tried to move us as swiftly as possible. Again, it was much easier to maneuver with less people in the airport. The only time that we were asked to remove our masks was during the time that we presented our ID to guarantee that no fraud was taking place. It lasted a few seconds and TSA did not allow any other family to be in our vicinity during that time.
Business goes on as usual in the TSA lines, you are still expected to remove key items from your carry- on bags and luggage and hand sanitizer is waiting for you at the start and the finish of the TSA line. Be sure that your hand sanitizer still complies with the TSA standard which is 3.4 ounces or less of liquid. To get more information on TSA sizing and requirements during Covid, click HERE.
What to Expect at the Delta Terminal and In Flight
The Care Standard was enforced from the terminal to getting on the plane. Hand Sanitizer was readily available as well as signs with requirements present to remind guests to wear masks, wash hands, and more.
Boarding was started much earlier than usual to allow the plane to board back to front. However, prior to loading the plan; the plane was thoroughly sanitized from the previous flight. We appreciated the delay and it added an extra layer of comfort for our flying experience. Upon entering the plane, we were given wipes to sanitize our area again (one per guest standard). In addition, prior to take off we watched a health and safety video in addition to the instructions for flight safety. The presented video allowed us to learn more about the Delta care standard and what cleaning procedures took place prior to boarding the plane. In the video, you can see a short clip of that informational video.
The inflight snack and beverage services have been changed. Guests are no longer given an option of drinks and/or snacks in inflight. Instead, each guest is given an individual packet of sanitizer, napkin, bottled water and two snacks (Biscoff and Almonds or Granola Bar and Almonds). This limited the amount of contact that each flight attendant had with the guests.
Is the Plane De-Boarding Procedure Enforced?
At the start of plane de-boarding, the flight attendants reminded guests about exit courtesy. The intent was for guests to exit front to back. Unfortunately, it came down to the guests to honor the common courtesies and procedures put in place. Many guests still chose to get up early and try to de-board out of order. We, however chose to de-board last to remain socially distant.
In short, we had an amazing experience flying Delta during the Pandemic. While we are not ready to jump full force into travel as of yet, this was a great introduction and we plan to stick to flying with Delta if needed until the Pandemic is over. For a full video of our experience, watch above or click HERE to watch on YouTube. For tips to planning your first socially distant vacation, click HERE.