Air Travel Tips … Know Before You Go!
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
- Pack food, a reusuable water bottle and hand sanitizer in your carry-on. The TSA relaxed its liquid rule for hand sanitizers and allows travelers to bring a hand sanitizer container as big as 12 ounces instead of the usual 3.4-ounce limit in their carry-on bag.
AT THE AIRPORT
- Use your smartphone to check in to your flight on your airline’s mobile app in advance, and save your boarding pass straight to your phone. You can also check-in via the airline’s website and print your boarding pass at home. Either way, you’ll be able to avoid waiting in line to use the check-in kiosks at the airport.
- If you have bags to check, consider using the skycap outside to avoid lines (if they’re open at your airport). but don’t forget to tip a couple of dollars per bag.
- To further decrease touch points as you check-in and get through security for your flight, consider bringing a zip-lock bag to put your ID in until you have a chance to disinfect it after it’s been handled by airport or TSA personnel.
- Ditch the bins at TSA checkpoints. The Transportation Security Administration recommends travelers put personal items such as cellphones, keys, lip balm and tissues in their carry-on bags instead of in a bin to avoid cross-contamination.
- Wait for your flight at an empty gate. If you arrive in the concourse with time before boarding starts, scout out a nearby empty gate and wait there until close to the start of boarding time.
- Keep social distances while boarding. Most airlines have changed their boarding procedures to minimize the number of passengers who pass by others who are already seated. Still, do not crowd into the door to the jetway until your row is called and maintain 6 feet of distance from those not in your party while in the jetway and in the aisle as you reach your seat.
ON-BOARD YOUR FLIGHT
- Bring a face mask or face covering and wear it at the airport and on the plane. All major U.S. airlines require passengers to wear them. Some airlines, including American, Delta and United will ban future flights for passengers who refuse to wear them.
- You can take off your face covering for a short period while you eat or drink. But make sure to put it back on when you’re done. And continue to wear it inside the airport upon arrival.
- Wipe down your seat, tray table, armrest and other areas around you. If you have to use the bathroom on your flight, wipe down the door handle and other surfaces you may touch inside the lavatory.
- Sit by the window. Selecting the window seat reduces the number of people sitting around you, and you’re farther from people who may walk by in the aisle. Furthermore, if you can stay seated the entire flight that reduces your risk.
- Open the air vent. Most planes have filters that remove 99.9% of particles from the air while bringing in outside air. Keep the air vents above your seat open to improve the flow of fresh air from outside.
AT BAGGAGE CLAIM
- Maintain 6 feet social distance when claiming your bag. It might be prudent to wait until most other passengers have claimed their baggage before removing yours from the belt so you can avoid the crowds.
RISK OF COVID-19 EXPOSURE ON PLANES ‘VIRTUALLY NONEXISTENT’ WHEN MASKED, STUDY SHOWS
United Airlines says the risk of COVID-19 exposure onboard its aircraft is “virtually non-existent” after a new study conducted with the Department of Defense finds that when masks are worn there is only a 0.003% chance particles from a passenger can enter the passenger’s breathing space who is sitting beside them.
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