I’m coming at you from 39,908 feet above Atlantic City and a child kicking the back of my seat. I’m flying from Hartford, CT to Orlando FL – and I’m even wearing my Mickey Mouse mask and USF hoodie just in case people didn’t realize I’m from Florida!
I know flying has been a point of contention this whole time during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been a constant battle of people disagreeing on how safe it really is to travel by air, and judgements flying in every direction based on whichever side you choose to side with.
Well, I’m flying.
The decision wasn’t easy for me because I have a mother with severe asthma that means the absolute world to me and I would never want any harm to come her way. BUT I just needed to get out of Florida for a bit. That’s why when I heard my mom was driving down to Florida and then right back to New York, I knew it was one of the last chances I would get to go home before I had to start working from the office again. I packed a bag and hopped in the car to drive home with my mom.
I got to New York but I needed a way back to Florida because I wasn’t about abandoning my pets for a whole month until my mom drove back down – their daddy is taking great care of them but because they are all rescues I don’t like leaving them for long.
I decided it would be better to fly down to Florida rather than up to New York so just in case I do contract the virus, I won’t be transferring it to my mother.
When I made the decision that I would finally fly again, I made some restrictions or guidelines to my flying. I wanted to be EXTRA careful here because I just really don’t want to give anything to my parents that are in their 50’s.
I chose to drive up to Hartford, CT so I can fly out of a smaller airport. My usual airport is Westchester County Airport because, well, I live right there, but there were no flights from Westchester to Florida, at least none with less than four stops.
My biggest thing was I did not want to fly out of LaGuardia, JFK, or Newark because of the volume of people going in and out of those airports daily…plus, my mom hates driving to the city and Jersey.
My next stipulation was my flight had to be either Delta or jetBlue. I usually only fly jetBlue anyway but sometimes for these short flights I give in to the United and American flights. Not this time. I’ve heard too many stories about the lack of distancing on those flights and have only heard good things about Delta and jetBlue’s precautions.
My last rule – which my dad actually made – was that it had to be a nonstop flight. I originally wanted to fly from Hartford to Tampa (since Tyler lives seven minutes from there) but the only flights to Tampa had layovers. We wanted to cut down on exposure time so my dad said Tyler can make the drive out to Orlando for me.
I ended up taking an early morning flight out of Hartford to Orlando on jetBlue and let me tell you, I feel safe. Safer than I do at the grocery store.
The airport wasn’t too crowded – the early morning flight paired with the lack of travel – and everyone there followed social distancing guidelines and wore a mask.
When i got on the plane I noticed that they kept all middle seats open so no one will be up against each other. Super awesome since I don’t like being up close and personal with people anyway.
I was getting paranoid at first about everything so I wiped down my seat but then I saw that jetBlue was disinfecting their planes using some electrostatic sprayers that use an electric charge to really cling to surfaces. They do this overnight (I am the first flight of the day) and they still disinfect everything between each flight.
Along with some serious disinfectant, jetBlue is using hospital – grade HEPA air filters in the cabin.
I’m not sure if these precautionary levels are taking place throughout the airline service or if it is just jetBlue but it really has put me at ease.
Now, the decision to fly or not to fly depends on everyones own comfortability, no one can tell you not to fly or to fly, but for anyone trying to gauge how the airs are right now, I hope you were able to get something out of this.
PS: Still nervous about using the bathroom but to be honest, I never use public restrooms anyway because I’m a slight germaphobe.