What's it like to fly now?
This is a question many have asked because they are worried about the close contact environment on an airplane. When we took our flight the last week of September 2020, I admit, I was a little anxious. I did tons of research about what to expect but you can’t substitute research for firsthand information.
I’m a procrastinator by nature in most things, but getting to the airport is one area where I don’t. My motto for checking in for flights, is the earlier the better. Since the airlines have posted a policy of three hours prior to an international flight, I base my recommendation on their suggestion. If you’re my client and your leaving from Anniston to catch a 10am international flight from Atlanta, this is my official advise – leave six hours prior to your departure time. That allows two hours for the drive, an hour for the time change from Central to Eastern and three hours to check in. I do try and follow my own advice, but I’m all a worrier by nature, so we normally schedule to leave an hour prior, you know, just in case.
However, I was so excited about taking our vacation to Mexico, I didn’t sleep the night before, so when Matt woke up at 2am, I was ready to go. So, we loaded the truck and were on the road by 2:30am. We all know if the traffic god is on your side, you can get to the Atlanta airport from Anniston in about 90 minutes. I think we made it in 85 minutes. Our official plan to was stop and fill up the truck as we got close to the airport, so we had a full tank when we got back. Didn’t make that stop. Next, we talked about stopping and eating a small meal, because I knew they wouldn’t be serving much on the plane. Nope, didn’t make that stop either. Parked the truck and waited for our ride over, at this time I was just about bouncing out of my skin thinking about relaxing at the resort. We arrived at the airport at 5:15 am, EST. The Delta counter didn’t open until 6am, so we waited. Just so you know, we were first in line at the Delta counter to check-in that morning. It was wonderful to be back at the airport again.
While we waited, I was able to watch the sun come up over the airport, thinking to myself, I’ll be seeing the sunset over Cabo San Lucas. I did take a few minutes to close my eyes and dream about the week ahead.
The only thing different this time around – masks are REQUIRED everywhere there are people. In the shuttle over, masks required. In the airport, masks required. The only time you don’t’ have to be covered is if you are consuming food or drink. The airport staff keeps a pretty good eye out for anyone not following policy, and would offer a quick verbal reminder if you were caught not following the policy. I was a stickler for following the policy, I was not getting kicked out of the airport.
To help people distance as much as possible, Delta is blocking the middle seats on all flights, unless it’s a group traveling together. They are also boarding the plane from back to front to keep folks from getting too close to each other.
As you get on the plane, you notice the smell of disinfectant. If that weren’t enough, the flight attendant hands you an anti-bacterial wipe to wipe down your seat. Since we’ve only flown Delta since the COVID started, this is what they expect for their customers. First, masks are REQUIRED by anyone over the age of two and must be worn the entire flight, except to consume food or drink. The masks must be worn over the nose and mouth and if it slips down, they will come by and point to you and make a hand motion to place it back over your nose. Was the mask a pain, yeah, a little bit. Was the mask worth it, yes, yes, yes. I’d do it again tomorrow if it meant I could get on a plane again to head off for another vacation.
Are you ready to venture out into the vacation world again? If so, Magnolia Vacations is here to help you find the best places to go.
Call us to help plan your escape from reality.
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