Me and my spinnanight bag made it all the way to LA a little over a week ago. I even rolled up on Lawrence and Issa’s old spot but they weren’t there. It’d been about 7 months since I’d been in an airport and on a plane and things looked both foreign and familiar. Social distancing stickers were everywhere, there weren’t as many restaurants open, hand sanitizing stations were everywhere and so were masks. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people following the face-covering guidelines. I wanted to share a few tips with y’all in case you were thinking about hopping on a plane in the next few months.
Choose less popular locations/airports – Even though I went to Los Angeles I flew out of Hobby and into Burbank. Not only did that make sense logistically since my friend lives closer to the Burbank airport but there was less foot traffic in there.
Fly at off-peak times – We flew bright and early in the morning on both legs and we didn’t have full flights. In fact, I think our “fullest” flight was only like 60% occupied.
Carry-on luggage – Y’all know I’m team carry-on anyway, but I can’t stress that enough now especially if you don’t want everyone and their mom touching your bag. Pack light and keep your luggage with you.
Wear a comfy mask/face covering – We flew Southwest and they recently changed their policy so that masks with vents and bandanas are no longer acceptable face coverings. Be sure to check the policy of the airline you’re traveling on and wear a comfortable mask that fits within their policy. And if push comes to shove they’ll likely have plenty of approved masks at the gate; I know Southwest did.
Give yourself and the airline/airport employees grace – Factor a bit more time in your schedule for longer TSA lines if you don’t have Pre-Check or Clear. Be prepared for long lines at the airport restaurants. Be prepared for longer boarding times since most airlines are now boarding in smaller groups. Give yourself and everyone else grace. We’re all just trying to get to where we’re going safely, and the employees are trying to help us do that.
Honestly after seeing all of the precautions that the airports and airlines (particularly Southwest) have taken I’m a bit more comfortable flying again in the near future.