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  • Writer's pictureRobin Gilmore

Flying During a Pandemic: San Francisco

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Even though some international borders are still closed, domestic travel is increasing. Many people are excited to get in the air to discover new places and explore our beautiful country. However, the question remains, what is it really like flying during a pandemic?

Everyone's experience will be a little different, but this is Ryan's account of her trip to San Francisco.

Q. Where did you fly from and to, and did you have any layovers?

A. I flew Delta Air Lines to San Francisco on July 1 and returned to Cleveland on July 6. I had a layover in Detroit both ways.

Q. What was your check-in experience like at your starting airport?

A. I checked in on the Delta app so when I walked into Cleveland Hopkins I walked straight to TSA. The TSA line was a bit long at first but it went very quickly.

The TSA line in San Francisco on my return was very short and also went quickly. Every worker was wearing masks and so were others since masks were required in the Cleveland, Detroit, and San Francisco airports.

Q. What was the boarding experience like and was there anything unusual?

A. The boarding experience was not bad. They boarded from the back to the front and boarded 5 rows at a time. People who were in first class or were elite members could board whenever they wanted.

When getting off the plane, the flight attendants urged people to try and stay 6 feet apart and wait until the person in front of them grabbed their stuff and walked towards the front, but not many people followed that suggestion.

Q. What was the flying experience like and what key things did you notice?

A. Delta had seats marked off that people couldn’t sit in. On the regional jets I flew between Cleveland and Detroit people only sat in the window seats, all aisle seats were unavailable. On the bigger jets I flew between Detroit and San Francisco all middle seats were marked off, so a “full” flight looked like all of the window and aisle seats taken, but not the middle seats. I was lucky enough on my long flights to not have anyone sitting next to me, so I had a full row to myself and was able to sit in the middle seat.

Q. Is there anything else that caught you off guard or would be good to know for other travelers at this time?

A. While I was waiting to get on my flight from San Francisco to Detroit, I saw a couple that was wearing white hazmat looking suits, complete with N95 masks and blue hospital covers on their shoes and face shields. That’s the most protection that I have seen someone wear in public since this pandemic started, so it was interesting to see regular people wearing that.

I was a bit surprised that the TSA lines moved so quickly. They never moved that quickly before the pandemic haha. There weren’t many people in the TSA lines, even when I took a Monday morning flight back home after a holiday weekend.

Just because we can't travel to Europe yet doesn't mean we can't travel. If you have a destination in mind, please email us or give us a call. We'll make sure you're prepared to have a fun and safe vacation.

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