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  • Writer's pictureRobin Gilmore

Flying During a Pandemic: Destin

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Since their family Spring Break trip was cancelled due to COVID-19, Lance and MaryLou headed to Florida with their family at the end of June for some fun in the sun.

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

A. We flew on Delta Air Lines from Cleveland to Destin - Fort Walton Beach, Florida Airport via a connection in Atlanta.

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

A. A relatively early 7:00 AM departure on a Monday morning from Cleveland made for a seamless check-in with touchless kiosks at the Delta Air Lines ticket counter.

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

A. Boarding at the gate began thirty minutes prior to departure time. Families traveling with small children, active military personnel, and anyone needing extra time were offered early boarding.

General boarding then began by boarding the back of the aircraft first. For example, persons seated in rows 28, 27, 26, and 25 were asked to board and were told to practice social distancing while on the jetway. Once those folks were on the plane, persons seated in rows 24, 23, 22, and 21 were asked to board, and so on.

What we found unusual was after a certain amount of time, if an individual seated in row 25, for example, had not boarded, the individual’s name was announced over the P.A. system and asked that they please board the aircraft at that time.

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

A. All passengers were required to wear a mask throughout the duration of check-in as well as for the duration of the flight(s).

Upon boarding the aircraft the flight attendant handed you a small single-use Purell wipe to wipe down the surfaces around your seat.

During the flight the crew handed out a snack of crackers, water bottle, cookies, and Purell sample in a clear plastic bag to each passenger.

The aircraft seating was 2 and 3, so there was only one person assigned to each row on the two-side, and two passengers were assigned to the three-seat side (the middle seat was open in each row).

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

A. A reduction in the staff at TSA caught us off guard. With reduced air traffic and reduced travelers, there was only one TSA checkpoint area open and the line was quite long. The line moved fairly quickly, but it took us roughly thirty minutes to navigate.

Even with reduced service during COVID, please allow yourself plenty of time to get through the long TSA lines.

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

We've seen a steady increase in air travel and are committed to making sure our clients are traveling safely during this pandemic. If you're ready to travel or if you have questions about traveling, give us a call or email us. We're excited to serve you.

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