I recently flew out to Colorado to visit family. Now that the holidays are approaching I know more and more people are asking the question - should I stay or should I go? I do think there are many things to consider when it comes to visiting family over the holidays and the choice to fly or not is a big one. I felt safe flying last week but some things are changing which might make you reconsider which airline you choose. Here are 3 things to keep in mind if you are planning to fly -
Smaller might be better
This flight to Colorado was my first time flying since we moved so it was the first time I wasn't going to fly out of Orlando airport. We now live close to a few smaller airports with Fort Myers (RSW) being the best option for this flight since Southwest offered non-stop to Denver (and I also had expiring credit with Southwest). Fort Myers is a much smaller airport than Orlando which I actually found to be a bonus right now. We walked right up to check bags and made it through security with barely seeing another traveler. Walking through the terminal we saw people waiting at their gates but everyone had plenty of space to social distance. Another bonus of a smaller airport is that we didn't have to get on any kind of train to get from security to the terminal like you do at bigger airports. When we arrived in Denver having to get on the train that takes you to bag claim was when I noticed the most people bunched up. If you have the option to fly out of or into a smaller airport it might be a better way to go for awhile.
You might have to sit next to someone
Airlines are starting to change the policy for giving you more space on the plane. We flew Southwest which at this time is only selling enough seats to allow for the middle to be empty in each row. I love this and am sad to hear they are planning to stop doing that as of December 1. Many other airlines were also keeping capacity limited to allow travelers more room but are also pretty much ending that by the end of this year - many of them even before the holidays. Delta recently announced that they will keep the middle seats open through March which I think is great! I am hoping maybe the other lines will change their minds and do the same however since American and United have been selling every seat since summer so I am not sure the other lines will want to match Delta. If you want to check on what all the airlines are doing here is a Forbes article that looks to be updated often. I understand that the airlines really cannot afford to leave seats empty but right now I do think having that extra space between people helps and might play a big factor in people flying at all.
Don't be that Hangry person
Most of the airlines have either completely shut down in flight food and beverage service or they have a very limited service. When I last flew in May Southwest wasn't offering any food or drinks onboard. This time around they did offer a cup of water and a snack which was nice but might not be enough for you. Packing something to eat is a good idea to avoid paying those higher airport prices but just make sure you pack something that can go through security. There is no way to bring a drink with you through security but you could bring an empty bottle to refill. If you are planning to grab food at the airport keep in mind not all of the places will be open. Not only does that limit your choices but it also means longer lines at the places that are open. If you don't have time to eat what you bought before boarding don't worry you can bring it onboard and you are able to remove your mask on the plane while actively eating or drinking.
If you do decide to fly this holiday season it will be different than any other year and I hope that I have helped you be better prepared.
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