Travelling on a normal (non-COVID) day can pretty stressful anyway, never mind the thought of a virus hanging over you.
You’ve got to make sure you’ve packed everything, locked up the house and get to the airport in plenty of time, now there’s the extra stress of masks, sanitizer, and staying 2M away from everyone – Argh!!
So when I flew from Belfast Int to Edinburgh to see my family and friends I thought I’d give you a first-hand experience of what it is like to travel during Covid-19.
Apart from everyone wearing masks and staying clear of each other as much as possible, heading into the airport felt pretty normal. The only real difference was there are a lot of signs everywhere reminding you to wear face coverings, to stay 2m apart where possible, and floor stickers to show you how far apart to stand.
The line at security looked like it was going to take forever, but this was just down to everyone socially distancing. It was actually very quick and was super-efficient, instead of making your own way to a tray, you were called up one by one, which seemed to work well. All staff were wearing gloves and masks.
Due to reduced flights the airport was really quiet, a few shops and bars were closed but most shops and duty-free were all open. Belfast Int is normally pretty hectic but it felt very empty. I grabbed a quick Starbucks (it was very early!) there were stickers showing you where to stand and all staff were wearing masks.
There were also sanitizer stations almost everywhere in Duty-free so you weren’t going to be left short.
Check out the video below to see some snippets of what the airport was like!
If you have been to a bar or restaurant you will have seen they are blocking off every other sink, this is the same with the airports. Again everyone stuck to socially distancing while queuing.
I think this would be the only part of the journey where social distancing wasn’t really able to be achieved, we had been split up into four different lines; two for boarding at the front of the plane and another two for the back of the plane. We then had to walk downstairs and had to wait for about 10mins in a small room waiting for the previous passengers to disembark the plane before we could board. This was the only time that I felt we were uncomfortably close to someone else. Still, everyone tried their best to stay apart and wore their masks.
Once we got outside and starting boarding it was fine.
On the plane
I was lucky enough to be in the front row of the plane and have a full row to myself. This meant getting on and off the plane was super easy and really stress-free.
I wasn’t as lucky on my return flight unfortunately, I was in the center of the plane and I was given the middle seat, therefore, squeezed right between two people (it’s bad enough touching elbows with randomers!). I suppose it’s really the luck of the draw with where you are sat and who is next to you!
The flight attendants were really good on board, they gave a briefing at the beginning and were very vigilant with asking customers to wear their masks and to wear them properly.
Getting off the plane has actually never been so easy! The normal stampede to stand up and get your bags was avoided, everyone was really relaxed and we were all asked to wait until the row in front/behind you had all gone before you got up and started to move around. Everyone was really good at waiting their turn and it worked really well (hopefully this change stays!)
All in all, flying wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be and not a lot about flying has changed, I think if you are worried about flying I’d recommend trying to get an aisle seat!
If you are travelling soon and want to take some of the stress away, why not ship your items with a luggage shipping service? My Baggage offers an easy option for transporting luggage for students, ex-pats and holidaymakers to over 200 countries around the world. During the current global pandemic, we are helping families and friends connect by sending care packages, luggage and more. We offer a contactless door to door delivery service, shipping your items from your home direct to your destination, keeping your safety in mind. Why not get a quick quote below or learn more about it here.