Air Travel During COVID-19

Updated September 9, 2020

I traveled from San Diego to Orlando mid-July to attend the reopening of Walt Disney World during COVID-19.

I documented several steps along the way so that you can decide if the time is right for you to fly.

This link shares every photo from my experience. Definitely check those out.

Basic Info

I flew on four flights total, as each travel day included a layover.

My intention was to fly direct, but flights kept changing as my trip grew closer. In fact, I was supposed to return home on Alaska Airlines, but they cancelled my flight while I was in Orlando.

Masks were required everywhere I went, at all times, unless I was sitting while eating or drinking.

Frontier Airlines

  • From San Diego International, I stopped in Denver on the way to Orlando on Frontier Airlines.
  • I departed San Diego around 8:00pm on a Friday. I landed in Orlando around 6:00am on Saturday.
  • This airline included temperature checks before boarding. If any passenger scans at 100.4° or higher, he or she may not fly.
  • Both flights included me sitting with an empty seat between me and another passenger.

American Airlines

  • From Orlando International, I stopped in Phoenix on the way home on American Airlines.
  • I departed Orlando around 3:00pm on a Friday. I landed in San Diego around 7:00pm.
  • This airline did not include temperature checks before boarding. Passengers were given a bag with a snack, water, and hand sanitizer wipes.
  • Upon leaving Orlando, I sat in a window seat and had the row to myself. The row across the aisle was empty, too. From Phoenix, I had a seat between me and another passenger.

Observations

Flight attendants were more attentive compared to pre-COVID. If passengers stood in the aisle for too long – even while boarding and finding a seat – flight attendants encouraged them to get settled quickly.

While departing the plane, passengers were asked to stand up and walk out in sections rather than having everyone rush out as usual.

My only concern was on my layover in Denver. The ladies’ restroom wasn’t clean and the floor was littered with paper towels. While not an immediate danger to me, it made me wonder what else the airport might be missing if the floor was such a mess. But, again, this was overnight. I could have walked in just prior to a cleaning crew coming in for the next day.

I really didn’t see many people violating the mask rule, both on my flights and in the airports.

When I waited for each flight, I noticed passengers sat spaced away from each other, even when seats were not marked accordingly.

While retrieving luggage from the carousel, my husband noted the same – people are really making big efforts to be courteous to each other.

I quarantined at home for two weeks after landing home in San Diego. My state didn’t require it, but it was easy for me to do, so there was no reason not to. I had no issues with illness before or after my trip.

Tips on Flying During COVID-19

  • Bring your own sanitizer wipes to clean any area you’ll be in for a decent amount of time.
  • Have a few extra masks on hand in case one becomes itchy or uncomfortable.
  • Minimize what you carry on flights to reduce exposure to germs and to simplify the experience overall.

Additional Resources

  • For info on what a resort stay on Disney property looks like right now, visit this post.
  • While in Orlando, I tested out several mask varieties and share my results here.
  • For general information on all Disney Parks – including Disneyland – during Quarantine, check out this post.
  • To book Walt Disney World with the best possible discounts, concierge service and expert advice, contact the only agency I recommend here.
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