How to fly during the pandemic
Travel During Pandemic
With air bridges open, there has never been a better time to fly and visit London! High street shops and most of the popular tourist attractions have reopened, the lack of usual crowds and queues is welcoming news for those who don’t like to wait around!
We have provided you with our top safety tips & information on air travel that will inform you of everything you need to know about travelling to London this summer
Wash hands regularly
The first and most important safety measure is to wash your hands regularly to prevent infections, good handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best protection. When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitiser which is at least 60% alcohol, but do not overuse it as constant use of hand sanitiser will irritate your skin.
Practice good hygiene
Avoid touching your own eyes, nose, and mouth when your hands are unwashed, as viruses most frequently enter the body through these routes.
If you are unwell, do not travel
Further international airports are also conducting regular temperature checks for arriving, departing, and transiting passengers, and there is a chance that you could be denied boarding for having any symptoms unrelated to COVID-19. Protect yourself, and other travellers, by not flying when you are unwell.
Wear the mask and Cover-up
In the past weeks, it became apparent that masks provide substantial protection, and more governments require to wear them indoors and on public transport. Masks may be uncomfortable, make glasses foggy and make it hard to breathe, but they provide protection. Wear a facemask to protect yourself and other travellers.
While many airlines have announced an extra plane cleaning, there is no guarantee that every surface will get the full treatment. Carry antibacterial wipes to clean your seat armrest, tray table, seat-back pocket, air vent, seat touch screen, headrest, and window blind. The same advice is sensible for other items frequently used by travellers, including hotel television remote controls and clean your hands after travelling on shuttles, taxis, holding handrails and using lifts.
Almost all modern aircraft use HEPA (High-Efficiency Particle Arrester) filters that will filter over 99.5% of dust particles and airborne contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, ensuring the high quality of cabin air. Recent studies (link) advise that the virus can pass through the filters, but the risk of contamination is very low when masks are worn.
Pick a window seat & upgrade
We also suggest picking a window seat away from the passenger foot traffic and consider upgrading to business or first-class travel which have middle seats empty on short-haul flights. It will give you much valued personal space and potentially less contact with other passengers
Stay clear of people
You may not be able to avoid sitting next to someone from outside of your household but avoid walking around the plane. Aeroplanes usually have one toilet for 50 passengers, avoid using toilets and try to stay in your seat. When you have to use a toilet, use sanitising wipes before you touch anything, and use hand sanitiser after you leave.
Counteract low humidity
The constant whirlwind of the recycled air causes low humidity in aircraft cabins. Humidity below 15% dries out your eyes, nose, and mouth, which reduces your natural protection for blocking out viruses. Buy a bottle of water before boarding the plane and drink it regularly in small sips to compensate for the cabin dryness. You can also consider isotonic nasal sprays as some frequent flyers use it to moisturise and clean out the nose.
Air bridges and travel advice
When travelling internationally, make sure to check the local government’s travel advice. Air bridges are a legal agreement between countries removing the necessity for travellers to quarantine after entering a country. Air Bridges are currently open between several countries. Click here to check the current list.
Travellers who bought travel insurance before COVID-19 became a ‘known event’ may be covered for medical expenses and cancellations. Most travel insurance companies tend to exclude cover for pandemics and epidemics if you read the fine print. Insurance policies vary greatly, so it is best to contact the insurance company directly or inquire via your travel manager.
In summary, air travel is not risk-free, but when necessary safety steps are taken, these risks can be mitigated.
Other useful blogs
When in London, we recommend following guides:
- How to shop safely click here
- How to travel on underground click here
- Best outdoor places in London click here