Here’s a quick update on air travel:

  • The end is coming for (most) change fees. American, United, Delta, and Alaska Air have eliminated most of their ticket change fees for all domestic and some international tickets at least through the end of the year. *** In all cases, the change does apply to basic economy fairs. As with everything, ask before you buy.
  • Prepare in advance: You must wear a mask from the time you arrive at your departure airport, during your entire flight, and until you fully exit your arrival airport, so bring extras with you. Also bring sanitizing wipes and/or spray if you would feel more comfortable disinfecting airplane surfaces in addition to what the companies are doing (see below). Delta does not permit masks with vents or valves that allow air to escape. Delta does not allow face shields unless worn with a mask. Refusal to comply means you won’t be allowed to fly.
  • Most major airlines are no longer restricting the number of people allowed on the plane. They are now selling the middle seats. If your flight is especially crowded, some airlines are allowing you to switch to a less crowded flight for free. If this is important to you, please check well in advance with your specific carrier.
  • Do not expect food to be served or magazines to be provided. Again, be prepared to bring your own food from the airport and reading material.
  • Airlines are changing up the boarding procedure (varies by carrier) to allow for social distancing. Please arrive well in advance of your scheduled boarding time. Allow an extra hour for any unexpected pre-flight preparations. Some, but not all, airlines are now boarding back to front. 
    Be prepared to scan your own IDs at security and boarding passes at boarding areas. Only hand your items to staff if requested.
  • Many airlines are taking all passengers’ temperatures prior to boarding the plane. Anyone with a fever – even slightly elevated – may be barred from boarding and will be rebooked on a later flight.
  • Most airlines are requiring all passengers to complete online health forms prior to arriving at the airport. Please make extra sure to ask your travel agent or airline if this is necessary.
  • Due to inter-state quarantine regulations you may also be required to provide contact and location information before deplaning and/or leaving the airport. Required quarantine lists vary widely by location and can change daily. Please check before making arrangements to travel. 
  • All airlines have increased and enhanced cleaning procedures and have added the use of hospital-grade disinfectant and most report use of HEPA air filters.

The above information is accurate to the best of my ability as of time of posting. It is by no means meant to be a complete replacement for asking your own questions when deciding to fly.

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