Air Travel – Considerations for Flying During the Pandemic

Taking additional safety precautions when flying can help keep you healthy prior to joining group and when returning home. Below you can find suggested precautions. We also recommend visiting the CDC website, TSA website, and your home airport’s website for additional information.  

Booking your Flight

If you would like to start monitoring potential flight options, use the guidelines below, but please continue to wait to receive the flight notification email before purchasing non-refundable air arrangements in conjunction with this trip. The Flights page will also be updated when it is time to purchase your flights.

  • While the selection of airlines available to you may be limited, it is a good practice to choose an airline that has implemented enhanced safety procedures such as:
    • Limited physical contact and queuing during the boarding process, including boarding the plane from back to front.
    • Implemented seat spacing to ensure social distancing.
    • Increased cleaning procedures with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points such as door handles, toilets, overhead lockers, etc.
    • Requiring travelers to use face coverings while in-flight.
  • If possible, avoid layovers in destinations with high infection rates.
  • If you are able, purchase tickets in an upgraded class for extra space and less contact with other passengers.

Preparing for your Flight

  • Be aware of the health measures at the airports you’ll be traveling through. Airports Council International has created the “Check and Fly” app which informs travelers of the health measures in place at certain airports.
  • Arrive at the airport early new TSA/airlines procedures may require more time.
  • Check to see if your airline is offering food and beverage service. You may want to bring your own food or purchase food/drinks prior to boarding if they have limited service.
  • Be aware that airports might also have limited dining options available.
  • If you bring your own food to the airport, check the TSA procedures for screening food items.  Consider placing your food items in a clear plastic bag for easy screening at the TSA checkpoint.
  • Check-in online before arriving to the Airport and/or download your airline’s mobile application to guarantee contactless check-in
  • Carry hand sanitizer of up to 12 oz in your hand luggage. While the standard size of liquids permitted in your carry on is 3.4 oz, TSA will allow 12 oz hand sanitizer after being screened separately. When you are going through security, please place your hand sanitizer in a separate bin for x-ray screening. When returning to the U.S., you should pack your 12 oz hand sanitizer in your checked luggage.
  • Visit the Packing & Weather page to learn about additional packing suggestions
  • Ensure that your luggage complies with maximum measurements of your airline before departing your home. This will speed up the boarding and disembarking process.
  • Try to keep your hand luggage to a minimum to speed up boarding. Check with your airline regarding additional restrictions on hand luggage: some airlines are limiting hand luggage and the use of overhead bins. 
  • If you are feeling unwell, stay home. If you begin to feel unwell close to your departure date, please let your Guest Services Advisor know as soon as possible.

At the Airport and During your Flight

  • Wear a face covering while inside the airport and during the entirety of your flight.
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from others, especially if you are checking-in at the airport and while you are boarding.
  • Follow the instructions of TSA and gate agents when it is time for them to inspect your boarding pass. They may only do a visual inspection of your boarding pass instead of physically taking it.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Limit your movement within the cabin of the plane as much as possible
  • Avoid touching your own eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Bring antibacterial wipes to clean the area around your seat including armrests, tray table, window blind, etc.
  • While seated, turn your individual AC vent on high to increase airflow around you (and don’t forget to bring a sweater!).