TRAVELLING DURING A PANDEMIC
A love for travel is something that most of us have in common and after isolating for months, all we really need right now is a HOLIDAY.
Every day of lockdown I was waiting for a travel announcement, and then when it came, I worried about how safe it was going to be. It has been over a month now since travelling to other countries has restarted and I think many people are still 50/50 on whether or not to go away.
Before I booked my trip, I wanted to know what airlines were doing to protect people from COVID-19 and if flying was definitely safe. Now that I have completed a return flight, I have wrote a blog to share everything I experienced with you all.
My journey started at Heathrow airport which was slightly busier than expected, however every single person was wearing a mask – good sign!
When queuing to check my bag in, social distancing was in place and being monitored. The queue took what felt like hours – not only because each family was checking in around 2000 bags but also because we all had to show details on where we were staying and how long for.
Once I was checked in, it was onto security where it felt similar to normal, with the only difference being the social distancing when queueing.
The next part – duty free – the best part of going on holiday. Some shops remained open, but there was definitely a different feel. Many restaurants and shops had their shutters down and the ones that were open had stricter guidelines – all of this was positive though and made me feel very safe!
Because of having to queue for such a long time at check in, I didn’t have much time to buy more than some chocolate from duty free – so I headed straight towards my gate. I was flying with Qatar airways who handed out a visor to every individual on the flight. Qatar’s policy is that everyone needs to wear a mask with a visor over the top.
I did read up on this before flying so I was fully aware of it and despite thinking it was a great idea, I did worry about it being claustrophobic. To my surprise, it didn’t feel this way at all.
When I took to my seat, I was the only person on my row. This was the same for 3/4 flights. On the other, I was sat with one other person with a space in-between us.
When the food arrived, it was time to pull down the mask and just keep on the visor. Before I left, my friends joked about how I would forget I had the visor on and hit the food right into it. They were right. However, once I got over the embarrassment of having food all over the visor and got used to it, it wasn’t an issue.
Unfortunately not all airlines are taking the same approach so I can’t guarantee that every flight will be the same, however Qatar’s service was exceptional. It was only the second time I had flown with them but both times I was very impressed. I truly believe they’re the perfect airline and how they dealt with this demonstrated that even further.
So, if you’re thinking of going on holiday – the chances are you will be made to feel safe. My advice is to check what measures your airline are taking to stay safe before booking and also try and book a seat with an empty row. Having no one beside you will give you that extra comfort you need when travelling!
It’s also very important to find a mask that is comfortable and easy to breathe in before travelling. Most, if not all airlines will most probably provide you with a mask however just in case, make sure you have one thats suited to you. Long journeys with a thick mask would not be pleasant!