Flying during the pandemic is something that people are not doing as readily as before. A combination of government travel restrictions, fear, government advice and changes to people’s personal circumstances means jumping on a plane is less common right now.

I recently completed four flights in Europe, travelling on three airlines through four airports. Here’s a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of flying right now.

Flying During The Pandemic – The Good

Travelling with hand baggage and getting your boarding pass on your phone is encouraged to reduce human interaction. What is also great is that there is a distinct lack of queuing anywhere else.

Airport security in Dublin, Amsterdam and Nice in August 2020 had zero queue. You went straight to the scanner and sailed on through. The same with Passport control in Amsterdam, Zurich and Dublin, no queue, zero wait. Such a change from the usual summer scrum.

It is mandatory to wear masks in airports and on board flights. Everyone adheres to this and cabin crew on board the flights monitor this. On my Swiss flight from Zurich to Dublin, the crew even gave a passenger a new face mask as the one she wore did not confirm to the airline’s standards.

Everyone participates in social distancing as much as possible, even when boarding. Cabin crew wear masks at all times, and even gloves when delivering food. Swiss features its usual on board service in business class and easyJet are still serving their buy on board food.

Flying During The Pandemic – The Bad

It’s a first world problem, I know, but not having an on board meal service is annoying. Aer Lingus are one airline that choose not to serve anything on board. This would not be much of an issue apart from the fact that at certain airports like Dublin, a lot of the food places are closed.

Flying During The Pandemic – The Ugly

Government’s have specified that contact tracing forms need to be completed. While the rules vary, there’s always a form to fill in. This isn’t the problem though.

Before boarding Aer Lingus, I had to complete a form for The Netherlands, and show it when boarding. On arrival in Amsterdam, nobody collected the form, so it went into the bin. No forms were required when arriving in France.

On the flip side, on my Swiss flight from Nice to Zurich, every passenger had a form at their seat to complete. The cabin crew then collected them from every passenger. Ditto when flying to Dublin, the Passport control officers collected all the completed forms.

The lack of consistency across jurisdictions is annoying. Other than that, the occasional person walking around with their mask not covering their nose, or people not social distancing when there is plenty of space to do so. That being said, that’s not too different to what I see around where I live.

Overall Thoughts

Flying during the pandemic is largely the same as it was before. Less crowds mean a faster and more streamlined airport experience, both security and boarding. Less shops open is annoying in some places, but in others everything is open.

It all depends on where you’re going and the particular circumstances of that country. Wearing a mask throughout the airport and on the plane is no big deal either, despite what people may think. All in all, it is very much like before, and I have zero worry about flying at this time.

Have you been flying during the pandemic? What are your experiences? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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