Flying during the pandemic

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Makaveli
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Makaveli »

Four flights during COVID era. First two the planes eliminated the middle row. Last two were full capacity. Everyone is fully masked and I felt comfortable. That being said, I am low risk, healthy, and all flights under 2.5 hours.
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tooluser
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by tooluser »

getthatmarshmallow wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:06 am Too bad it's not cost-efficient for airplanes to be empty all the time because it's much nicer when they are.
Pre-1999 me is reminiscing right now... :happy :happy :happy
...that's when I found the seats to have been compressed to the point that I could no longer fly in coach.
oxothuk
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by oxothuk »

Vtsax100 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:57 pm I bet if you do the math you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the airport than contracting covid 19 on a flight and then dying from it.
If you are under 60, probably so. The math gets much less friendly for us older folks.
synthfan23
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by synthfan23 »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:15 pm
synthfan23 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:03 pm
synthfan23 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:36 pm Any idea when the EU or any part of Europe will open its borders to US Citizens? I mean those of us who don't have dual-citizenship. Thanks.
So this is all intra-US flights. Where out of country are Americans allowed to fly? New Zealand? The Caribbean like St Lucia? South America? Europe? Asia? Where please? Seems like a great opportunity to travel "abroad."
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-i ... index.html
Perfect thanks! The 14 day quarantine for Ireland and the UK is rough. But I understand. To keep people safe. But when I return to the US is it another 14 days of quarantine from those places? Or Croatia / Montenegro? May just hit Saint Lucia. Looks like Bora Bora but closer and less cost. Anyone here been there?
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lthenderson
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by lthenderson »

tennisplyr wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:35 pm Thanks all. Spoke with one of my tennis buddies today who is a pilot for a major commercial airline. He said I should wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer....the HEPA air filters are very good at capturing particles. That should do it.
Just saw a feature on NBC Nightly News last night where new released studies were showing that with the air circulation patterns, hepa filters and a mask requirement that even sitting next to someone had an equivalent distance of being 7 feet apart. Being cautious however, I would check the fine print to make sure the study wasn't done by a major airline trying to boost ridership.
Van
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Van »

I will not fly until I have received an effective vaccine and/or an effective antiviral drug for COVID-19 has been discovered and is widely available to the general public.
aerosurfer
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by aerosurfer »

Airline pilot here.....

Fly...not just because i have a vested interest in the recovery of my industy, but because there simply hasnt been any significant data that this virus is actually spreading on planes, or in airports. There have been no elevated cases of crew members getting it across the industry. My airline doesnt restrict bookings or seats.

I flew 32000 miles last month (according to my scheduling software)and have had normal schedules the last few months, including the Carribbean, Central and South America destinations, more countries have reopened routes the last 60 days. Plus i commute by airline from home to my base. Not to mention hotel stays throughout the country.

The planes are being cleaned better than ever, the airports are doing a good job of spacing, if there is any silver lining the year, behaviors in airports and planes have never been better (although getting back to the unfortunate normal). My airline is conducting onboard service and beverages/food.

No one can claim ignorance about mask usage anymore and, at least onboard, the flight attendants are cordial, but firm on proper wearing.

Common sense and a realistic attitude about what is known about this virus is where your energy should be focused on, not assumptions or what-ifs... I am taking the precautions asked of us and I dont do it with a cavalier attitude, however working out in the real world is different than the narative often being talked about on the news.

Simply my $.02 but with plenty of first hand experience on the topic at hand
hightower
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by hightower »

Wife and I used to fly a lot for travel purposes. Since we had our daughter in 2018, that slowed somewhat, but we still had planned on lots of trips. Since the pandemic hit we've completely stopped traveling. It just doesn't make sense right now. We went to Hawaii in Jan 2020 just before everything started and I am very glad we took that trip because I fear it will be our last for another couple of years.

IMO if you can wear a real N95 mask the entire flight, it is perfectly safe to fly. Anything else is risky IMO. The virus has been proven to spread via aerosols and an airplane packed with hundreds of people in a tiny confined space is a hazard. If we didn't have a 2 year old who is not capable of wearing a mask for a 6 hour flight, we'd still be traveling. But, if we can't keep a mask on her, we don't see the sense in flying. If she gets it, she would spread it to us instantly and we'd be unable to enjoy the trip if we all came down with fevers. So, we're staying home. Everyone I know with kids feels the same way. Again, if we didn't have a child, it would be different. I have a stock pile of N95's, so I'd be perfectly fine flying otherwise.

The good news is our savings rate has skyrocketed over the last 9 months. All that cash we would have normally spent on several trips this year is now sitting in my taxable account. It's renewed my desire to grow my taxable account by a lot more. The next year will be the same (hopefully as long as I stay employed). When this is all over someday, we plan on taking a huge, celebratory trip for sure.
hightower
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by hightower »

synthfan23 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:37 am
JoeRetire wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:15 pm
synthfan23 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:03 pm
synthfan23 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:36 pm Any idea when the EU or any part of Europe will open its borders to US Citizens? I mean those of us who don't have dual-citizenship. Thanks.
So this is all intra-US flights. Where out of country are Americans allowed to fly? New Zealand? The Caribbean like St Lucia? South America? Europe? Asia? Where please? Seems like a great opportunity to travel "abroad."
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-i ... index.html
Perfect thanks! The 14 day quarantine for Ireland and the UK is rough. But I understand. To keep people safe. But when I return to the US is it another 14 days of quarantine from those places? Or Croatia / Montenegro? May just hit Saint Lucia. Looks like Bora Bora but closer and less cost. Anyone here been there?
And this is the other thing I should have mentioned...traveling right now is no fun. So many places we want to go have mandatory quarantines or other very restrictive rules that make the trip difficult to plan and make us question if it's even worth it. Hawaii did recently lift it's 14 day quarantine IF you have a negative covid test within 72 hrs of the trip. But, that's risky to do. What if you plan 2 weeks off of work to go to Hawaii and when you get there you discover you're one of the asymptomatic infections and have to quarantine for 2 weeks in a hotel room? That would be a terrible waste of money.
Also, one of our favorite, most frequently planned trips was to various National parks throughout the country. Most of them are nearly shut down still. Glacier for instance only allows people to enter from the West entrance. All of the main attractions including lodging and camping of that park are on the east side. That would require a ridiculous drive over there as well as flying into a smaller airport and last I checked all the campgrounds are closed anyway. Same for Yosemite, the only camping allowed is backcountry, which we used to do a lot of, but we can't do that with a 2 year old.
My hope is that summer of 2022 things will be back to some sort of "normal" and we'll be able to start traveling again. But, I do not see it happening in 2021. [Political comment removed by moderator Flyer24] But, right now, it's too chaotic and random out there.

So for us, traveling just doesn't make sense right now.
mak1277
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by mak1277 »

aerosurfer wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:00 am Airline pilot here.....

Fly...not just because i have a vested interest in the recovery of my industy, but because there simply hasnt been any significant data that this virus is actually spreading on planes, or in airports. There have been no elevated cases of crew members getting it across the industry. My airline doesnt restrict bookings or seats.

I flew 32000 miles last month (according to my scheduling software)and have had normal schedules the last few months, including the Carribbean, Central and South America destinations, more countries have reopened routes the last 60 days. Plus i commute by airline from home to my base. Not to mention hotel stays throughout the country.

The planes are being cleaned better than ever, the airports are doing a good job of spacing, if there is any silver lining the year, behaviors in airports and planes have never been better (although getting back to the unfortunate normal). My airline is conducting onboard service and beverages/food.

No one can claim ignorance about mask usage anymore and, at least onboard, the flight attendants are cordial, but firm on proper wearing.

Common sense and a realistic attitude about what is known about this virus is where your energy should be focused on, not assumptions or what-ifs... I am taking the precautions asked of us and I dont do it with a cavalier attitude, however working out in the real world is different than the narative often being talked about on the news.

Simply my $.02 but with plenty of first hand experience on the topic at hand
I'm sure you're probably right, but even if you are it doesn't change the fact that I have no desire to be anywhere in proximity to other humans right now. It's not just airplanes. I haven't been inside of a building other than my home and my office since March. There is nothing out there that is good enough to risk even a 1% greater chance of getting the virus. Maybe if we go another year without a vaccine my resolve will break, but as it is now, I'll be continuing my avoidance of people.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by VictoriaF »

austin757 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:19 pm Is there any credible evidence pointing to higher transmission of the virus while flying? There’s none that I’m aware of.
I need a credible evidence that there is no higher transmission associated with flying. I use the word "associated" instead of "while" to account for the check-in and disembarkation processes. During a flight, I have no knowledge or control of other passengers' health conditions and their pandemic-related hygiene.

My health is at the foundational layer of the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It is foolish to lose it due to the lack of will power. If you can't adapt to the quarantine you may end up adapting to the isolation in a hospital ward.

Victoria
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mptfan
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by mptfan »

Vtsax100 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:57 pm I bet if you do the math you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the airport than contracting covid 19 on a flight and then dying from it. Im an airline pilot and have been flying since this started. Airlines are using middle empty seats as a marketing scheme to people that are scared right now because they can’t fill them anyway. As soon as the demand returns you can bet they will be packing those seats. Most of this is smoke and mirrors.
I'm not an airline pilot but I agree with this.
mptfan
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by mptfan »

VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:30 am I need a credible evidence that there is no higher transmission associated with flying.
It is very difficult and often impossible to prove that something is not true, as opposed to proving that something is true.
JackoC
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by JackoC »

Vtsax100 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:57 pm 1. I bet if you do the math you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the airport than contracting covid 19 on a flight and then dying from it.

2. Airlines are using middle empty seats as a marketing scheme to people that are scared right now because they can’t fill them anyway. As soon as the demand returns you can bet they will be packing those seats. Most of this is smoke and mirrors.
1. See above for link to estimate of chance of contracting COVID on a flight, although it's an estimate: nobody yet knows the exact answer to many things about COVID. But assuming those numbers the average risk of death on flight or drive to airport might be same order of magnitude. The death rate per 100mil miles driving is around 1.25, assume alone on a 20 mile trip to the airport that's 1 in 4mil. If the chance of contracting COVID on short haul flight is the lower estimate in the link above, 1:7,700, and assuming average COVID death rate of something like 0.5% that would be 1:1.5mil risk of death. But, many people's age and health factors cause known much higher than average risk to COVID, in which case the risk on flight could many times that of driving to the airport (though if comparing to the risk of driving the whole way to the destination that's a lot more car risk). Also you can spread COVID you got on a flight to other people and that's harder to directly compare to a car accident.

2. But same source estimates empty middle seats to cut the risk by almost half, 1:7,700 v 1:4,300. The airlines can't fill the seats now anyway, true, but 'when demand returns' at to 'pack them in' is probably only after the disease's threat is radically reduced by vaccines and highly effective treatments. Because a lot of the reason people don't fly now is not irrational fear. The disease really is very contagious, no illusion there, in terms of being widely out and about as you often are on a trip involving air travel, besides the actual flight. And though a very high % of people overall survive it, it can much more often be extremely unpleasant to endure and/or cause lingering health problems (wasn't the first but has been second for me). Also the stuff to do at flight destinations is reduced. And though thread title is a general 'flying during pandemic' the original question seemed to be somebody from FL considering flying to NY for vacation, an example of something you can't practically do now because of COVID (NY quarantine requirement).
Last edited by JackoC on Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by VictoriaF »

mptfan wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:34 am
VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:30 am I need a credible evidence that there is no higher transmission associated with flying.
It is very difficult and often impossible to prove that something is not true, as opposed to proving that something is true.
I agree with your statement about the asymmetry of proofs. But my point is broader than the transmission per se:
- some flyers are not following regulations, and one superspreader is enough to infect many
- flight attendants are reluctant to enforce COVID hygiene
- as you noted in a post above, much of airline activities are COVID theater
- there are no data on how many people have caught COVID while flying
- there are data on how COVID spreads, which includes the distance, the time, and the type of the environment, and airplanes tick all these boxes.

Victoria
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Katietsu
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Katietsu »

austin757 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:19 pm Is there any credible evidence pointing to higher transmission of the virus while flying? There’s none that I’m aware of.
Higher than what? I do not think there is any indication that flying has a higher incidence of transmission than if you put the same number of people in the same configuration with the same level of mask wearing while sitting in a restaurant. Since the ventilation system on a plane is high quality, I would feel better on a plane than in a random restaurant.

On the other hand, you will not find me in a restaurant right now. Even with no co morbidities, a mid fifties year old of normal weight has over a 5% of being hospitalized if infected. Start adding common conditions like high blood pressure or extra weight and the probability of hospitalization can quickly double. Therefore, I have no intention of spending several hours with dozens of people in close quarters in a plane or any where else.

If you are one of my neighbors having a couple dozen different people over every weekend to watch sporting events and eat and drink, you might lower your risk if you spend some structured time on a plane.
WildCat48
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by WildCat48 »

We have flown a number of times since March. In late March we flew from South Africa to the U.S, right before South Africa locked down the country. In May, my wife flew back to Asia to visit her parents, she flew back to the U.S. a month later. Last month, we went to Turkey for two weeks and then flew back to the U.S. Each airline handled things a bit differently, but we felt relatively safe on all of our flights.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Rob5TCP »

Here are some studies seems to have mixed results
also tracing has been far less than perfect

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johndrake/ ... le-flying/
https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200 ... plane.aspx

Texas Medical Association lists this as moderate high risk
https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/is-y ... -room.html

Dr. Faucci is older and he won't fly until this clears up
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/n ... 500501002/

I don't see hard / fast evedence that is truly predictive of what the odds are; with statistics that are predictive
and have been verified.
ohboy!
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by ohboy! »

aerosurfer wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:00 am Airline pilot here.....

Fly...not just because i have a vested interest in the recovery of my industy, but because there simply hasnt been any significant data that this virus is actually spreading on planes, or in airports. There have been no elevated cases of crew members getting it across the industry. My airline doesnt restrict bookings or seats.

I flew 32000 miles last month (according to my scheduling software)and have had normal schedules the last few months, including the Carribbean, Central and South America destinations, more countries have reopened routes the last 60 days. Plus i commute by airline from home to my base. Not to mention hotel stays throughout the country.

The planes are being cleaned better than ever, the airports are doing a good job of spacing, if there is any silver lining the year, behaviors in airports and planes have never been better (although getting back to the unfortunate normal). My airline is conducting onboard service and beverages/food.

No one can claim ignorance about mask usage anymore and, at least onboard, the flight attendants are cordial, but firm on proper wearing.

Common sense and a realistic attitude about what is known about this virus is where your energy should be focused on, not assumptions or what-ifs... I am taking the precautions asked of us and I dont do it with a cavalier attitude, however working out in the real world is different than the narative often being talked about on the news.

Simply my $.02 but with plenty of first hand experience on the topic at hand
How does mask wearing work with food and drinks? There has been evidence of it spreading on planes. It’s not like all respiratory aerosols go immediately from anyones mouth to the HEPA filter. There isn’t much evidence of fomites being an issue so I think the mask wearing is much more important than the sanitation efforts. Counting on fellow citizens to wear masks for hours on a plane - It’s a risk.

Id wear a n95 if I was going to fly and I would not fly unless I had to. I ended up across the country in early March. 1 week trip turned into 6 weeks. Before everything opened back up I took a flight home. Only 13 people on the plane. Wore a n95. That was mid-april and even the flight attendants were not wearing masks at that time. Now it’s required but we all know some people are apparently crazy enough to form militias against wearing a face covering.
OldBallCoach
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by OldBallCoach »

I have been flying at least weekly during this whole pandemic, sometimes commercial. I wear a mask, use the hand santizer like holy water and stay as far from folks as I can....so the same way I have always flown except for the mask. I fly first class if on commercial and have found those seats to pretty empty. I agree the middle seat empty is a marketing thing, not many people flying...YET...
tim1999
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by tim1999 »

I've flown American for four flights in the last 2 months. Each time I made sure to avoid flights where the seat map was pretty full, then I selected a seat in an empty looking part of the plane. I monitored the seat map a few times in the days before the flights. In one instance I moved my seat to a different/empty part of the plane when it looked like two people booked the aisle and middle next to my window and people booked the window seats immediately in front and back of me. Another flight I paid extra for premium economy at the last minute just to get a seat in an empty part of the plane when the rest was suddenly packed.

The airports were pretty dead and most of the food/beverage shops were closed, security lines were dead too.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by JoeRetire »

aerosurfer wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:00 am No one can claim ignorance about mask usage anymore and, at least onboard, the flight attendants are cordial, but firm on proper wearing.
That's good to hear. Unfortunately, I hear stories of "less than firm" flight attendants from friends, as well as some folks who have posted here.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
Bryzzo2016
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Bryzzo2016 »

Vtsax100 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:57 pm I bet if you do the math you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the airport than contracting covid 19 on a flight and then dying from it. Im an airline pilot and have been flying since this started. Airlines are using middle empty seats as a marketing scheme to people that are scared right now because they can’t fill them anyway. As soon as the demand returns you can bet they will be packing those seats. Most of this is smoke and mirrors.
This guy has it figured out! Thank you.
austin757
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by austin757 »

Katietsu wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:19 am
austin757 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:19 pm Is there any credible evidence pointing to higher transmission of the virus while flying? There’s none that I’m aware of.
Higher than what? I do not think there is any indication that flying has a higher incidence of transmission than if you put the same number of people in the same configuration with the same level of mask wearing while sitting in a restaurant. Since the ventilation system on a plane is high quality, I would feel better on a plane than in a random restaurant.

On the other hand, you will not find me in a restaurant right now. Even with no co morbidities, a mid fifties year old of normal weight has over a 5% of being hospitalized if infected. Start adding common conditions like high blood pressure or extra weight and the probability of hospitalization can quickly double. Therefore, I have no intention of spending several hours with dozens of people in close quarters in a plane or any where else.

If you are one of my neighbors having a couple dozen different people over every weekend to watch sporting events and eat and drink, you might lower your risk if you spend some structured time on a plane.
Meaning there have been no "super spreader" incidents that been traced back to any commercial flight to my knowledge. Point is, there will always be risk associated with things we do everyday. I was definitely more concerned back in April when we still didn't know much about the virus and it's effects. Fast forward to October, we now know much more about the virus and what good practices are needed to avoid catching it.
rjbraun
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by rjbraun »

While I too am reluctant to fly currently, I am somewhat surprised that no one seems to have mentioned wearing eye protection, in addition to a face mask.

In addition to the nose and mouth, the eyes can be another route of transmission, per Dr. Fauci (among others).

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/31/dr-anth ... pread.html

As an aside, I went to get my flu shot today at my local CVS pharmacy. I think three people worked behind the counter. One was unmasked (maybe the mask was around her neck, I don't recall). The person I interacted with wore a mask covering her mouth and then covered her nose (kind of) when we spoke. The pharmacist who administered the flu shot wore a face covering, but it was clearly loose around her nose -- especially when she looked down to prepare the shot, and it, basically, gapped. By the time I received my shot, her nose was fully exposed.

Pretty discouraging experience, particularly for a pharmacy. The workers were pleasant and didn't come across as indifferent or cavalier in their conduct. I guess I have come to accept that universal compliance just isn't going to happen even if it's the law, as is the case where I live.

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloa ... e%20doctor.

https://cvshealth.com/news-and-insights ... -locations
mptfan
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by mptfan »

VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:41 am
I agree with your statement about the asymmetry of proofs. But my point is broader than the transmission per se:
- some flyers are not following regulations, and one superspreader is enough to infect many
- flight attendants are reluctant to enforce COVID hygiene
- as you noted in a post above, much of airline activities are COVID theater
- there are no data on how many people have caught COVID while flying
- there are data on how COVID spreads, which includes the distance, the time, and the type of the environment, and airplanes tick all these boxes.

Victoria
In general I agree with your points. However we apparently come to different conclusions based on those points...you apparently conclude that you should avoid flying altogether for a period of time, while I conclude that the airlines should drop the Covid theater and let those of us who want to fly do so without the theater.
Husker4theSpurs
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Husker4theSpurs »

I flew over Labor Day from Nebraska to Roanoke, Virginia (via Atlanta) and back on the same route on Delta. I am pretty careful about the virus personally, but not because I'm worried about getting it per se but rather passing it onto someone vulnerable. Of course there's no way to be perfectly safe, but it seems there's a way to eliminate a lot of the risk. Unfortunately we are relying on others to do the same.

As far as Delta goes they seemed to really take cleanliness seriously (personally I'm not that worried about surfaces, but I guess it's a good way to make people feel like you're being clean and safe). I heard the flight attendants remind a few people kindly to put their masks over their noses. Of course you have a few people wearing them solely over their mouth and a few others who seem to be keeping their chin and neck warm only. Not to generalize, but the typecasting of who does so is pretty dead on. I limited any time with my mask down (only to take a sip of water in more empty, main areas of the airport). I found the airports to not be that busy. I did not have anyone sitting in my row on any of my four flights however.

I plan to fly in a few weeks back to the same area but on United (via Ohare) and then back direct on American (Charlotte to Nebraska). I can imagine if I am jammed in with people on these flights I will feel less comfortable, but overall I felt fairly safe flying.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Northern Flicker »

tennisplyr wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:35 pm Thanks all. Spoke with one of my tennis buddies today who is a pilot for a major commercial airline. He said I should wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer....the HEPA air filters are very good at capturing particles. That should do it.
Hospital grade HEPA filters are H13. This means that they are designed to remove 99.5% or more of particles down to 0.21 microns.

Covid-19 virus particles are about .12 microns in diameter.

N95 masks are designed to trap 95% of particles down to 0.1 microns.
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celia
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by celia »

I had 4 flights in June on planes with the middle seat empty. I chose window seats on all flights and wore a face mask, shield, and hooded sweatshirt. I slept against the outer wall with my hood up and there was no way visible for germs to get to me. I was probably weird-looking, but no-one said anything. It’s the new normal!

I showered and threw my clothes in the laundry as soon as I got to my destinations.
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samsoes
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by samsoes »

mak1277 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:30 am There's nothing in the world important enough for me to get on a plane right now.
Agree, wholeheartedly.
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oldfort
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by oldfort »

austin757 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:19 pm Is there any credible evidence pointing to higher transmission of the virus while flying? There’s none that I’m aware of.
Without a robust contact tracing program, it's impossible to say how the virus is spreading. My guess is if you're under 50 and don't have any pre-existing conditions, you would be more likely to die in a car accident taking a cross-country drive than catching covid when flying.
Van
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Van »

oldfort wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:59 pm
austin757 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:19 pm Is there any credible evidence pointing to higher transmission of the virus while flying? There’s none that I’m aware of.
Without a robust contact tracing program, it's impossible to say how the virus is spreading. My guess is if you're under 50 and don't have any pre-existing conditions, you would be more likely to die in a car accident taking a cross-country drive than catching covid when flying.
But you failed to mention the third option. Stay home.
oldfort
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by oldfort »

Van wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:15 pm
oldfort wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:59 pm
austin757 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:19 pm Is there any credible evidence pointing to higher transmission of the virus while flying? There’s none that I’m aware of.
Without a robust contact tracing program, it's impossible to say how the virus is spreading. My guess is if you're under 50 and don't have any pre-existing conditions, you would be more likely to die in a car accident taking a cross-country drive than catching covid when flying.
But you failed to mention the third option. Stay home.
Yes, the safest option COVID wise is to never leave your home.
palanzo
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by palanzo »

Vtsax100 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:57 pm I bet if you do the math you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the airport than contracting covid 19 on a flight and then dying from it. Im an airline pilot and have been flying since this started. Airlines are using middle empty seats as a marketing scheme to people that are scared right now because they can’t fill them anyway. As soon as the demand returns you can bet they will be packing those seats. Most of this is smoke and mirrors.
If airlines are this cynical in the face of this very contagious disease then demand may not return. All it takes is one super-spreader event on a plane and demand will fall to zero.
jdb
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by jdb »

Flew Chicago to Miami on American last week. O’Hare was pretty empty. All passengers wearing face mask. BUT, airline was totally full. Including middle row seats. My wife and I flew first class for that reason, we knew it would be full flight. And wore our N95 masks. I would not fly American otherwise. Good news is the first class tickets much less expensive. I have friend who claims that a friend of his contracted Covid on United flight Miami to Houston, problem was passengers at gate area at MIA not wearing face masks. Who knows. Totally hearsay. It’s a crapshoot. Good luck.
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by JackoC »

mptfan wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:59 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:41 am
I agree with your statement about the asymmetry of proofs. But my point is broader than the transmission per se:
- some flyers are not following regulations, and one superspreader is enough to infect many
- flight attendants are reluctant to enforce COVID hygiene
- as you noted in a post above, much of airline activities are COVID theater
- there are no data on how many people have caught COVID while flying
- there are data on how COVID spreads, which includes the distance, the time, and the type of the environment, and airplanes tick all these boxes.

Victoria
In general I agree with your points. However we apparently come to different conclusions based on those points...you apparently conclude that you should avoid flying altogether for a period of time, while I conclude that the airlines should drop the Covid theater and let those of us who want to fly do so without the theater.
People can fly if they want to. And I don't necessarily agree with posts on either side saying the precautions are 'theater'. As I said above, of course airlines are more willing to seat people farther apart if they can't fill the seats, and less willing if they are able to. I don't see much relevance to that fact though obvious. The question is mainly whether less dense seating reduces risk. There is no back to front analysis of real results nailing this down, but the simulation I mentioned found empty middle seats reduced risk by nearly half, although arguably small in both cases according to that source. But that suggests that other changes like not really requiring masks as the flight wears on might increase risk materially. The simulation assumes that guidelines are followed. This is a really contagious disease and no reason in general to think that a no precautions approach couldn't make a major difference.

There is 'COVID theater' in some cases IMO. For example the push to try to make people wear masks outdoors, when not close to other people for more than seconds, not talking and interacting: mainly symbolic. Many people advocating that will even admit it. That's less clear for a close indoor setting (albeit better ventilation and filtration than most) like an airplane, for hours. The risk there seems plausible enough to me to not push back on a guideline like masking as much as possible the entire flight. And again lots of seats are empty on planes now mainly because not as many people want to fly now. It's not like supermarkets or restaurants where there's a mandated capacity reduction that sometimes generates long lines.
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by mptfan »

JackoC wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:07 pm There is 'COVID theater' in some cases IMO. For example the push to try to make people wear masks outdoors, when not close to other people for more than seconds, not talking and interacting: mainly symbolic.
Another example of COVID theater... requiring people to wear masks when they enter a restaurant, but not requiring the many people who are seated in the same restaurant to wear a mask. (I am not suggesting that people who are seated should be required to wear masks, I am suggesting that people who enter restaurants should not.)
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by jdb »

mptfan wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:16 pm
JackoC wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:07 pm There is 'COVID theater' in some cases IMO. For example the push to try to make people wear masks outdoors, when not close to other people for more than seconds, not talking and interacting: mainly symbolic.
Another example of COVID theater... requiring people to wear masks when they enter a restaurant, but not requiring the many people who are seated in the same restaurant to wear a mask. (I am not suggesting that people who are seated should be required to wear masks, I am suggesting that people who enter restaurants should not.)
Why my wife and I will not be dining at any restaurants for at least remainder of 2020. We are getting quite good at making meals at home including having close friends over several times a week. Good luck.
Vtsax100
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Vtsax100 »

mptfan wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:16 pm
JackoC wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:07 pm There is 'COVID theater' in some cases IMO. For example the push to try to make people wear masks outdoors, when not close to other people for more than seconds, not talking and interacting: mainly symbolic.
Another example of COVID theater... requiring people to wear masks when they enter a restaurant, but not requiring the many people who are seated in the same restaurant to wear a mask. (I am not suggesting that people who are seated should be required to wear masks, I am suggesting that people who enter restaurants should not.)

Another example. Closing half of the restaurants and starbucks in an airline terminal so that the remaining ones have lines a mile long and large groups of people scrunched up waiting for their order. The Chik Filet line in CLT is so long now they had to make new barricades to keep it separate from security. And don’t even try to get a coffee. Bizarre.
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by palanzo »

Vtsax100 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:28 pm
mptfan wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:16 pm
JackoC wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:07 pm There is 'COVID theater' in some cases IMO. For example the push to try to make people wear masks outdoors, when not close to other people for more than seconds, not talking and interacting: mainly symbolic.
Another example of COVID theater... requiring people to wear masks when they enter a restaurant, but not requiring the many people who are seated in the same restaurant to wear a mask. (I am not suggesting that people who are seated should be required to wear masks, I am suggesting that people who enter restaurants should not.)

Another example. Closing half of the restaurants and starbucks in an airline terminal so that the remaining ones have lines a mile long and large groups of people scrunched up waiting for their order. The Chik Filet line in CLT is so long now they had to make new barricades to keep it separate from security. And don’t even try to get a coffee. Bizarre.
I am sure they did not do that on purpose. It's like the layout of the terminal means there are no good choices.
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Northern Flicker »

Vtsax100 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:57 pm I bet if you do the math you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the airport than contracting covid 19 on a flight and then dying from it.
If you haven't done the math already, this is pure speculation, and it depends on the risk of death associated with one getting Covid. If car insurance rates are commensurate with risk, the people most likely to have a car accident are at the least risk from an actual Covid infection, and vice versa.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by atikovi »

Vtsax100 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:28 pm Another example. Closing half of the restaurants and starbucks in an airline terminal so that the remaining ones have lines a mile long and large groups of people scrunched up waiting for their order. The Chik Filet line in CLT is so long now they had to make new barricades to keep it separate from security. And don’t even try to get a coffee. Bizarre.
Personally I couldn't care less. I go to the airport to catch a plane, not for the dining or drinking. Especially not for a $5 hot dog that would be $2 anywhere else. Why can't people go a few hours without putting food in their mouth?
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by mmmodem »

celia wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:49 pm I had 4 flights in June on planes with the middle seat empty. I chose window seats on all flights and wore a face mask, shield, and hooded sweatshirt. I slept against the outer wall with my hood up and there was no way visible for germs to get to me. I was probably weird-looking, but no-one said anything. It’s the new normal!

I showered and threw my clothes in the laundry as soon as I got to my destinations.
I saw one woman dressed in many layers in 90 degree heat undress to exercise clothes while being picked up. Her clothes and belongings were all bagged up by the driver so that all outer layers were carefully secured in bags. She then had to don another set of clothes before she could set foot in the car. The driver then proceeded to sanitize herself for nearly 10 minutes before driving off.

Immediately after witnessing that 20 minute pickup, I saw a convertible pull up. The mask less millennials hopped out and hugged both of the masked passengers they were picking up. They took off their masks, hopped in and left in less than 30 seconds.

It was quite the contrast.
Vtsax100
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by Vtsax100 »

atikovi wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:35 pm
Vtsax100 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:28 pm Another example. Closing half of the restaurants and starbucks in an airline terminal so that the remaining ones have lines a mile long and large groups of people scrunched up waiting for their order. The Chik Filet line in CLT is so long now they had to make new barricades to keep it separate from security. And don’t even try to get a coffee. Bizarre.
Personally I couldn't care less. I go to the airport to catch a plane, not for the dining or drinking. Especially not for a $5 hot dog that would be $2 anywhere else. Why can't people go a few hours without putting food in their mouth?

Well I probably haven’t seen you in line then. I like to eat. And I like to drink coffee.
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Re: Flying during the pandemic

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread has run its course and is locked (topic exhausted, derailed). See: Locked Topics
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