Before You Fly Again

By Boston Chauffeur
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What You Need To Know Before You Fly Again During Covid-19

Are you thinking about flying to a vacation destination in the U.S. before the summer ends? As restrictions change in some states, there are a few things you should know before you book a flight for your next trip.

Masks — Bring a face covering. All major airlines in the U.S. require passengers and crew wear face masks. Allegiant Airlines, the last air carrier to require masks, changed their policy July 2nd. Masks are required while at airline ticket counters, gates, while boarding, and during the flight, except for children under two years of age. For those over two years of age, the requirements are changing — check with the airline before you fly to avoid boarding issues.

Update 7/28/20: Additional information about masks:

As of July 23, 2020, American and Southwest have ended medical exceptions for masks. “We’re simply seeing too many exceptions to the (mask) policy, it has put our flight crews in a really tough spot and also made our customers pretty uncomfortable,” Southwest Airlines President Tom Nealon said Thursday. Additionally, both airlines this week are expected to ban passengers who claim that a medical condition prevents them from wearing a mask; only children under 2 will be exempt. “Customers and team members have been clear that they feel more safe when everyone is wearing a face covering,” said Alison Taylor, American’s chief customer officer.

Delta now requires passengers “who claimed a medical exception to the face-mask rule to go through new screening — a phone call with a staffer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,” according to USNews.com.

Additionally, Delta tightened face mask requirements as of July 25, 2020 — face masks with exhaust valves are no longer acceptable, and plastic face shields may be used in addition to a mask but are not approved mask replacements. Read the full story at USNews.com

Limited Seats —All the major U.S. airlines have limited seating available including Southwest Air (they continue to maintain their open seating policy, although they are limited the number of seats sold on their flights). As a result of fewer available seats, air carriers are combining flights which may result in more crowded cabins. Check the status of sold seats a few days before the flight; if it’s crowded, you may be able to change your flight without an additional change fee. That said, airlines continually change their policies to ensure the safety of their passengers, crew, and employees.

Blocked Middle Seats — According to the most recent data available, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest are blocking middle seats, which leaves a little more room between passengers.

Cleaning & Disinfecting Aircraft — Some airlines are taking extra steps to clean and disinfect their aircraft, but not all are cleaning before every flight.

Airlines that clean before every flight are Alaska Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. However, that may change as airlines work towards making flights safer for passengers, crew members, and employees.

Those that do not clean and disinfect before every flight may use other cleaning protocols. For example, American Airlines uses a disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria and lasts up to seven days.

There are 58 domestic air carriers in the U.S. We’ve listed some of the top domestic airlines with links to their respective coronavirus cleaning processes. (Mask policies may be available at the websites as well.)

  1. Alaska Airline
  2. Allegiant
  3. American
    • Delta  also check out Delta’s Travel Update Center
  4. Frontier Airlines
  5. Hawaiian Airlines
  6. JetBlue
  7. Southwest
  8. United Airlines

If you will travel with another airline not listed in this article, search the airline website for Covid-19 updates.

As always, check with the airline before your flight — their policies may change.

Traveling with Hand Sanitizer 

The TSA has eased restrictions, now allowing passengers to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in a carry-on bag.

What to Do About Food & Snacks When Flying During Covid-19 Restrictions

It’s best to have a meal before you leave for your trip. You may also bring your own food and beverages. Find out what you can bring on board at the TSA website. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/food

Airport Cleaning Procedures During Covid-19

Since there is no federal mandate for masks or cleaning and disinfecting guidelines, most airports, and airlines within each airport, set their own policies. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of kiosks, ticket counters, passenger service counters, gates, and baggage service offices is a general wide spread policy. Hand sanitizer stations may be available throughout some airports, but bringing your own is recommended.

To further improve safety for all, airport lobbies may require passengers to wear face masks at terminals and check-in gates. Review your arrival and departure airport policies before you travel to get the last face mask policies.

New England Airport Policies and Procedures During Covid-19

Boston Logan Airport, operated by Massport, explains how they are keeping travelers in the following video:

Video about what to expect when you arrive at Boston Logan Airport:

Covid Policies at Other New England Airports

New Hampshire Manchester-Boston Regional Airport Policies

Rhode Island TF Green International Airport Policies

Check State Guidelines Before You Travel

Some states are restricting visitors and/or requiring quarantines. Check the local government website for current requirements for the state you intend to visit. Some airline websites may offer state information as well, such as Delta, which has published and updates a list of state and country travel requirements.

Massachusetts Travel Order

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order with respect to traveling into and out of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 24, 2020. Click here for that Massachusetts travel order.

Download the Massport* Travel Order Flyer [PDF]

Stay Healthy, Stay Safe While Traveling

Reminder: Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Do not travel with someone who is sick.

Wherever you travel during this public health crisis, and by whatever mode of transportation you choose to travel, be sure to check before you go.

#SafeTravels

Related Story: Flying Coast to Coast During the Corona Virus Pandemic


*Boston Logan International Airport is owned and operated by Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) along with Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. http://www.massport.com

Sources: Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United; TSA; Mass.gov; Massport (owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, Hanscom Field, and Worcester Regional Airport); Manchester-Boston Regional Airport; TF Green International Airport; Points Guy; USNews

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article and on this website is only intended to be general summary information to the public; it is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations; it may not constitute the most up-to-date information.  This website contains links to other third-party websites; such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user, or browser, and does not constitute an endorsement of the contents of third party sites. All third party information is subject to change without notice.

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