COVID-19: One Experience Flying within the U.S.

So, most people are not flying right now, and with good reason! My most recent flight was on Sunday, March 1, from Burlington (BVT) to Dulles (IAD), ten days before the panic and hysteria, and before the travel restrictions were put in place. However, I know many people have had to fly during this weird flux time, and experiences range from heavy testing and “holding pen” type situations, to chaotic and confusing.

My friend Alyssa was on a high school chorus trip in Spokane, WA, last weekend. Getting home to Cheyenne, WY, during the pandemonium was one of those chaotic experiences! If you’re curious like me, here’s the inside information. And don’t forget to read until the end for today’s giveaway!

The Situation

Alyssa and some of her classmates were selected to sing with the Northwest American Choral Directors Association at their annual conference in Spokane, WA. Students from her high school and two others were all set to fly up to Spokane and perform with students from all across the Northwest United States. Only a select group of students is selected each year, and it’s a great honor… plus a fun trip!

The Timing

The conference was to take place March 11-14, with plans for their group to fly home on Sunday, March 15. They flew nonstop on Southwest Airlines from Denver (DEN) to Spokane (GEG) with no issue on Wednesday, March 11. That’s the same day Washington State Governor Jay Inslee banned gatherings of 250 people or more. Washington State was the hardest hit state with COVID-19, and he understandably chose to start making changes to slow and eventually stop the spread.

The conference was supposed to be much larger than the 250 cap, so the next day it was officially cancelled. The teacher in charge of Alyssa’s group (and the teachers in charge of every other group) called their various airlines to try and find earlier flights home, but to no avail. Changing 27 tickets and keeping the group together was not going to happen. The students got to enjoy a few more days in Spokane before everything started to close, and they flew home on Sunday, March 15, as planned.

At GEG and on the Flight

The Spokane Airport was nearly empty when their group checked in, with the exception of a few other student groups all flying home as scheduled that day. Alyssa and her friends started a game of counting up how many people at the airport were wearing masks. The flight was nowhere close to full, and in fact many passengers had entire rows to themselves!

At Denver Airport

Arriving into and getting out of Denver Airport was a different story! Once everyone got off the plane, they made their way down to the train to get to the main terminal and baggage claim. Hundreds of people were crowded in the loading area trying to push on the train. Social distancing did not seem to be a priority! So many people were trying to get on at once that the train broke. So everyone was stuck there while the train got fixed… not social distancing.

Alyssa said the whole things was just chaotic. There weren’t a whole lot of people at the airport, but everyone there wanted to go to the same place–OUT!

Getting Home

When everyone had picked up their luggage and piled onto the bus to get back to Cheyenne, WY, they started the hour and a half drive. Surprisingly, leaving the Denver airport was easier than fighting the traffic to cross the border into Wyoming! The trickle-down effect on travel is interesting! Now Alyssa and her fellow singing classmates are all in self-quarantine, just like everyone else. Have you flown during the COVID-19 situation? Comment below with your story!

Today’s Giveaway!

Today’s giveaway is a $25 gift card from Poppies Boutique! This is one of my favorite small businesses because they are always SO positive! I don’t live close enough to pop into the store, but they have an amazing online shop with try-on videos for every piece of clothing and new releases every week! Their feed is full of beautiful clothes, cute jewelry, adorable hats, Dolly tees, and encouragement, so give them a follow on Instagram! They often offer discount codes and FREE shipping, too!

Their online shop is phenomenal, and they ship anywhere in the U.S. Their stores are in Lebanon and Cookeville, TN, and while I know it seems like a distant memory now, these were two of the hardest-hit places during the March 2-3 tornadoes. Tennesseans banded together beautifully, as we always do, but now this second whammy with COVID-19 is hitting them even harder. Your support will means so much to them, so give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram, and please enter the giveaway!

I got this adorable little yellow midi from Poppies last fall before our trip to Hawaii!

How to Enter

The winner will be chosen at 9:00am EST on Sunday, March 22!

Want more about staying mentally and physically healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic? Check out my Health and Wellness Page!

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