Why Now is the Safest Time to Fly (Yes! During the Pandemic!)

Oh, you think I’m nuts? Hear me out first! Right now, in the year 2020, during this pandemic, is the safest time to fly in the history of flight. No, really! It’s true, and I’m about to tell you why.


Cleaning Practices

I know, I know. The main stream media would have you believe that bacteria breed at 30,000 feet. Please turn off the news! The reality is that, even before COVID-19 became the 2020 buzzword, airplanes have always been cleaned regularly. With the first rumors of a mystery virus in China, even before the pandemic officially started, airlines started increasing their cleaning practices. The more they learned about the virus, the more thorough those practices became.

Here are some examples of those cleaning practices:

  • Passengers receive a hand sanitizer wipe upon boarding to wipe down their own seats to make them feel more comfortable
  • Disinfecting high-touch areas like tray tables, seatbelts, lavatories, armrests, etc.
  • Disinfecting each aircraft with electrostatic disinfectant spray
  • Using UVC lights to disinfect sensitive areas, such as touch screens
Ready for a fresh return to flight!
For more, including links to individual airlines’ practices, check out Airlines.org.

Air Quality

For many years, the vast majority of commercial airlines have provided their planes with HEPA filters. That stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air” filter. The air on commercial aircraft is literally as clean as an ICU. Pair that with mask-wearing requirements by all airlines, and you can rest assured that the air you’re breathing in-flight is cleaner than the air inside your own home!

Flying high.
For more about the air quality on planes, take a look at the CDC website.

Social Distancing Practices

It’s true that airplanes are confined spaces. Extreme social distancing is neither practical nor possible. Airlines have come up with some pretty good policies, however. Policies vary by airline, but some examples include blocking middle seats, reseating as needed, and limiting the number of available seats on aircraft.

Wheels up!
More here: How to Be Social from a Distance

General Safety

Well-maintained Aircraft

Ever been delayed due to a maintenance issue? There’s no excuse for that to happen these days! In fact, there’s quite a surplus of aircraft at the moment. Safety and aircraft maintenance are always important to every airline, but thanks to reduced travel due to the pandemic, those things can get fixed before you board the plane! Even regional aircraft with high turn-over have plenty of time for thorough inspections and all kinds of maintenance!

Rested Pilots and Flight Crew

Under normal circumstances, pilots and flight crew are required to take “crew rest” after a certain amount of “on duty” time. In theory, this means that your pilot and flight crew are rested and not overworked. But y’all, we know from the miracle of social media that the reality is different. Any time a flight attendant is rude, you see a video of it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the mainstream media as well.

Guess what? Thanks to COVID, everyone has had plenty of time off. In fact, the pilots and flight crew who are left are happy to be there, happy to have a job, and they are truly rested. No one is gaming the system and working double shifts because they’re not there to be had. This stinks for the flight crews on furlough and those who have moved on to other jobs (like my Medevac Pilot friend!). But overall, you are safer with well-rested flight crews and pilots who are glad to still be doing a job they love.

Coming in for a landing!
Want a pilot’s inspiring story? Check out What it’s Like to Be a WOMAN Medevac Pilot!

So what do you think? Have you flown since March? Would you? Does this post make you feel better, or do you think I’m just nuts? Comment below!

And don’t forget to check out my Air Travel Page for more!

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8 responses to “Why Now is the Safest Time to Fly (Yes! During the Pandemic!)”

  1. This post could not have been more timely! We’re getting ready to fly to another state for Thanksgiving, and like so many other people contemplating travel right now I’m sure, we have concerns. So thanks for helping to alleviate some of the travel stress and worry that’s different now compared to no other year! Much appreciated!

    1. I’m SO GLAD it was helpful! I completely agree, we all need a little bit of a reality check on the facts of travel safety right now. Living in fear is not living fully!

  2. The line about air in a plane being cleaner than one’s own home puts planes in perspective, and it’s absolutely true. Great line; should boost anyone’s confidence!

    1. I agree!

  3. So true! couldn’t agree more can’t wait till I finally get on a plane again

    1. I’m so glad you agree! Where would you go first?!

  4. Thanks for writing this! My mainstream news has been saying all along that it’s safe to travel. I personally have taken the train in a sleeper car from Denver to DC and then flew back, and felt so much safer in the plane! We are about to make the same trip next week and I feel much safer traveling than gathering with even a small group right now. I will travel everywhere as soon as places reopen and we have a destination.

    1. Yes! Planes are definitely safer than trains, from what I can tell. I’m so glad you already know that!

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