Preparing to Travel: What you Need to Know

Woman in airport with luggage and mask post-COVID
After months of decline, air travel is picking back up. We know many of you are eager to jump back on the plane and get back to business but might still have questions on safety protocols and guidelines. Our goal is to help you feel comfortable the next time you head to the airport. Here are some of the top questions (and answers) around travel and what you need to know before you hop on a plane!

Is it safe to travel domestically? Especially if states have loosened their lockdown?
Yes. The CDC no longer advises against domestic travel; however, they do urge caution. For domestic travel, the CDC suggests finding out if COVID-19 is spreading in the area you are traveling to and from. If you are staying in a hotel, be sure to call ahead to check on restrictions or any quarantine protocols in the area.

What safety measures are being taken at airports?
Expect more cleaning. Airports are following CDC sanitation guidelines, and have set up entry screenings – and in some cases, temperature checks keep passengers safe. If you have a fever (100.4 or higher), you won’t be allowed to board a flight. If you are feeling unwell, be sure to take your temperature before heading to the airport. TSA has updated it’s security procedures to reduce contact while handling security bins.

Like in any public place, personal safety precautions like wearing a mask, frequently washing and sanitizing your hands, and staying 6 feet away from others are recommended.

How can I prepare before I head to the airport?
First and foremost, consider how you are getting there. If you can have someone drop you off, you are limiting surfaces touched. Keep in mind that many airports have changed their drop-off and parking procedures—plan to arrive early.

Many airports and airlines are now requiring passengers to wear a mask or face coverings. While airports will provide face coverings, it’s a good idea to bring your own if you have access. Airlines are taking extra precautions with cleanliness, but it’s never a bad idea to bring alcohol wipes to clean down your seat and surrounding surfaces.

While some airports have opened restaurants back up, others are still closed. If you want to bring snacks, put it in a clear plastic bag, and then put that bag into a bin.

What precautions should I take when renting a car?
Renting a car poses much less risk of exposure than public transportation or rideshare. That said, the virus can stay on surfaces for up to 72 hours. Be sure to wipe down all high-touch areas, and use hand sanitizer after interacting at the kiosk.

What should I expect if I need to cancel a flight?
Airlines are currently encouraging bookings by offering no-fee changes and cancellations on future travel. While airline policies aren’t going to typically give you a full refund if you change your mind, you can expect offered flight credits for future use.

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