I’m Flying For The First Time Since The Pandemic

For the longest time, flying has been a comfort of sorts. The night before, I wouldn’t get much sleep. Not because I was nervous, but because I was excited. For me, the journey was almost as exciting as the destination. If you’re reading this blog, you probably feel a similar way.

That all changed with COVID. People like Ben and Jon who flew almost weekly haven’t flown in months. They even resorted to taking a road trip recently! Personally, I haven’t flown since February. While I wasn’t flying quite as frequently as Ben and Jon, I’d still fly about once a month. After a long time off though, I’m finally getting back in the air next week.

Why I’m Flying

Juuuuust a few bags

Let’s be clear on this, I’m not flying because I want to. I’m flying because we’re finally moving back to the US next week. I see things continuing to get worse across the US and it gives me pause. I’ve been itching to travel again, but it’s not exactly the ideal time to be doing it.

Under normal circumstances we’d be really excited, but this just feels weird. Unfortunately, there aren’t exactly a ton of ways to move across the Atlantic without relying on shared transportation. Until the Jetsons cars become a thing, I can’t just hop in a car and drive from the UK to the US.

What I’m Most Nervous About

While I don’t expect it to look quite like this, crowds are still a concern

For me, the past four months have included little to no outside interaction. Aside from seeing people from a distance on walks, I’ve more or less been completely isolated. While you might not know it just from looking at me, I fall in the high-risk category because of a weakened immune system. Because of that, it’s been extremely important for us to avoid other people. Up until now, we’ve been able to do a really good job of that too.

The hardest thing is that there are going to be so many elements that are out of our control. I think One Mile At A Time summed it up pretty well, but if I’m on a walk and see someone coming at me, I can cross the street. If I want to avoid people at home, I can do that. At the airport though, that’s not going to be possible. From the time we get picked up to the time we arrive back in the US, we’re pretty much at the mercy of the circumstances.

Are there things we can do? Sure. You can bet we’ll be taking as many precautions as possible. Ultimately though, I’m sure there will be at least a few uncomfortable moments during our travels.

I Think I’m Also Kind Of Excited?

There’s also part of me that’s really excited to be back in the sky. Over the years, flying has almost become something therapeutic to me. From the roar of the engines, to that feeling of the wheels lifting off, to relaxing in the sky and enjoying the views, it all just feels so right.

I’m also very curious to see what the entire process is like. While I’ve read a few accounts so far, things are constantly changing. I’m not entirely sure what to expect. While travel is starting to pick back up in the UK, I still expect Heathrow to be a ghost town compared to what it was before. There are also a bunch of other things I’m curious about, like:

  • Will the check-in experience be any different?
  • Will people actually maintain social distancing going through security?
  • What will the lounge offerings look like?
  • How different will onboard service be? Will the crew keep their distance or offer fairly normal service with PPE?

I’m sure it will be a stressful experience – at least to start, but I’m optimistic that it will become more comfortable as we go along. I can’t have my anxiety level be at 100 for 10+ hours, right??

Is There Anything You Want To Know?

Half the fun of this blog is sharing experiences with you and writing about things that interest you. That’s why I’m asking to see what you guys are interested in. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments over the next week. I’ll try to answer as many as possible in a follow-up post later in the week. (For reference, we’ll be flying American with one leg in international business class and the connecting leg in domestic first class.)

Any questions or advice? Leave it comments below!

Author: Stephen Hoechst

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2 Comments

  1. Kudos to you guys for having the courage to fly again despite your weakened immune system. I’m curious what you plan to wear at the airport? Obviously you’ll wear a facemask, but do you plan on also wearing a face shield, perhaps one of those new vyzr hazmat suits, etc.? Also, I heard a few adults are opting to wear diapers as well to avoid having to go and use the public restroom in the airport/airplane.

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    • Hey Joey – thanks for the kind words. We’re currently planning to go with N95 masks and over-ear headphones, but still on the fence about a few other things. I don’t think we’ll go quite as far as some of the options you’ve mentioned (the cabin looks pretty sparse as of today), but still we’re considering a few other items. We’ll keep you posted!

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