After being stuck at home for a long time, an opportunity to get out of the house arose and I jumped at it. Two of my aunts and my three year old cousin live right outside of Washington D.C. I was able to fly up and stay with them for a long weekend which not only gave me the chance to get out of the house but to also have some quality time with family.
My family travels quite frequently but I went on this trip alone. I also was able to fly which was exciting as I love airports and flying but a unique experience during a pandemic. First of all, obviously, in the airport everyone was required to wear a mask at all times. Even on my specific flight, the flight attendant stressed multiple times how the airline’s new policy was that, unless you are actively eating or drinking, masks must be worn at all times and cover the nose and face. I also appreciated the safety measures this airline are taking right now. When boarding the plane, each passenger was provided with a small packet containing an antibacterial wipe which was used to wipe down each passenger’s seat, tray table, seat belt, etc. Though the airline boasted cleaning the plane in between each flight, being able to clean my seating area myself as well made me more comfortable.
I found both airports to be fairly uncrowded. At gates and restaurants, people followed social distancing rules very well and I never felt like I was too close to anyone. Something about the airports that I did not appreciate was that many of the store and food options were closed due to COVID-19. At the Dulles International Airport, for example, the only options near my gate were a Jersey Mikes and a sit down burger restaurant. I did get a sandwich but as for snacks and drinks I had to travel to the other end of the airport which was quite a hassle.
I had a wonderful time visiting my family. Though we were not able to go out and do a lot, we had an amazing time. We did get a snowstorm while I was there but this allowed my three year old cousin to really experience the snow for the first time. We made hot chocolate bombs, built snowmen, watched Disney movies and just spent time together. It was definitely a getaway well worth it!
Though this is unrelated to COVID-19, I did have complications with my flight on the way home. The snow hit on Sunday and my flight was Monday morning. My flight got moved to Monday evening instead. Luckily, on Monday, the snow had ceased but the air was still freezing cold. The flight is super quick. I was supposed to take off at 6:05 p.m. and land by 7:24 p.m.. However, as we were boarding the plane, snow and ice made an appearance. Since we were already boarded, I figured the flight would begin as normal and we would have no complications.
However, I was wrong. We were sitting for a long time when the pilot finally came on with an announcement letting us know that, because of the snow and ice we were experiencing, when he tried to taxi the plane was slipping on ice. He explained how it would only be a few minutes as the crew would quickly resolve the issue.
A few minutes turned into 2 hours before we finally left. Every few minutes the pilot kept saying only five more minutes and we would be en route. Thankfully the flight attendant came around with complimentary drinks and the pilot apologized for the situation and expressed his frustration at the delay. We finally landed at 9:15 and I was exhausted but grateful the flight hadn’t been canceled.
Needless to say, flying during the pandemic was a wild experience for several reasons. But, at the end of the day, I’m so thankful I was able to have a safe and sanitary trip and be able to see some of those I am closest too and had greatly missed. Just remember to be safe in whatever you do during this time.