Happy Monday! It’s been a while since we’ve talked. How are you doing? How is your February going? Mine has been eventful, to say the least, with only 7 days behind us. I was approached two weeks ago by my corporate office to assist with a hotel transition in Orlando. Living in the ‘burbs of Dallas that obviously meant I would have to fly. I haven’t flown since January 2020! Over a year. And I definitely haven’t flown during the pandemic. So…what did I do?
I said yes. I immediately called my mom, because hello she knows all. We talked out my hesitations and discussed what I should ask for in return to ease my safety concerns. I am and have been very cognizant of Covid-19 and how contagious it is. I wear my mask, I wash my hands, I carry around sanitizer and use it constantly. Being in Texas and being in Florida isn’t really much different right now in regards to what’s open and what’s not. I was really worried about the there-and-back part. My anxiety is terrible anyway (I had a panic attack on that last flight in January 2020) so I know how my head can be. I went back to my company and said yes, but that I would need to fly Delta since they don’t sell the middle seats right now. And they agreed.
I left Dallas Love Field Airport on 2/2. The airport was busier than I anticipated although I went through TSA in about 5 minutes. Southwest Airlines seems to be busy at least out of their HQ port in Dallas. Boarding the plane is almost better than before. They board elite members, active military, strollers, etc. and then seated by seat number. The 2nd is the day the Executive Order went into affect for masks in transportation so everyone was masked up. Boarded the plane, I chose the aisle. I had one person on the window seat (middle seat between us) and one person on the window seat on the other side of the aisle. There is no true food or beverage service. They give you a Ziploc bag of Goldfish, Kodiak Crackers, water, and a sanitizer wipe (they give you a wipe when you enter the plane too). I had a layover in Atlanta and departing the plane is pretty much how it always is. People crowding the aisles. But most people respected the social distancing.
Layover for 45 minutes in Atlanta. Atlanta airport was also busy but it is Delta’s HQ port. Board the flight to Orlando. Same thing, boarded by row. The gate agent asks a man to put on a mask over his neck gator (since those aren’t allowed under the EO) and then has him board. Board, one person on the window seat (I sat in the aisle) and one person on the other window seat. Land in Orlando and same thing with deplaning.
I landed in Orlando at 5pm EST. Orlando’s airport is dead. I mean, stuff is still closed it’s so dead. Which…surprised me. I caught a Lyft from the airport to the hotel in Lake Buena Vista and then I was “in the clear”. I have been working in an office all week with people and everyone is wearing masks (I wear mine always).
So far, I have gone out to eat once. Their restaurants are at “35%” from what I was told but there is no way. The restaurant we went to spaced everyone out but was more than 35% for sure. I’m ordering in a lot though since the hotel’s restaurants aren’t open.
The resort I’m helping/staying at got busy over the weekend with guests at the pool most of the day. It was kind of nice to hear actual people enjoying a hotel stay…that is something we don’t hear often anymore.
I am heading back to Dallas on Thursday and I’m not as nervous because I know what to expect this time.
I would like to say – please don’t take this like I’m condoning non-essential travel. I have been Judge-y McJudgerson towards anyone who is traveling for vacations (planes) right now. While, I do see how you can travel safely, it is much more than the interactions you face within those hours during travel. It’s what you can be bringing with you and on you that will affect other people. I live alone and I work in an office that is good about social distancing and wearing masks, so I feel that my risk is lower. I’m younger so I *should be able to bounce back easier (although being overweight does not help my case). If you have to travel for work, just know that it is an overall safe experience. I had colleagues fly other airlines (Southwest, AA, etc.) and they said that while the airline sells middle seats, the flights aren’t full. If you wanted to move around, you most likely could. My company is taking over a few more hotels not in the Texas area so I could very well be traveling again this year, we’ll see. While I did my due diligence, you just never know.
I hope you have a great week and stay safe!