Zero part of me was nervous to fly. I was more so extremely curious as to what travel looked like in our social distancing age. At this point, we all have to do a personal risk assessment and move forward with how we feel comfortable – no travel shame included. I recently wrote about the future of travel, and we can only hope summer brings an uptick in travel for the sake of many businesses as well as a flattened curve. I believe in a world where both can exist at the same time with the most precautionary measures in place. Here’s how our travel day went down.
Anyone who wants a test can get a test in the state of California. I’m grateful for that because at the beginning of the week, Alex and I drove to the nearest testing site to do a nose swab. The test results came back negative! I wanted that peace of mind since I’m visiting my parents in their 60s. The last thing I want to do is put them at risk, especially because I’ve been at protests, outdoor restaurants and around close friends as California begins to open.
Only one airline operates a direct flight from LAX to Little Rock, and it’s only offered at 6am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Allegiant isn’t anywhere at the top of my preferred airline list, but I’ll take the direct flight over having a layover at DFW any day. This minimizes the chance of picking up the virus on another plane or contracting it from more travelers.
I was anxious about the number of operating Ubers at 4:30am in Manhattan Beach during quarantine. I checked availability around 4:15, and the app read 5 minutes. Not bad. Note to self: Don’t rely on that information! I should’ve reserved a car right then and there because when I went back at 4:30 to call one, the Uber didn’t actually arrive until 4:50am. Our flight was at 6am…and baggage cut-off times and I don’t mix very well. Thankfully, Allegiant has a 45 minute cut-off time before flights, so we made it to the airport a little after 5am with about 10 minutes to spare 🙂 Nothing like a little baggage stress to wake you up in the morning!
We wore a mask in the Uber (as did our driver), and masks are mandatory in the airport. LAX was straight tumbleweeds – hardly any passengers in sight! I filled up my reusable water bottle, stopped by one of those Hudson News stands for some granola bars since nothing else was open and went straight to board with hand sanitizer at every stop. We chose not to wear gloves and didn’t see any other passengers with them on either.
We boarded by rows, and it looked like the flight was about 65ish% full with passengers spread out as much as possible. Alex and I headed for the back where the last two rows were completely empty. I knew it was party time once we heard the most beautiful phrase ever: “Flight attendants, prepare for take-off.” Up, up and away! We placed the blowing vents facing downward because ventilation is any travelers main means of control by creating an invisible air barrier that blocks particles. We used hand sanitizer (you can never have enough!) after touching any surface. Beverage service was offered although we opted out. Neither one of us used the restroom on board either. From take-off to touchdown, the 2 hour and 53 minute flight was a breeze.
On the Ground
Aside from extremely high winds swinging our plane like a see-saw upon descent, all is well in Arkansas. Masks are not mandated here which might contribute to the state’s rising COVID cases. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
All in all, the one-way trip was very pleasant and uneventful. Alex took a nap, and I stared out the window thinking about how good it felt to be back in the friendly skies. I also wrote this blog for your viewing pleasure! We are all still figuring out how to navigate life in this pandemic, but I hope this post helps ease any fear or anxiety about domestic travel right now – although keep in mind we booked an early flight which helped with airport crowds. If you’re a conscious and responsible traveler who takes the precautionary measures and social distances as much as possible…welcome aboard.