Five things you need to know before flying in a pandemic
We may be in the midst of a pandemic, but there are still many reasons why we have to fly. Family obligations, work, and health reasons are all valid examples of why some of us have to travel. But what do you need to know before you book, pack, and board? Let's take a look...
What should I do if my flight is canceled? Due to the ever-evolving travel situation, you might suddenly find that your flight has been canceled or delayed. Flight cancelation and delays are unavoidable and can happen right up until the last minute. You should keep monitoring the situation daily before your planned departure, but just be aware that now more than ever, cancelations are common. If or when the flight is canceled you should seek advice from Flightright to see if you are entitled to flight compensation or a refund. Don’t just chalk it off to the pandemic and don’t waste hours on hold to the airline, head straight over to their site to get to the bottom of whether your flight qualifies for compensation or not.
If my flight is canceled, am I entitled to compensation? Under EU Regulations, passengers are entitled to either a refund or a replacement flight, should their flight be canceled. If the airline failed to inform you 14 days or more before departure, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Flight delay compensation or canceled flight compensation amounts can range between EUR 250 and EUR 600 per passenger, depending on the distance of the flight. Services like Flightright can check your claim in just a couple of moments and let you know if it’s likely you qualify. You can then decide whether to open a case and claim that money, or not. They have been helping passengers for over 10 years, have a 99% success rate in court, and have helped passengers receive more than EUR 300 million in payouts.
Where should I go? Where you can and should go will depend a lot on your nationality and where you are traveling from. Restrictions are changing quickly so you should always check entry requirements to anywhere you wish to go, regularly. It’s also advisable to take a PCR test before travel, even if it isn't required. This way, you can be sure that you are negative before you travel. Many countries have come up with a red and green system that categorizes countries based on the pandemic situation at any given time. Be sure you know which category you fall into before you book flights and continue monitoring the situation prior to departing to the airport.
What should I pack? Before traveling, you should check what allowances the airport and airline have concerning hand sanitizer. Make sure you have some with you, and backup in your luggage, but that you remain within the guidelines. It’s also advisable to carry a couple of replacement masks/visors in your hand luggage and hold luggage, just to be sure. You might consider packing a thermometer and paracetamol as well. It would also be smart to pack comfortable clothes, medical documents such as insurance policies, and supplies you may need in case of flight delays or cancellations.
What precautions should I take on the plane? Once you’re on the plane, there are several precautions you should take. These include trying to maintain a two-meter distance at all times, avoiding touching handrails, headsets, trays, armrests, elevator buttons, and kiosks, and wearing a face mask. When you do come into contact with common surfaces as well as at regular intervals, you should be sure to wash and/or sanitize your hands with a suitable alcohol-based product. It’s also wise to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and to cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when sneezing or coughing. Some passengers prefer to use both a mask and a visor when transiting airports and on the plane.
Remember, times are changing very quickly and the best thing you can do is to check with local authorities before booking and flying while making sure you follow all precautions.