The First Flight After/During(?) COVID-19

Through the eyes of an Adult


After more than 8 months of not flying, I was wondering what to expect. A little anxious, a little curious I set out to see what flying was going to look and feel like. Here is just a short take away from my very short flight from Hamburg to London Heathrow, October this year – 2020.

Hamburg, Germany



Photo credit: M Rose

Arrival at the airport

Easy and hardly any people. There were no lines to go through security. This never happens in Hamburg. Everyone wore masks and the security people were nice?!

Within the Airport

Everyone wore masks. About 50% of the shops were closed but food and duty-free shops were open.

Passport Control

Self-Serve passport gates were working. All I needed to do was lift my mask briefly and away I went. Social distancing was in full force.

Airside

Everyone wore masks and if they didn't there was a reminder over the PA.

“Man in red shirt, mask” “Women seated, mask”.

Short, to the point and very clear, you will follow the rules, we are watching. Seating was marked with giant red X' on 2 out of every 3 seats.

Boarding

Very, very orderly and socially distanced. For the first time, there was no one running for the gate, no waiting in line unless you were called. Boarding from the rear forward and only 5 rows at a time.

In-flight

Everyone wore masks. You could eat and drink but you had to put your mask back on right afterward. We were all handed a little pack with hand sanitizer and disinfectant cloths. I felt safe.

London Heathrow, UK

Photo credit: M Rose


Landing and Disembarkation

Well, I was completely shocked! We landed, pulled up to the gate and NO ONE ran for the aisle. Everyone remained seated until we were advised which row could get up next. It was nice and civilized...I would wholeheartedly petition for this to remain.

Customs

Masks yes but no social distancing! I had to use my wheel bag to keep people away. Here, as in Hamburg, the self-serve passport gates were working no problem. Quick and easy exit for me.

But the line to see a customs person was long, no social distancing and it did make me wonder, if I arrive from a country with no quarantine in the UK what happens when I am jammed in a line with people who come from a quarantine country?! A major flaw in the way the arrivals are working in the UK, in my opinion.


I did however wonder whether the man I saw in the lounge in a full hazmat suit would catch on!

Photo credit: M Boldt

Heathrow Express to Paddington

Masks worn, social distancing in place. Once off the Heathrow Express and out of Paddington Station, the final removal of my mask was heaven!

Final verdict – It mostly felt safe sometimes people a little too close but in made even a short journey seem long from behind a mask.

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