Flying Safely with Kids During COVID
With the holidays only weeks away many families will be taking to the skies for family visits or a much-needed vacation. However, 2020 is not over, and flying safely during COVID is still a hot topic. I’ve observed a lot of buzzing online as parents decipher the new world of flying and doing it with kids. In recent weeks studies have been making headlines announcing the chances of catching COVID-19 on a plane is minimal. One report said flying is safer than going to the grocery store. That sounds promising.
In early summer, during the peak of COVID, I flew with my three children to Denver. Despite working for an airline I wasn’t sure what to expect but I can say it was a good experience. I never worried my family’s health was in jeopardy. Even though I work behind the scenes it’s always a new perspective when it’s your own family who is traveling. Of course, I also know what to look for and I rated it an A+ experience. Customers and employees work masks. The planes were extremely clean. The entire travel process had safety precautions in place.
Does my child have to wear a mask on the plane? Masks have been a conversation topic for most of 2020 as well as a controversial subject. While infants and those with medical issues are exempt from wearing masks, the general expectation is that children over the age of two wear a mask. With that said, every child develops differently. Since the rules vary from airline to airline, my advice is to be proactive and help your child get into the habit of wearing a mask.
While most airlines have similar mask rules it’s best to know exactly what the expectations are of the carrier you are flying. If you have a concern (example: your little one refuses to wear a mask) talk to the airline before your date of flying and again upon arrival at the airport. Some airlines require medical documentation or may clear passengers through a medical response center. Get te ono
Car Seat Gate Check Bag
Hauling a car seat along on a trip can be a hit or miss. As a former flight attendant with plenty of air turbulence experience, I always recommend young children sit in a car seat while flying. It’s safe and comfortable for the little ones. If your child is older and the main purpose of bringing the car seat along is for car travel at your destination, then I highly recommend a car seat gate check bag (or better yet, check it at the ticket counter). With today’s health and safety concerns, this is a great option for protecting car seats. Our goal was to get the car seats to and from the destination safely, meaning in one piece.
Snacks and Drinks
As of this writing, many airport restaurants remain closed and the airlines have not resumed full service. Even when airlines are offering full service it’s always wise to bring snacks along that are your kid-approved.
To fly or not to fly
In my experience, flying right now does not pose any issues unless you have personal concerns or underlying conditions. The best move is to plan ahead, take precautions, pack extra masks and snacks, and enjoy yourself!