Is air travel safe? What is the air quality on commercial airlines? Aren’t you scared to fly, right now? These are just some of the questions we get, right now about air travel during this time while fighting COVID.
Air Quality on Commercial Planes
Let’s first address the concerns regarding air quality on commercial planes. Many believe the old tale that “if one person is sick on a plane, we’re all going to get sick,” because of poor air quality.
This is just that, an old wives tale. Due to air quality control standards, frequently recirculated air, and high efficiency air filtration systems on commercial planes, the air in a plane is likely much cleaner than your office building. Actually, the air quality meets the same standards as most hospitals!
Commercial planes use HEPA (High-Efficiency Particle Filters ) and TrueHEPA (True High-Efficiency Particle Filters) filtration to eliminate viruses and bacteria. The recirculation frequency further ensures that the air remains clean during your travels. If you’d like to learn more about the air quality on planes, check out this article from TripSavvy.
“But, I always get a cold after flying!”
Yes, many people still find they get off a plane with a cough and sniffles. This is also due to the recirculation and filtration. All that recirculation and filtration removes moisture from the air in the cabin. As a result, your sinus and nasal passages get extremely dry, making it easier to pass viruses from passenger to passenger. So, opt for that water, instead of the soda during your flight.
Is Air Travel Safe?
“So, you’re saying that cold I get after a flight is from other passengers? Doesn’t that mean that I could get COVID from other passengers.”
Yes, as with ALL viruses and bacteria, you could get a cold, flu, pneumonia, bacterial infection, and many other diseases from your fellow passengers. This has ALWAYS been the case. However, airlines have implemented many new strategies to help reduce that risk.
New Airline Policies to Reduce Risk
- Airlines have increased the time between flights to more thoroughly clean the planes. I’ve spoken with many friends that work for airlines and they say the planes have NEVER been cleaner.
- Physical distancing measures in place on the planes, including limiting or eliminating middle seats.
- Closing VIP clubs and lounges, temporarily.
- No checked pets
- Daily, thorough deep cleans of all planes.
- Multiple daily sanitization of boarding areas, ticket counters, and baggage claim
- Face coverings required at the airport and on planes
- New check-in and security measures to reduce risk (measures vary based on airline and airport) – be sure to arrive extra early to account for these new processes!
- New cancellation and re-scheduling policies to accommodate passengers that need to cancel, if they’re feeling sick (in other words, stay home if you’re sick)
So, Is Air Travel Safe?
Between enhanced security measures from 9/11 to the new sanitization policies to combat COVID19, air travel has never been safer! You’re taking a greater risk going into the office, so get out there and explore!