A Life in Travel

2 minutes reading time (456 words)

About Flying on Airplanes and the Coronavirus.

AirplaneWing

Updated: March 16, 2020

For some travelers, deciding if or when to travel, the part about getting on a plane is what has them concerned. We did some investigations about flying and the precautions recommended by experts on this topic.

"The risk of catching any illness on a flight is generally quite low," says Perry Flint, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, which represents some 290 airlines worldwide. "Of course, there's a chance of catching something any place people congregate, but less so on a plane, because the air is filtered and refreshed constantly, with systems similar to what you'd find in a hospital operating room."

What is most surprising is that the air on airplanes is better than its reputation. The Center for Disease Control says that transmission of the virus occurs by droplets from coughing or sneezing or direct contact. Air on airplanes is filtered through HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters which traps droplets. Another factor that works in your favor is that the air on planes is extremely dry, which is not conducive to spreading the virus.

We reviewed several articles on this topic published by National Geographic, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider among others. Here's what we recommend when flying:

  1. Wash your hands. (We had to include it.)
  2. Try to stay conscious of not touching your face with your hands.
  3. Use hand sanitizer gels to disinfect your hands.
  4. Bring your own chlorine wipes to disinfect tray table, touch screen, etc.
  5. Travel well-rested, eat well, drink lots of water and control your alcohol intake
  6. Take your favorite supplemental immune system boosters
  7. An additional – more costly – measure is to buy the airline seat next to you, because it's hard to create social distancing sitting from the seat next to you. 

At the moment, it's not just about the air and conditions inside an airplane. Health authorities and the U.S. State Department are advising against non-essential travel. As global management of the virus continues to evolve, airlines are frequently canceling flights, changing routes and schedules in response to fluctuations in passenger volume. But when you feel the time is right to take to the skies again, if you have questions regarding flying or booking you next Wildland Adventure, feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sources reviewed and quoted:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/travel/coronavirus-advisory.html

https://www.businessinsider.com/travel-tips-for-coronavirus-traveling-asia-2020-3

https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-your-coronavirus-travel-questions-answered-11582980999

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/01/how-coronavirus-spreads-on-a-plane/

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