I Took My First Flight In 16 Months – Here’s What Flying Post Covid-19 is Like Now

Mask on at Laguardia

I took my first flight in 16 months (my last flight was from NYC to Punta Cana Int. Airport in February 2020!). Since my parents finally got vaccinated, it was time to reunite with them, so I flew home to Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Here’s what flying post Covid-19 is like now.

Once I arrived at the Delta Terminal at Laguardia Airport, it felt great to be going on another flight. I had been flying several times a month for almost 15 years, so the pandemic really changed up my lifestyle (although, I have no complaints. It was great being grounded for over a year).

Delta Sky Priority was unusually busy for a Saturday afternoon. In fact, I strategically chose to fly on a Saturday afternoon because it’s avoiding peak travel times. Even though airlines are still seeing low passenger numbers, I was shocked to find out my flight was fully booked!

Delta Sky Priority LaGuardia Airport

As Delta Gold, I was in the high priority lane, yet our lane was only serviced by one Delta agent, while the other lines went faster.

Delta Sky Priority Terminal D Laguardia

Everyone is wearing a mask. Delta staff, airport staff and passengers. Right now, it’s still a Federal Law that everyone wears a mask through U.S. airports, and airlines are requiring it as well. The only time you can remove your mask is if you’re eating or drink.

Delta Laguardia Airport new Gates 92 to 98

AND when you’re going through security. At TSA checkpoint, the agent asks you to remove your mask so they can match your face to your ID. There’s plexiglass between you and the agent, so it’s safe, and your mask removal is no more than 2 seconds. It’s what flying post Covid-19 is like now.

I loved the new Delta Terminal D at Laguardia, and I’ll be writing a longer review later. There was a hand sanitizer station, and all the lit signs reinforced mask wearing.

Delta Sanitation Station Laguardia

While I was happy to be traveling again, and I was impressed with how the airport staff and Delta handled safety, I was bummed to see that my flight was full. I really wanted to go on one of those ’empty flights’ that people were experiencing during Covid. Delta was one of the first to block middle seats, and the airline held that restriction for over a year, but the rule was lifted a few weeks ago.

Delta Gate at Terminal D Laguardia
Delta Gate at Terminal D Laguardia

My flight was very, very full. In fact, there was a standby list, and the airline staff were asking people to check their luggage. I thought this was just crazy the flight was full on a Saturday afternoon, and of course, I was bummed I didn’t get upgraded to first, but it was a nice, enjoyable flight and went pretty fast. Like everyone on board, I had to wear my mask for the entire flight.

New Delta mask policy
One of first to board my flight.

Delta is serving snacks and alcohol again, and it was the only time you could remove your mask — when you were enjoying snacks and your beverage. Flying post Covid-19 is not that bad, and I’ll be doing it again, especially since everyone is continuing to get vaxxed. Honestly, there was nothing weird about flying. Everyone is wearing a mask, but everything else is just as it was pre pandemic, which shows we’re moving in the right direction.

If you’re looking to book, I recommend Tripadvisor! Great deals, information, reviews, and now, the site does bookings!


More stories:

5 Ways Delta Air Lines Won The Internet During Coronavirus Pandemic (Other Airlines Should Pay Attention)

9 airline predictions based on aftermath of 9/11 and Great Recession (2008)

7 positive predictions for travel after coronavirus pandemic

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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