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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Things to consider when booking flights during coronavirus times

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The coronavirus has changed how we do many things. Depending on where you are located and the stage of recovery you are in you may be experiencing much of life behind a mask, unable to eat in restaurants, and still dreaming of the day cinemas return. One area that has been massively impacted is air travel. Many countries have closed their borders and those that are open are running fewer flights with lower capacity. While most countries and governing bodies like the CDC and WHO advise against flying, there are some cases where it can not be avoided. If you need to fly soon here is some advice to help you get from A to B. 

The best seat

It seems obvious that the middle seat is the worst seat to be stuck in on a flight when you are worried about coronavirus. In normal times the middle seat is the worst. You usually have elbows on either side of you and little legroom. You don’t have the benefit of looking out the window or the ease of access to walk around or use the bathroom. The middle seat is terrible. 

Yet, during coronavirus, most middle seats are not in use as they are trying to promote space between passengers, and even if the middle seat is in use, it is not the worst seat to be in. It may be surprising but the aisle seat is actually the worst.  A recent study analyzed the risk of infection on a flight and found that the aisle seat posed the most risk. This is because you are coming in contact with many more people. If you sit on a window seat and don’t use the facilities you come in contact with very few people and very few germs. If you sit on the aisle seat you are more likely to use the facilities and even if you don’t you will be passed by flight attendants and other customers. Remember sitting in the aisle seat and how many people bump off you? While it was a mere annoyance in the past it is now a threat to your health and safety. Take a window seat and feel more secure.

Booking flights

Booking flights is clearly tricky at this moment. While some flights are opening it is impossible to know how the situation will change from month to month and whether some places will go back into lockdown. If you are considering booking a flight look at both the origin and destination country’s experience with coronavirus so far. If active cases are falling but still at a high number you can likely presume that whatever measures are in place now will still be in the next six weeks, and act accordingly. If cases are still rising you should act with caution, lockdown measures could become more severe. If active cases have reached zero we still recommend exercising caution because if a single case returns then a severe lockdown could be implemented and you could lose your flight.

When booking a flight try to ensure that you are using a reputable company not a budget intermediary. Ensure that your booking has a full refund option for coronavirus built-in, you shouldn’t have to pay any extra for this. If you can’t get a flexible ticket then only book a flight for less than six weeks in the future to give you the best certainty you can without paying an incredibly high price. 
Many people are booking flights now for a year in advance as the prices offered are at an all-time low. This makes sense but you must be careful that the flights you purchase are from a company that is not going to go bankrupt. Many carriers will not make it through the coronavirus period and you may be throwing your money away if you choose the wrong one.

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