For the first time in 10 months – and first time during the COVID-19 pandemic – I flew the friendly skies between South Florida and North Texas on September 24TH and October 01ST (both Thursdays).
Aside from the “new normal” of constantly wearing a face mask while inside the airports and on the airplanes everything else was close to the way it’s always been. Security was the same. You still had to remove everything from your pockets and take your shoes off. You still had to remove laptops and tablets and liquids from your carry-on bags.
I tried something new for all of my flights. I checked-in via my airline’s iOS app up to 24 hours in advance, and I even paid for my baggage on the app. I used an electronic boarding pass. Once I got to the airports I simply walked-up to a kiosk, scanned my boarding pass, printed my baggage tag, slipped it on my baggage, and turned it in at the counter. It all worked flawlessly. One of the advantages of doing all of that electronically is that the app gives you a current location status of your checked-in baggage. I didn’t have to worry whether or not my baggage was on the same airplane as I was on. I knew it was. I’ll be going electronic on all future flights.
My flight from #MIA to #DFW early in the morning (boarding began a little before 5 AM) was jam-packed at or near 100% capacity. Social distancing only applied up until the point that you entered the aircraft. After that you were pretty much piled on top of each other. I actually took a short follow-on flight from #DFW to #SPS (Wichita Falls), and that flight was perhaps 30% full. #SocialDistancing
A week later on the return trip back to #MIA (out of #DFW) my mid-morning to mid-afternoon flight was once again at or near 100% capacity, and it was a Boeing 777 ! I was actually blessed with extra legroom on this flight, as I was directly behind the main cabin restrooms. Seats were 10 across, and I was in 1 of the 4 middle seats.
Air traffic is down about 70% from last year, and one of the advantages of that are most flights are departing their gates, taking-off, landing, and arriving at their gates early – before their scheduled times. That was the case for all 3 of my flights. At both #MIA and #DFW it was quite eerie to see so few people walking around inside the terminals. At #MIA there were parking spaces available starting at ground level in their main parking garage. I had never seen that before. I pulled-in to a parking space less than a minute after entering.
Want something to eat and drink while inflight ? You’ll get an individually-sealed plastic bag with a small package of cookies and a small bottled water inside. No coffee. No soda. No snack boxes for $5. Those days are over.
Finally it just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t bring back this gem from the classic days of this blog. This is the way flying used to be en route to Miami, and then once you got here – it was #GoGo time !
All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries