Flying coast to coast

An email from an anonymous MR reader, I will apply no further indentation:

“I’m flying non-stop today from SFO to IAD, and I thought you might be interested in reading this, because I haven’t seen anything similar since the start of covid maybe.
– Highway to SFO had more police presence than usual.
– I took a morning flight out of the airport, and driving though the airport roads to get to the right terminal felt quite eerie. Perhaps only saw one or two cars the whole time until we got to the terminal, and even then, I didn’t see more than three cars in front of each terminal dropping off passengers.
– I saw maybe 20 people (including employees) total in the terminal pre-TSA check. Only two travelers were not wearing masks, and none wore gloves. Every employee was wearing a mask, and almost all, if not all, were wearing gloves. None of them
– 6 feet apart reminder stickers are everywhere, including on seats.
– TSA forced distancing during security check, though not if you were traveling with other people.
–  All TSA employees were wearing masks and nitrile gloves.
– Electric walkways were shut off to “conserve energy”
– I saw about 150 people (travelers, airport employees, airline employees and shop employees) on my way to the gate from security check. I’d say 5-7% weren’t wearing masks. Of the three pilots I saw, none were wearing masks or gloves.

– A lot more people than usual had paper tickets, which leads me to believe that they were all leaving SF for at least a few weeks, if not a few months (I checked my bag and was given a paper ticket even though I had the QR code on my phone). This is interesting economically given how many people are expected to file for unemployment benefits in SF over the next few weeks, and I know a lot of people who are breaking their leases and going to live with parents or someplace cheap like Nevada or Oregon.
– I boarded a 777-200 via United. I normally fly Southwest, but I think they aren’t doing coast-to-coast flights on weekends for the foreseeable future. I think almost everyone on the plane had their own row. Anyone who was sitting in the aisle was asked to move at least one seat over to allow some distancing while people walk back and forth on the plane.
– All of the flight attendants were wearing masks.
– The usual safety demonstration was conducted, but the flight attendants held up and pointed to the section in the safety card while the pilot was speaking, instead of using the life vest like normal. I suppose it was because the airline didn’t want them to take off their masks to demonstrate blowing into the tube of the life jacket.
– Prepackaged drinks and snacks only. They gave everyone two small water bottles, an additional choice of drink (only water and various juices), and three snacks. (Like I said, I usually fly Southwest and can’t remember the last time I flew United. This particular detail may or may not be relevant ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
– Everyone had the option of a blanket. They normally don’t wash these very often, so I wonder if covid forced them to wash it after every use.
– A lot more
– A few landing strips were blocked, not sure why.
– A lot more cargo ships in the bay (not docked) than what I’m used to seeing, though I could be wrong.”

Reader, when do you expect to take your next plane flight?


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