Flying amid coronavirus was one of the best experiences of my life
Heading to JFK for my May 20 flight home to Seattle, I prepared myself for the worst. I drenched my palms in hand sanitizer, strapped on a KN95 mask and had an army of Clorox wipes in my purse at the ready. I even vowed to skip my traditional Bloody Mary at the terminal to avoid the risk of contracting germs — a previously inconceivable thought to me.
But instead of the miserable toxic wasteland that I envisioned, I was greeted by a very different reality.
Streets that were normally backed up with bumper-to-bumper traffic were nearly empty as my dad and I approached Terminal 8 by car.
Inside the airport was no different. The check-in line for Alaska Air — usually packed with dozens of people — had only seven passengers.
And everyone was respectful about maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance, a courtesy barely observed at my local grocery store in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“The security line has to be worse,” I told myself. Wrong. It was even more pleasant.
I waited all of three minutes before reaching the noticeably jovial TSA agent who joked with each flyer, an abrupt departure from the disdain I was used to.
At the gate, I got to choose my own empty row to settle into before boarding. I did get a little nervous as we filed into the plane, but my anxiety was quelled when I realized there were no passengers in the middle seats.
I even enjoyed sleeping with my mask on since I could unabashedly let my jaw hang agape without anyone noticing.
While I kept waiting for the monster from “The Twilight Zone” to hop onto the wing and ruin my perfect trip, I had no such misfortune. The biggest foul of the day? The $5 SmartWater I was forced to buy.
After what felt like a click of my ruby slippers, we were already landing in the Emerald City.
Did I get the coronavirus? I hope not. But I do know one thing for certain: Out of the dozens of flights I have taken around the world, this was easily the best experience I’ve ever had.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone flying during a pandemic. The only reason I did is because my mom is very sick and needs my help.
But if you have to fly, don’t worry — you’ll enjoy the lack of turbulence.
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