Four Tips for Flying Privately During the Pandemic
Travel as we know it has changed in ways we could never imagine. The global pandemic has forced many to evaluate the safety of different means of travel. While commercial airlines have taken steps to protect passengers, the private aviation industry is able to offer what the airlines can’t – flights without the crowds. Private flyers are able to avoid busy airports, TSA lines, and crowded cabins. While private flights offer more convenience and a travel experience without as much exposure to other people, there are still some steps to take to ensure you are flying safely with your family, co-workers, or friends. Here are four tips to keep in mind when considering a private flight operator and scheduling your flights during the pandemic:
1. Understand and Prepare for Travel Restrictions
Travel restrictions vary across every city and country, and seemingly change daily. Some locations may require proof of a negative COVID-19 test at your departure airport while others may require a defined period of quarantine upon arrival. Understanding what is required of you at your destination will help you avoid frustrating delays. Prepare the documents you’ll need and consider what will be expected of you when you return home. The Owner Services team at the PlaneSense® fractional program is a valuable resource for its share owners when scheduling private flights. The team closely monitors travel advisories and restrictions and assists passengers in understanding the documentation they’ll need for their travel.
2. Consider Your Health Risk
If you must travel during the pandemic, be aware of the situation at your destination. Many states in the U.S. are experiencing extremely high levels of coronavirus cases, which may increase your risk of exposure. Delaying your trip until cases drop may be the best decision. If you must travel, be sure to take the appropriate precautions – wear your mask, avoid crowds, quarantine, and get tested when possible. Each new destination brings a different level of exposure risk, which should be evaluated closely.
3. Consider if You’re the Risk to Others
Monitoring your own health status or exposure to coronavirus is a critical step before flying privately or commercially. All passengers should consider the following questions before boarding their flight:
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19?
- Have you been exposed to someone who has tested positive?
- Do you have a fever?
- Have you lost your sense of taste or smell?
- Are you having trouble breathing?
- Do you have any other symptoms that are of concern?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it is best to postpone your travel so you don’t put others at risk. Most operators are asking these questions of passengers prior to flying in order to control the spread of the virus to others.
4. Fly with a Reputable Operator
Private aviation is welcoming a lot of newcomers looking for safer means of travel amid the pandemic. Just as you would research the costs of a program, do your due diligence in studying the safety protocols of each program or operator. Flying with a reputable and trusted program is highly important. Whether you choose to charter a private flight, purchase a jet card, or buy a share in a fractional program, understanding each operation’s COVID-19 protocols and commitment to safety is a key step to ensuring a safer flight during the pandemic. Don’t be afraid to ask these important questions of your operator:
- How often are the aircraft disinfected?
- What is the company’s strategy for minimizing risk of exposure to passengers?
- What steps are crews taking to stay safe while flying all over the country?
- How will you be notified if there was a chance of exposure?
Trusted for more than 25 years, the PlaneSense® fractional program has always placed its highest priority on safety. The program’s many virus mitigation steps include thorough cleaning and disinfection of aircraft between every flight. Each cabin has also been treated with an antimicrobial product to mitigate risk. Pilots avoid crowds and hot spot destinations when overnighting in hotels, wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible, and closely monitor their health. PlaneSense® pilots have always focused on the safety of passengers and continue to do so with a heightened awareness.
Whether you’re dreaming about getting away from the crowds or need to travel for business, flying privately is a great option. With the right precautions, air travel can be a safe mode of transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wash your hands, wear your mask, and follow the tips above for a safe and comfortable flight experience.
For more information on the PlaneSense® program, contact us today.