Haven’t we survived historic health problems on airplanes? Yes of course. And we tolerated these health problems on airplanes as the ‘norm’. Remember smoking on airplanes and in the airport? We flew anyway and sat next to smokers in the departure lounge. Smoking was the ‘norm’. There will be new ‘norms’ now. We argue that none of them is worse that what we had before.

CDC Masks and new travel health problems
(Image source: CDC Public Health Image Library)

Here are some of the proposed changes that might effect you when you next travel.  

—masks for all travelers and crew, 

—disinfectant towelettes to clean around one’s seat, 

—sealed packaged food, 

—temperature taking prior to embarkation, 

—ore public discussion and disclosure of air quality on planes,

—flexible cancellation policies for ill passengers. 

Masks? So what. Remember flying in heels and stockings, the norm for that era and uniqueness of flying? Trade a mask for stockings? Yes definitely. Trade a mask for someone sneezing next to you or with overnight breath? Again definitely. 

Clean around your seat with a towelette? Our need for alcohol based sanitizer started with Purell’s marketing to the public in 1997. Before Purell we washed our hands, sound familiar?  An ironic note about Purell: It is flammable yet we carry it on planes. Strange what we worry about and what we chose to ignore.

No food served except packaged food? Food on airplanes is crummy anyway. A sealed juice box or pre packaged nuts and dried fruit or veggies and dip won’t deter most of us from wanting to see the Tower of London. 

Temperature taking of passengers?  Who doesn’t have a thermometer now? Why not require passengers to carry on that thermometer, then have it ready to show officials.  We do that already with the photo page of our passport and with a visa stamp or document? And we often do it twice, at TSA and at the gate? Some airlines use Facial recognition now and you don’t need to show your docs at the gate. Similarly they will have temperature recognition in the near future.

Health at airports and healt problems on airplanes
(Image source: CDC Public Health Image Library)

Finally and the most important air quality issues? Airplane air is actually very clean. It is not recycled. It is similar to what you are breathing with your air conditioner on. Health problems on airplanes do not come from the cabin air.

Think back o some of the above and relax, travel by air is coming back, and you’ll get used to the new norm.

The Women’s Travel Group will begin traveling again end July 2020. We are an award winning women’s travel club without the dues!

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