If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed that my family moved to Amsterdam recently. Because of this, I took the risk of flying from Bristol airport during the pandemic, to spend time with them on the 11thAugust.
With everything that is going on, I wanted to write a post on what you can expect if you are flying at this time. I have no idea what flying in the future is going to be like, and I don’t want to speculate and worry so I am focusing on what it’s like now.
Before arriving at Bristol airport
24 hours before your flight, you have to check in online. Most airlines I have an app and I always recommend downloading it (also check out my post on travel apps you must have).
Once I had checked in, I was given my boarding pass to download. I was able to add it to my Apple Wallet (since I have an iPhone) and download it to my photos.
When packing your hand luggage, be sure to have your electronics ready to take out, and your liquids bagged up so when you go through security, it’s quick and easy!
Keep your eyes peeled for a post on what I pack in my hand luggage! I talk about what entertainment I pack on Surviving a Long Haul flight.
Arriving at Bristol airport
The traffic to the airport was minimal, and I learned why as soon as I arrived. There’s no one here!
An important thing to note is that there is now a charge for airport drop off. For 10 minutes, it’s £3 and for 20 minutes, it’s £5.
Everything is a one-way system, and you have to enter a gazebo before being allowed into the airport. The sign on the gazebo stated it was a ‘Temperature Testing’ centre but they allowed me to walk right through.
You have to wear your masks the whole time, which really sucks when you also wear glasses! I have yet to find the magic method of not fogging up my glasses, but I endured.
Once I got into the main airport, I found the KLM baggage line (the airline I was flying with) and walked straight to the counter. The waiting lines were arranged so there was a gap between each one, and only 3 or 4 attendants were scanning baggage.
As I said previously, there was no one here, so it took me all of 5 minutes to drop my bag off and get my passport scanned. I was offered the opportunity to have my boarding pass printed, which I declined since it was on my phone.
Going through security
I have never been through security quicker than I did on the 11th. There were 5 security stations and you were directed to one. Once you weaved your way through the zig-zag lines, I was told that I didn’t have to unpack my bag!
I put my bag (full of electronics and liquids) straight through the security system and walked past the sensor without issue.
Since it took me about 20 minutes to get from the entrance to the departure lounge, I had a long wait ahead of me.
The gate to my flight opened 45 minutes before take-off, and boarding started 25 minutes before take-off.
I would say there was a total of 125 people milling around the departure lounge, which is practically nothing since the usual is thousands! Every sat a respectable distance away from each other and the shops were pretty much empty.
Boarding the flight
Once called to the gate, people were unable to socially distance properly. You scanned your own ticket on a barcode scanner, and the attendants checked your passport and carry-on luggage.
When boarding the plane, it was as if everything had gone back to normal, except the fact everyone was wearing masks. Almost all of the seats were full, and we took our masks off to eat and drink.
Overall things to note
If you are flying from any airport in England at this time, I would recommend taking these tips into consideration:
- Bring multiple facemasks as they should be changed every 3 to 4 hours, or whenever they start feeling wet.
- Pack everything so it’s all easy to access when you need to. This stops any holdups and unnecessary contact with other people.
- Bring entertainment! I was waiting around for a very long time.
- Pack your own hand sanitiser even though there are lots of sanitising stations, it’s easier to do it on your own terms.
I hope you have found this post useful, especially if you are flying any time soon!