I’m flying this week, not out of any joy or amusement, but to remain a law and visa abiding citizen with family in two continents. In the complicated world we’re living in, it’s not a perfect solution, or answer, but for the safety, health and happiness of my wife, my infant daughter and myself and the importance of not overstaying or risking a future visa, it’s what has to happen. Basically, my wife is a UK citizen, and I am an American citizen who does not (yet) have permanent EU residency.
Initially, we were all going to travel together, but to increase safety, I’m going solo.
Know this from the beginning: I can’t wait for the world to get back to travel and for people to rediscovered their favorite cities, islands and countries near and far, but I’m in no way advocating for anyone to break government advice or travel out of anything other than necessity right now, until governments ease advice. Stay home, save lives and be patient, because it sounds like good news is around the corner, and some silver linings already exist.
In much of the world, positive signs of a reemergence of travel, with people more grateful than ever to participate seems to be something coming as early as June and July, with Spain’s Prime Minister even encouraging foreign visitors to plan trips from July 1st on ward.
So that brings me to this week.
Tomorrow I fly from London to Amsterdam for a short transit before a transatlantic flight to the United States.
I’ll be following US Government advice for those who need to travel right now, including avoiding public transit and ride share services. More than anything – I’m so curious. And yes, I’m an American citizen which is why I’m able to enter the US right now from Europe. As a US citizen my wife and daughter would’ve also been eligible for entry, but will correctly be staying home to mitigate risks.
For decades, flying felt like walking to me, doing it so often that airports and even new airplanes felt like autopilot to a certain extent. There was even a handful of airlines I could recite the safety video word for word, along with every cameo in it. Now, it feels like something else entirely. Will it be?
I’m so interested to see…
- Any paperwork I may need to fill in-in advance of travel, even for transit.
- How security will actually be, not just what the guidelines for social distancing say.
- Whether boarding will have any new and different developments, or will just be empty.
- Interactions pre-flight and on board. Just how minimized will service and other elements be.
- Will the entertainment be in tact, wifi, all those things, or is it all changing?
I’ll absolutely be wearing a mask on the journey, and I expect i’ll see the same from all crew, with any hope. I guess what I’m most curious about are all the steps in between. The questions, the viewpoints, the nuts and bolts of transiting internationally during this time as well as screening, other measures and of course – what’s on board.
I will be flying business class, but despite my love of wine and food, I’ve never been much of one to enjoy those things in the air, and if anything I self catered wherever possible long before this. Mainly, I will just feel very lucky to be in a seat with some extra distance between passengers, even though I’ll likely have been subject to social distances collapsing at some point before.
I wanted to write this heads up post in hopes of having your collaboration to answer questions about the journey through images, videos and words of exactly what it’s like right now. Needless to say, it’s a nearly unprecedented time to fly, with so much changing daily.
I’d rather not be flying at this time, but since I am, I wanted to provide a first person account and hopefully answer some FAQ’s people have about everything from borders to service in business class.
The live blog for the trip will be here, starting around 10AM UK time, so basically from the time you wake up on the East Coast USA. Wish me luck, and please leave any questions or things you’d like to see, or have answered about the journey.