Whether you feel safe to travel by airplane during the COVID-19 pandemic is a very personal matter. And you may discover some advantages to taking a charter flight instead of flying a commercial airline. If so, we’re sharing expert insights and 8 tips for flying safely when you charter a private jet during the pandemic. By taking the precautions below, you will help minimize your risk.
Editor’s Note: Depending on where you live, it may be premature to jump back into travel until the pandemic more fully recedes. With any travel, please take the steps necessary to protect yourself and those around you.
Many people expected and feared that charter flights would become hotbeds for COVID-19 transmission. Fortunately, reliable studies have allayed these fears. For example, a study from the US Department of Defense confirms previous studies that showed that a jet’s ventilation system filters removes all the particles that might transmit viruses.
However, these studies don’t relieve you of your responsibility to protect yourself and those around you. Here are the utmost safety precautions to take before and during your travel when you book a private jet. They offer sound advice in general, but especially during the pandemic.
CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn 8 tips for flying safely in the pandemic when you charter a private jet. They include the following:
- Protect Yourself and Others From Germs
- Carry Several Pairs of Gloves
- Wear A Face Shield for Added Protection
- Bring Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
- Postpone Your Trip if You Don’t Feel Well
- Distance Yourself from Anyone With A Cough or Cold
- Consider Community Spread Levels
- Don’t Touch Your Face
- Final Thoughts on Private Jet Safety
How to Protect Yourself Against COVID-19 on a Private Jet
Here are eight easy ways you can further protect yourself when you travel by charter plane. The best approach is to layer each of these recommendations for maximum safety.
1. Protect Yourself and Others From Germs
American COVID-19 protocols require all passengers and crew on charter flights to wear face masks. You and all passengers will need to wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth.
It’s especially important that your mask covers any random sneezes and coughs, as well.
To limit your (and other’s) exposure to germs, you’ll want to limit your contact with the most frequently touched surfaces on the plane, whenever possible.
Among the high-touch areas are:
- Seat buckles
- Overhead light and air adjustments
- Window shades
- Tray tables
- Video Screen
- Bathroom handles
These areas are equally problematic when you travel on commercial airlines. But when you charter a private jet, the cabin is smaller, so perhaps less space to sanitize between flights is a good thing.
2. Carry Several Pairs of Gloves
You’ll want to carry gloves with you when traveling on a chartered jet.
However, there is no need for too many of them because most flights take only a few hours. But you will need more than one pair.
The best practice is to layer several gloves and remove them after going through the airport.
Some flight safety experts recommend wearing three pairs of gloves for your plane trip.
- You will peel off the first pair of gloves after finishing with security
- Peel off the second pair when boarding the jet
- Use the last pair when taking your seat.
You’ll want to have additional clean gloves on hand to use at your destination.
And be sure to dispose of your gloves properly to be a responsible traveler.
3. Wear A Face Shield
Although all private jet companies require you to wear face masks, going the extra mile with a face shield is a good idea.
This is especially helpful if you are going to fly for over two hours.
Make sure that the guard isn’t oversized (lest you look like a funny cartoon on the jet) and fits comfortably.
But, even if it’s not exactly a fashion statement, a face shield will give you an extra measure of protection.
4. Bring Hand-Sanitizer and Wipes
It’s essential to bring your own hand sanitizer when charter a private jet.
The ongoing pandemic lifted the previous restrictions on the volume of liquid you can bring on an airplane when it comes to hand-sanitizer.
The US Department of Transportation used to limit all liquids to trial size bottles under 3.4 oz (100ml). Now, as a temporary exemption, passengers may carry a hand sanitizer as big as 12 ounces.
To be effective, your sanitizer has to be at least 60% alcohol, and you can apply after touching common surfaces.
Also, you should carry antibacterial wipes to wipe down your arm rests, tray table, seat, and surrounding areas.
5. Postpone Your Trip if You’re Sick
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the coronavirus has an incubation period that ranges from 2 to 14 days. An incubation period is the time between exposure to the virus and the time that you develop symptoms.
Since a high fever is one of its symptoms, all airports conduct mandatory temperature checks on the passengers.
So if you are unwell, it’s prudent to postpone your trip. Not only is it socially responsible, but it could save you a wasted trip to the airport.
Because even when you feel well enough to walk or travel, if you develop a temperature at your departure or arrival airport, the security team could send you back home. That’s even if you don’t have COVID-19.
The only way to know if you have COVID or another respiratory illness is by getting tested. For instance, a PCR COVID test for travel in Raleigh, NC provides same-day answers so you can travel knowing that you aren’t exposing others to the virus – or postpone your trip if you are sick.
Hence, do the right thing and save yourself the trouble by waiting until you get well to travel. That way, you’ll better enjoy your trip, too!
6. Stay Away From Anyone With a Cough or Cold
They say that prevention is better than cure.
Keep that in mind while you’re traveling to avoid contact with strangers showing any cold or cough symptoms. It doesn’t mean they have COVID-19, but you’ll have no way to differentiate between these symptoms.
Although you may be seated at least six feet away on the plane, don’t forget that passengers can move around freely, visit the toilet, and touch different surfaces.
So, do what you can to avoid contact, even if you can’t stop their free movements.
7. Consider Community Spread Levels
It’s critical to consider the level of community infection where you live and at your destination.
If your locality has a high infection rate, you could carry the infection and pass it on to the people you are going to visit.
Inversely, you could pick the virus from your destination if the infection levels there are too high.
So, consider these two sides of the coin before traveling. A good point of reference is the New York Times Coronavirus Map and Case Count.
If you find that the risk is too high, you can postpone your trip until things improve.
Otherwise, no trip or business is more important than your life or the lives of those you will meet during the journey.
8. Don’t Touch Your Face
Lastly, avoid touching your face while on the private plane and throughout your travel.
This might sound baseless, but there’s sound logic behind it.
Please note that you can’t get COVID-19 through your skin.
However, according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), if your hands have come in contact with the virus then you touch your face, you can potentially infect yourself. This would be a path of transmission if you touch your eyelids, mouth, or nose with infected hands.
So don’t do that.
Final Thoughts on Safety When You Charter a Private Jet
You can still travel on a private jet during this ongoing pandemic if you choose.
But remember to take responsibility for your safety and that of your fellow travelers. By practicing these leading safety measures before and during a private jet trip, you will help assure everyone’s safety.
When you keep these easy tips handy and put them into practice, you’ll be ready to take charter flights more safely. Your destination awaits!
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