July 7, 2021

Cronkite News

As COVID lingers amid reopening, how safe is it to fly?

As vaccination rates inch up and countries begin to lift restrictions, some travelers are booking flights for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. But is it really safe to fly in an airplane, or would it be more sensible to wait?

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated people can safely travel within the United States. However, the health agency continues to issue warnings about additional risks posed by international travel, saying “even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants.”

For unvaccinated people, the agency maintains its stance that staying home is the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Melissa Dohmen, senior brand manager for the travel organization Orbitz, told WFTS in south Florida that because many airports instituted COVID-19 safety measures during the pandemic – requiring masks, social distancing and enhanced cleaning – it’s safe to fly and it’s a “very safe and clean environment.”

“Many airlines have done studies to really prove that air quality on board is really quite good,” Dohmen said, “so I think you can have peace of mind knowing that if you mask up, bring hand sanitizer, and you’re on that plane, you’re going to have a really pleasant trip.”

In this video, Cronkite News reporter Jamie Landers explains how air flows through a commercial aircraft and how that, combined with standard precautions, can help protect against further spread of the virus.