Aboard Flight AA 2270 amidst COVID-19 stay-at-home orders

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American Airlines flight 2270 – Tampa, FL to Dallas, TX is the flight I just boarded, before heading to my destination, Ontario International Airport in the next connecting flight. I understand the airlines are taking precautions and deep cleaning the seats, but I also just finished wiping down the space around me; which is not new. My family and I have been wiping down the seats since we began flying, but one thing we did notice is that our wipes are no longer dirty after wiping the space down…which is alarming. Did they not clean airplanes before, after each flight?

However, I just spent 3 days in Tampa Bay…yes, during the Covid-19 craze that has rocked the entire globe. A day or two before the trip, I highly considered cancelling, in order to do my part and protect the elderly, those whom may be underinsured or uninsured; but ultimately decided to board the flight on March 14 in San Diego.

With numerous precautions in place, such as continuously washing hands, avoiding touching eyes, mouth and nose, utilizing hand wipes and hand sanitizer…the stress was still at an all time high. It’s evident that we truly do not realize how often we rub our eyes, touch our nose and mouth, until it’s recommended that we do not. Each time anyone sneezes or coughs, I find myself dodging, ducking, running, etc.

When I purchased my plane tickets two months ago the seats were basically full; leaving me to sit in between two strangers on the ride to our destination. But, in the day of Covid-19, I ended up having the entire row to myself. The airplane held around 200 passengers, but only about 50-55 passengers boarded the plane.

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While in Florida I visited the Busch Gardens Amusement Park, boarded a dinner cruise on a yacht and ate at Gator Docs and Datz Delicatessen. At the amusement park, they did their diligence with wiping down the rollercoaster with disinfectant after each ride…while we still went and washed our hands after each ride as well. At the dinner cruise on the water, surprisingly they kept operations at buffet style…I became nervous. I held the utensils with a napkin and washed my hands after I served myself.

The restaurants and many of the shops also did their part, requiring customers to wash their hands or utilize a hand wipe before entering the space. In regards to our Air Bnb that was rented, as soon as we entered, we went Clorox-wipe crazy and wiped everything down; which is also something we have been doing for years to ensure our space is rid of as many germs as possible.

While the trip was an experience…I surely did not have the opportunity to enjoy all of the offerings Florida possesses. The MLB spring training was cancelled, the aquarium closed, the space museum closed and those are just a few of the closures. Overall, the trip went smooth. I’m also happy that when we landed and I got off the airplane my neck didn’t hurt like it did when I landed in Las Vegas two weeks ago, due to stress.

Once I get home, I promise to self quarantine. My recommendation, stay home. It contradicts the choice I made, but if I can go back in time…I would have postponed to have the ability to fully enjoy my trip during a less stressful time.

Be safe everyone.
Side note: Florida is also out of water bottles.

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