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Old Mar 31, 20, 8:51 pm
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,096
I flew PDX-LAX on 3/29 on the 19:55 flight for similar reasons.

Many of the flights are being cancelled - I was booked for PDX-BUR, which was cancelled, so I rebooked for PDX-LAX and got lucky that I didn't pick the later flight because that also got cancelled and you have to call to get everything confirmed when that happens. I printed multiple boarding passes so that I wouldn't have to touch my phone on a scanner and could dispose of them after they were touched by TSA, but PDX precheck just swipes your ID now.

PDX airport is extremely quiet. A few of the concessions are open, but most are closed. Of the C-gate restaurants, I think it was just Mod Pizza, Potbelly, and Bambuza (starbucks might also have been open). If you have precheck, you can get through with minimal contact - put your ID in a separate "dirty" bag or pocket after TSA swipes it and use the post-TSA sanitizer to clean it and your hands once you're through. I think my ID was the only thing I didn't control that I had to contact between the rental car (nobody even at the dropoff) and getting food post-security. There are few enough people at the gates that social distancing was not an issue. I think only the security on the D-gate side was open. It may be different on weekdays, but sunday nights Precheck is D-side only after 8 anyway, and with nobody flying it makes sense to only have one checkpoint going. There weren't enough people for social distancing to be a problem - way more TSA agents at the checkpoint than passengers. I did get a sub at Potbelly and ate it at the gate - they looked like they had decent kitchen hygiene and I ate by tearing the outer bag open (presumed outside contaminated), then sanitizing my hands, then ate via the inner wrapper that had only touched gloved hands. If you get a drink you should plan to sanitize it along with anyplace you set it down. The tables are still out for eating.

There were about 20 people total on the flight according to the FA, with 5 of them in F. Nobody had to share a row with anybody they weren't traveling with. I didn't have anybody in the row directly in front of or behind me, either. You should use the app and check seats as your flight approaches to make sure you're in a row by yourself, ideally with empties in front of and behind you. It's not likely anybody is going to pick a seat next to you, but some computer that's only susceptible to silicon-based viruses might have other ideas. The crew were talking about flights up from Mexico that had fewer than 10 people on them. The PDX-SJC flight at the next gate had about a dozen people on it. Boarding was super fast, but two people were late-ish so we pushed about 15 minutes early instead of 30, which we could have except for the last two people.

The plane, at least in F, was pretty clean. I used a few clorox wipes to wipe down everything in and around my seat that I might contact, and I think the only place they picked up any visible dirt was a little grease from inside the seatbelt clamp. I brought a ziploc bag full of wipes and made sure I wiped anything that I might touch around the seat area, and deliberately chose not to try deploying the tray table and cleaning it, since the little armrest tray is sufficient for the can of soda (no cup, no ice) that they'll give you. On PDX-LAX (3/22) there were no snacks, but on LAX-PDX the FA brought around the snack basket. I took two items and bleach-wiped their outsides. She brought chocolate bars a few minutes later, which also got the bleach-wipe. Once you've bleachwiped everything you might touch then you have your own little self-contamination-only area, and can bleach-wipe everything that comes in like the soda and snacks.

Once you're at LAX, you can get to the curb without touching anything, but I recommend getting a shot of hand sanitizer as you pass each little sanitizer station. There's nobody in the terminals - it's quieter than post 9/11. If you're taking an Uber/Lyft, you should walk to the pickup spot if you can, so you don't have to deal with the buses, which are probably infrequent and will have been touched by a moderate number of people. You can get into your ride with contacting only a couple door handles and then the seatbelt, and then you should sanitize again (I'm assuming you're carrying sanitizer). If someone is going to pick you up, this would be the time because you'll never have an easier drive in and out of the horseshoe.

Note that all my concerns were about contact. Masks really protect other people from you, not you from other people, unless they're coughing or sneezing right at you. If you're going to pick something up it will be via surface contact and then transfer to your face. Pay attention to where your hands have been and try to maintain a bubble of only-you contamination on your hands and face, and if something has to be contaminated (like your ID), have a "dirty" spot to store it til you can clean it. If you have to touch things you don't control, treat your hands as contaminated until you can sanitize them.

(eta: flights are so empty right now you almost can book an hour before departure with only a small ~$30 or so penalty compared to a week or two out)
(edited again to add: I also took a shower immediately on arrival at the end of each flight, including full hair wash)

Last edited by chrisl137; Mar 31, 20 at 9:08 pm
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