Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > USA
Reload this Page >

Would you drive cross country right now or fly?

Would you drive cross country right now or fly?

Old May 12, 20, 3:34 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 4,722
Would you drive cross country right now or fly?

We are in North Carolina. Husband's mother is in southern California. He is talking about driving there as getting on a plane right now is not something he wants to do. I'm trying to convince to wait, maybe do it together. The problem I see is that driving, everything is drive thru so you're stuck with fast food restaurants, instead of visiting something interesting. I'm guessing if a restaurant is drive through only that bathroom is closed too. And I suppose some hotels/motels along the way might be closed?

I checked schedules for flights. Right now options are limited. Much better in a few months. Of course that could change. I thought I could put us in first class on a direct flight to minimize contact with other people.

Any thoughts?
zitsky is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 3:38 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Cape Cod
Programs: Free agent
Posts: 1,395
I mean I hate to state the obvious but he should just stay home. What's the impetus for the trip?
MSYtoJFKagain is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 3:42 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,524
Flying in fine - most airlines are blocking middle seats right now. Airports are empty so it is safer than your local walmart
mtofell likes this.
nomiiiii is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 3:44 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: IAH
Programs: UA 1K 2.6MM, Marriott Titanium/LT Plat, IHG Spire
Posts: 3,286
I would fly. Wear a mask, wash hands, use hand sanitizer. That is a LONG drive.
JNelson113 is online now  
Old May 12, 20, 4:03 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 4,722
Originally Posted by MSYtoJFKagain View Post
I mean I hate to state the obvious but he should just stay home. What's the impetus for the trip?
His mother is in declining health and he wants to be a good son by taking care of her? I guess? He only visits once or twice a year.

It is a long drive as someone said. I know because I've done it.
Auto Enthusiast likes this.
zitsky is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 4:21 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Programs: AAPLT 1MM, HHDmd, MBvLTPLT, PCAmb/Dmd, HYT Dis, ALL Gld
Posts: 1,516
How long is he planning to stay? Would he quarantine for a period of time and then get a COVID test before seeing Mom? Or continue to wear a mask around her? Flying is probably ok right now but either choice there is a small (or maybe better said, unknown) chance he picks up an extra passenger along they way that you would not want Mom to be exposed to - have to factor that in.

I talked this through with a colleague who wants to do something similar SoCal to NYC. He landed on driving and camping cross-country followed by a two week quarantine before seeing older family. But he also has his own place in NY to be once he arrives. And he is planning to stay through at least September so he has the time. I think his wife is going too.
dbuckho is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 4:23 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 340
Personally, I'd fly.

I've done that drive (or very nearly), and if you're not doing it for "the sake of the road trip", it's going to get pretty tedious. As you point out, your options for meals and bathrooms are going to be really limited. The restroom issue didn't occur to me, but a friend taking a ~300 mile trip with his pregnant wife over the weekend said that finding open restrooms was a huge challenge.

Even fast food/drivet hroughs are sometimes operating on reduced hours at the moment - so arriving in to an overnight stop very late, might leave you without any meal options at all.

I've flown between LAX and ATL+AGS a couple times in the past six weeks or so. Flight loads seem hit or miss - some have been very light, some nearly "full" under the new seating guidelines. Schedules are reduced, like you're seeing, but getting flights in LAX isn't that challeging, especially if you shop outside your regular loyalty preferences.

If you anticipate renting a car, especially if you're going to be in LA for a while, you might look at getting it from a local office. Hertz in my neighborhood at the moment is way cheaper than out of the airport, especially when you consider the lack of facility fees.

Flying or driving, since you mentioned going to see an elderly parent, it probably wouldn't hurt to quartine briefly upon arrival, so you don't inadvertantly transmit something you might've picked up on the way. That, though, isn't the travel question you were asking.
Presguy is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 4:24 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 4,722
Originally Posted by dbuckho View Post
How long is he planning to stay? Would he quarantine for a period of time and then get a COVID test before seeing Mom? Or continue to wear a mask around her? Flying is probably ok right now but either choice there is a small (or maybe better said, unknown) chance he picks up an extra passenger along they way that you would not want Mom to be exposed to - have to factor that in.
Stay for a week maybe two maximum.

That's exactly why he wants to drive. But he could get sick from someone or something else. Like from a person at a drive thru or motel.

Quarantine is a good question. He hasn't thought of that.

Last edited by zitsky; May 12, 20 at 4:52 pm
zitsky is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 5:14 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: It's hot here
Posts: 3,977
I would fly as well and choose my airline carefully. I have family I've been considering visiting as well and Alsaka looks to be doing a good job of actually blocking seats. We are looking at a flight from RDU to SEA. Still nervous so haven't gone for it, but we like flying with AS anyway.

The drive is just crazy long, I've done it 4 times coast to coast as well, and you would be exposing yourself to at least a couple of hotels, bathroom trips inside gas stations, people preparing your food, etc. Eating itself wouldn't be horrible as you could get takeout and always enjoy meals outside. I've traveled across multiple states many times without going more than a few feet from the car (other than in the hotel at night and bathroom breaks) because I was moving and had pets with me. It's totally do-able, but stressful. I love long road trips when I have time and can stop and sight see.
MissJ is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 6:06 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Programs: DL DM, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 2,355
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
His mother is in declining health and he wants to be a good son by taking care of her? I guess? He only visits once or twice a year.

It is a long drive as someone said. I know because I've done it.
To answer your question, I'd fly... but I hope he is aware he may be unwittingly exposing his mother who, in declining health, is more at risk of infection from coronovirus.
kimberlyrose likes this.
Dr_wanderlust is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 7:40 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northern Nevada
Programs: DL,EK
Posts: 1,650
I own a small (single-engine piston) aircraft so if it were me, my preference in order would be:

1. Fly my own aircraft
2. Drive my car
3. Fly commercial
DesertNomad is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 7:42 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: CMH
Programs: United Airlines Silver, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 367
I would fly... that being said I would not go at all since he may do more harm than good by accidentally exposing his mother with the virus.
kimberlyrose likes this.
doc4science is offline  
Old May 12, 20, 8:34 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,230
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
Stay for a week maybe two maximum.

That's exactly why he wants to drive. But he could get sick from someone or something else. Like from a person at a drive thru or motel.

Quarantine is a good question. He hasn't thought of that.
Heard about someone that drove cross-country to see family, quarantined and at the end of quarantine showed symptoms.
kimberlyrose likes this.
nas6034 is offline  
Old May 13, 20, 1:11 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NY State
Posts: 212
I was stranded in Arizona for two months and people suggested I drive home to NY. I decided that all the stops for food/toilet along with hotels, etc. would be more concerning that flyiing. Cleaning the seat area, wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer for the day is much easier than having to clean every single area I would need to use on a cross country drive.

I flew Southwest, middle seats were kept free, along with the first few rows and last few rows of the plane. I felt safe, but so strange being home and having to wear a mask and clean everything I touch for 14 days....

Good luck with whatever you decide!
Jane42 is offline  
Old May 13, 20, 7:10 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Key West
Programs: DL Silver, AA Plat, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 392
We, amazingly, closed on a vacation house sale at the end of March necessitating a 2200 mile U-haul trip just as things were getting serious. Flying out was stressful, the drive back, much more so.
cayohueso is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread