What to Wear if you are Taking a Flight During the Pandemic

What to Wear if you are Taking a Flight During the Pandemic
Face shields, masks, and gloves are now de rigueur on flights , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Everything you need to know about what clothing to wear on an airplane right now

Karan Kaushik
September 14 , 2020
07 Min Read

Gone are the days when people would take a week to decide on an 'airport look'. Safety is the foremost priority of every traveller right now, and anything remotely couture is the last thing on their mind. As the world navigates through the coronavirus pandemic, which seems far from over, travellers have become extra cautious when it comes to protecting themselves from the dreadful virus. From donning uncomfortable biohazard suits to wiping frequently-touched surfaces at the airport to minimising the use of the lavatory, travellers are not leaving any stone unturned to prevent themselves from getting infected.

While this is not exactly the best time to book a flight, we realise that you may be required to do it for work or because of a personal commitment. Flying amidst the pandemic can be tricky but you can certainly minimise your risk of catching the virus. All you need are the right clothes and safety essentials. Not everyone is aware about the duration for which the virus could stay on their clothes, or their hair, or their luggage. This uncertainty has made travellers extremely careful but most are still confused over what to wear and what to carry during an air journey. 

Here’s what you must wear (and carry) if you need to fly during the pandemic.

Clothing
Paying attention to what you are going to wear to the airport is almost non-negotiable in the present circumstances. According to health experts, it is advisable to cover as much of your body as possible. Your regular track suit could be a good option. It's best to choose lighter, and natural, fabrics like cotton.

Full Body Suits
Some travellers are taking extra precautions and taking it up a step with full-body suits. A passenger wearing a full-body suit at the Nataji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport, Kolkata From makeshift plastic body coverings to stylish hazmat suits, these cover-all protective armours are quite popular right now. 

Face Mask
Experts suggest that face masks top the list of absolutely essential things to wear on a flight. Most airlines provide a safety kit to passengers which also includes a face mask. You will be required to keep it on at all times during the flight. It’s better if you carry a handful of tightly-woven cotton face masks. or you could opt for N95 masks. They don’t allow splashes and particle droplets from a cough or sneeze to reach you. You must wear a fresh face mask on landing at your destination.  Also, the mask should cover your nose and mouth.

Face Shield
Given that airports and flights will have a considerable number of people at all times, it is recommended that you be doubly sure about safety. You can add another protective layer by wearing a face shield.A passenger wearing a face shield given as part of the safety kit provided by the airlines Given as part of the safety kit by most airlines these days, face shields block droplets. It’s easy to sanitise them and they will also keep you from touching your face. The best face shields cover your face from ears to chin.

Glasses
Medical professionals use glasses to stay safe from viral particles. You can wear swimming glasses which cover your eyes completely. They will also prevent you from subconsciously touching your eyes. 

Gloves
This one is a bit tricky. While the CDC is of the opinion that one should not use gloves unless they know how to take them off safely, people still like to wear them for peace of mind. If you don’t take them off properly, you could end up exposing yourself to germs. If you must wear them, remember the correct way to remove your gloves is to pinch one of them from outside with one gloved hand. Sanitise the hand and use it to remove the other. You must also sanitise your hands before putting on a fresh pair.

Alcohol-based Hand Sanitiser
It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to wear gloves. Just make sure to sanitise your hands frequently. We would recommend you don't wear gloves as anything that's disposable and non-biodegradable is adding to that huge pile of trash that's messing up the planet. You may have read reports about the thousands of non-biodegradable masks that have washed up on the shores of water bodies.  

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ginny P-R (@silkandfrankincense) on Sep 7, 2020 at 10:04pm PDT

An isopropyl alcohol-based sanitiser does the job well. Use it every time you touch a surface. The CDC and other organisations recommend using a hand santiser that has an alcoholic content of 60 to 70 percent.

Disinfectant Wipes
Another important item that you don’t want to be missing from your flight travel kit are disinfecting wipes with at least 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide or 0.1 per cent sodium hypochlorite. Use them to clean the surfaces that you touch. We recommend using a bleach-based cleaner. You can make your own wipes at home and pack them in a plastic bag. Don’t forget to dispose the wipe and sanitise your hands when done rubbing the surface. Since you will be frequently touching your cell phone, you must also carry isopropanol alcohol wipes to sanitise your phone screen.  It’s what most smartphone companies suggest.

Thermometer
Even though you will be undergoing various levels of thermal screening, you could carry your own thermometer. It can help you keep tabs on your body temperature.

Medicines 

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cherry Rose Pepito (@lotskie_1983) on Aug 4, 2020 at 9:16am PDT

Pandemic or no pandemic, you must always carry medicines while travelling. Now that we  will be travelling during the pandemic, carrying basic meds is a good idea including ones for cold, cough, fever, nausea, and headache. Consult your doctor before packing the meds.

Lunch Bowl, Water Bottle, Cutlery 
And finally, go the old school way and get yourself a nice (non-palstic) lunch box, water bottle, and cutlery. Most airlines don’t serve food on the flight right now. You might not be too comfortable visiting the convenience stores at the airport either. The best option is to bring your own food. You can pack light and high energy food like fruits and nuts. 


Related Articles

Flying Home During a...

Aroshi Handu June 15 , 2020

The Outlook Traveller...

OT Staff April 22 , 2019

Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe