No, not international travel *sigh*. My Greenland dream may be over for good. But I had to go see my parents, so I nervously arrived at the airport.
I live in a resort area with a famous national park, so there are lots of tourists. Most don't seem to care about the virus or the fact that they might be bringing it here. They are here in droves. They also roamed the small airport, many with their mandatory masks off or only covering their mouths. I was apprehensive. Was this how the rest of the trip was going to go, I wondered, dodging some maskless bros who were loudly talking about their travels.
Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. We boarded the plane five rows at a time. There were no endless lines waiting for people to shove their enormous roller bags in the overhead bin. Middle seats were blocked out. Masks were required. The flight attendant handed out alcohol wipes to everyone to clean off their tray tables and surrounding areas. The plane was fogged with disinfectant before we got in.
Deplaning, the most dreaded part of flying for me, was actually okay. People weren't allowed to stand up and get in the aisles until the row in front of them had departed. There was no more standing in slow moving lines in the aisle, being bumped by someone's duffel, waiting for someone to pull their suitcase out of the bin. Everyone was courteous. What was this sorcery?
Arriving at the Minneapolis airport, I braced myself for crowds during my layover. Instead, it was deserted. There were acres of empty gates with charging ports to hang out in. Nobody approached with stinky food to sit next to me. There were no loud cell phone conversations near me. It could actually be considered pleasant.
As I sprawled out in a row of three seats on the way back, I was reminded that flying used to be like this: empty seats, less stressed people, and whole gate areas with nobody in them. I know that airlines have been hit hard financially, and this affects the economy, but I couldn't help thinking, this would be great if flying was like this again. I love travel, but usually the worst part is actually getting there.
My disclaimer alert is this: I flew on Delta, and my experience might not be yours. However, I felt safer flying than I do going in some of the stores in my town, what with all the anti-maskers and covid deniers here. I wouldn't be afraid to fly again.