What does travel look like in 2021? Your checklist & must do’s before you fly

COVID-19 has been a wild ride for all of us this past year. If you plan to get out of the house and travel soon, Alaska has tips to make your next flight infinitely easier and carefree.

First things first fly healthy.

Alaska guests must be COVID negative and have not been around someone who has tested positive for the virus within 72 hours of travel. This is for the safety of all guests and employees. Need to postpone your trip? Our peace of mind options allow you to cancel or change (most) reservations without a fee.

Pack masks, sanitizer and patience.

Aside from the obvious packing to-dos like clothes, toothbrushes and shoes, don’t leave without the pandemic essentials: masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes and the patience to respect/maintain physical distancing when boarding/exiting the aircraft, at baggage claim and customs. Remember: All travelers must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth for the entire flight and in the airport. Learn how to become BFFs with your mask.

Do what you can to take care of yourself & others.

While Alaska is bringing you Next-Level Care, there are still things you can do to stay safe during your journey. According to the CDC, National Safety Council and World Health Organization:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Wash your hands often – and thoroughly – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Keep your distance, especially to those who are at a higher risk (older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, or heart or lung disease).
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surface areas.

Some cities require COVID tests.

Keep in mind some places require a negative COVID test or quarantine. For instance, if you’re traveling from Las Vegas (which currently doesn’t have restrictions for incoming guests) to Maui or New York City—both Hawaii & New York State require incoming travelers to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before travel or head straight to quarantine. You might also be asked to fill out a traveler health form, which will be collected at the airport upon your arrival. See the latest travel restrictions.

Know where to get tested.

Ask yourself if you know where to get a rapid test in your hometown or where to get one in the city you plan to visit? Even if you’re from a state that doesn’t require testing prior to re-entry, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remember, you could still be positive yet show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19. So take a PCR or rapid test before you fly to protect fellow travelers and others around you. See Alaska’s testing partners.

Now’s not the time to let the universe make plans.

Spontaneity is a thing of the past—we get it, sometimes it’s great to let your hair down & make up plans as you go. But right now, it’s too risky. If you happen to be flying to a city, consider what’s open and what safety protocols are in place—and make reservations in advance. Outdoor dining and activities are ideal.

Sip & cover if you drink or eat.

While you’re technically allowed to remove your mask to eat or drink on board, studies have shown wearing a mask is the best way to limit the risk of COVID-19. We recommend you sip & cover—when you’re done with your bite and/or had a refreshing sip reapply your mask for your safety and others around you. If your flight is relatively short (give or take five or six hours) try eating a hearty meal before you board & save for a smorgasbord when you land.

Utilize technology for a touch-free experience.

You don’t need a printed boarding pass anymore or to check your bags at a counter—simply download the Alaska Airlines app to get convenience at your fingertips. The Alaska app offers the following perks:

  • Check in and get your mobile boarding pass
  • Select and change your seats
  • Prepay for checked baggage
  • Print your own bag tags
  • Pre-order food and beverages on select flights
  • Check your flight status
  • Change your reservation
  • Get boarding notices and other travel updates
  • View and manage your travel receipts
  • Track your Mileage Plan™ balance
  • Join/Sign in Mileage Plan

Have anxiety? Alaska offers Headspace meditation.

Sit back, relax and ease your mind on any Alaska flight with Headspace, a feature on our inflight entertainment. There are sessions for kids, sleep and more to give you moments of mindfulness and casts to wind-down.

Mask up. Book now. Let’s go.

We believe it’s safe to fly––and experts agree. Our commitment to Next-Level Care means we’ve implemented 100+ ways to maintain the highest standard of safety throughout your travels, including mask requirements, enhanced cleaning, hospital-grade HEPA filters onboard and no change fees. Book your next adventure today at alaskaair.com.

Have more questions? Here are 10 Qs you might have about traveling again.