Thursday 21 October 2021

Flying during a pandemic out of lockdown.

I flew to Belfast on the weekend with Easy Jet.

Easy Jet kept me informed via email about all the regulations and rules and tests and paperwork I would need if flying from outside the Travel Corridor.

Having flown regularly during Covid and in lock downs, I'm more than fully aware and prepared for anything and everything when travelling these days and whilst my flight was within the UK, I took with me my passport, proof of vaccine and letter from Doctor as it was administered outside of the UK, my NHS covid pass on the app via a recent LFT, spare LFT kit for my flight home, printed my tickets in case my phone failed and was just grateful I wasn't having to privately PCR test at the cost of £150 via a lab in Bristol or book a quarantine hotel at the cost of around £2000 as I've had to do with flights during the pandemic.

For many people flying just stopped for a year and when the Government said they could fly again they went off on their holidays complaining about the additional charges and the inconvieneces and the extra time they had to take off work as borders opened/closed and traffic light systems moved around.

I personally have no desire to spend a week or two on a beach in the sun, especially with the announcement of Morocco suspending direct flights from Germany, Netherlands and UK this week.

During the pandemic I've only flown between England and Dubai and to Northern Ireland, places where I can stay without additional costs, should borders close, which they did do when I made it back to Dubai last December and Peter got shut in Saudi as the borders closed overnight and it was 2 weeks before he got home, thankfully he was travelling with work so all his costs were met, but imagine the costs involved with finding accommodation or having to pay medical bills or for hotel quarantine if testing positive for covid prior to departure?

For these reasons I've turned down an opportunity to return to Dubai in November, but we're making plans for visiting our son in Australia as soon as we are allowed to travel. We'll also travel to Germany soon where we have friends to stay with.

Deserted arrivals hall Dubai T1 March 2020.

 Seeing T3 Heathrow closed makes you realise just how serious this pandemic is. 

An empty arrivals hall and closed departure hall at Birmingham International when it reopened was also startling.

Like I said almost back to normal now, apart from the mask wearing. 

Flights are increasing in terms of frequency and destinations. Seeing a departure board cover 4 days of flights in an International airport, is not something I ever want to see again. If I'm honest, I'd be happy if I never had to fly again either, but with kids and close friends living overseas, it's going to have to happen.

November 2020
49 flights over 63 hours

October 2021
41 flights over 14 hours



  1. Glad that your travel was safe and uneventful. After no holiday for two years we finally booked to travel end November thinking we had better times ahead but ready to cancel if necessary. It all begins to look unlikely. I feel that precautions have been removed far too quickly. Mask wearing and hand gel in public places are such small gestures, why on earth weren't they continued.

    1. mask wearing and hand sanitising should be mandatory as it is still in Wales

  2. Air travel has never been particularly fun, but now...

  3. I have always been interested in your travels. I hope you get to see your son as soon as it's safe. The photos make it look so eerie. x

    1. thank you kim, it's certainly been an experience

  4. I have also flown to Belfast and Toulouse with Easy Jet from Gatwick. I was surprised how empty the airports were and I was pleased to see everyone wearing masks (within the airport). Easy Jet were very stringent with checking passes etc on the flights I took. In France, I have found that people are more disciplined about wearing masks (surprising!) and vaccination passes are being checked far more than in the UK. Maybe that's one of the reasons France has considerably lower Covid numbers than in the UK...

    1. I've yet to fly internationally since we've come out of lockdowns, not sure I want to either

  5. I am glad it went ok. We haven't travelled since Covid hit and I must admit it's not something that I am looking forward to if we are able to go on holiday next year, at all. All the extra stuff, tests etc, worrying about if you do test + and stuff.
    UK holidays are so expensive though, so we have no idea what the plan is yet.


    1. yes, UK holiday prices are ridiculous at the moment