Air travel and coronavirus: What to pack, how to keep safe

From what to wear in the airport to how to sterilize your seats, a SoCal doctor is explaining how to avoid COVID-19 infection during airplane travel.
LOS ANGELES -- Traveling by airplane can be a scary proposition during this age of coronavirus.

It can involve mingling with large groups of people, touching common surfaces and sitting on a plane with less than six feet of distance between passengers.

Dr. Anthony Cardillo, an ER specialist and CEO of Mend Urgent Care in Los Angeles, offers some very specific advice for those planning to fly:

  • Travel need: First, question whether you really need to travel. Is it a legitimate, important need?

  • Packing: Carrying on all your bags is better than checking bags. When you get off the plane, be sure to clean your bag thoroughly, especially the wheels.


  • What to wear: Have as much of your body covered as possible. A good option is sweat pants with a hooded sweatshirt, along with a mask and even a face shield, in addition to wearing gloves.

  • Avoid surfaces in the airport: Check-in electronically using your phone for the boarding pass so you don't have paper tickets or need to touch surfaces on a kiosk. Try to avoid contact with any other surfaces while in the terminal. It's better to use the bathroom in the airport rather than the one on the plane if possible.

  • Disinfection: When sitting on the plane, use wipes to disinfect the area around you, including the tray, arm rest and head rest. You can also bring a portable UVC device which uses ultraviolet light for sterilization.
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