I have been on two trips so far this year, and quite a few in 2021. And I’m planning more in 2022, including Europe.
As of March 31, 2022, masks are still required in airports and on airplanes. You are allowed to take your mask off temporarily to eat or drink something, but you are then required to put your mask back on.
This last trip from Portland to Phoenix to Lihue, Hawaii, required masks. However, the flight attendants were hearing they might be able to fly without a mask very shortly.
For many people, this relaxing of the mask requirement may make a difference. I’m so used to wearing a mask that wearing one doesn’t seem like a big deal.
However, the best aspect of not wearing a mask is that people can see you smile. If we are at that point as you are reading this, smile!
Other than masks, most airlines have curtailed selling alcohol in coach and serving meals for purchase. Almost all the airlines have retained meals and drinks in first class. However, I heard from the flight attendants on my most recent flight that they are going to start that service back up.
I still have some miles left, and I do think it’s worth it to use your credit cards to gain miles – unless there is a 3-5% additional charge for using a credit card vs. a bank check or cash, of course. On bigger purchases, that percentage can really add up.
So what’s the answer? The best answer is to choose your credit card carefully for airline mile benefits and then place all of your purchases on that card. Don’t spread your purchases over several airline miles’ cards.
Another thing to think about is where you are planning to fly this year. If you are planning to fly to Europe this year, for example, you want to consolidate your purchases on an airline card that flies to Europe.
Most of the airlines do have partners who fly into areas they don’t, but partner airlines seem to give their own customers the first choice on the award miles.
By consolidating your miles on credit cards, you have the opportunity to fly first class more often. In my opinion, first class is worth it, but check to see if you are going to get a meal and how long the flight is going to be. Anything three hours or more may be worth it to you in comfort alone.
People are spaced out better, and you definitely have more space to set up your computer and get some work done. But if you’re going to sleep, don’t bother.
My conclusion is that flying in 2022 isn’t much different than before COVID. I’m going to keep flying as much as I can.
Even though I set off the security system alarm through TSA every time. I know the ritual and I can fly through the paces if there is a female TSA person available – that’s the biggest wild card. Leave a little extra time for something like that. Then just fly through the airport corridors!
And, maybe in the near future, enjoy going without a mask. Or wear it anyway if you feel more comfortable doing it.
Don’t let the little things get you down!