So we obviously flew to hawaii for Christmas. We spent 3 weeks and when we went we tested 72 hours before for a negative test. It was good we got our results back 24 hours after our test. Anyway we flew out and the airport was empty. It took us about 15 minutes from car to gate. We arrived at the airport 1:45 minutes before our flight. We arrived at the gate 1:30 minutes before the flight. We then took 20 minutes standing in line at the gate to get our pre-clear bracelets from alaska. This was to allow us the opportunity to bypass the forms in hawaii. We wore kn95 masks and disposable kid masks, face shields, and gloves. We then sat down, I bought a water and we went to the bathroom. We were on a 5 pm flight PST arriving in hawaii 9 pm HST. It was a total of 6 hours on the plan and 2.5 hours extra in airport.
So the airport wasn't busy. But airlines started boarding 1 hour before departure. They were supposed to board 40 minutes but they started early because they were boarding by rows. Also the middle seats weren't sold so there should have been less people. Actually this wasn't true. If you had bought your tickets early you were able to keep the middle if you rebooked your ticket from March-May.
So the boarding should have been smooth but instead people were rushing. They were called and they got up and rushed to board. I think what happened is people were standing in line and then missed their boarding then felt pressured and naturally rushed to board. UGH. We were at the front having paid for the premium seats row 7. So we waited till the very end. Plus I was nervous about sitting on board just waiting.
Overall it was good. I was surprised how many people decided to use the bathroom on the plane. The airlines handed out single packages of chex mix and one can of soda mini. I didn't drink my drink or eat anything. My kids only drank the soda with a straw. We wiped down the seats, trays, seatbelts, etc. I did test after flying and was found to be negative. I am also testing now after flying back last week. None of us have symptoms so it should be negative again.
I would not travel with children younger than my 8 and 10 year old. I think it's hard to sit there with a mask and faceshields and not eating or drinking. I think that it's hard to sit with masks and not eat or drink. I told my mom I was glad we made it but it was not an easy flight.
I'm glad we went. My parents needed to see us. They have been struggling so islolated and zoom is not the same. They were so happy to see us and feel the social interactions they have been missing. Besides the fact that my mom is used to seeing us every 6-12 weeks. To go since Feb 2020 and no see us for 10 months was hard. Typically she would come december, january, april, june, and october. And we would typically go back Feb and August to see them or travel with them. So she was used to being able to be part of our lives. It was just magnified that they were also unable to see their friends or other family.
Hence why we decided it was worth it. I will also say that hawaii had so many less covid cases and was mostly open that made us feel safer. My kids loved swimming for hours a day. They came back super tan. We went out to eat both outdoors and indoor. It was just felt so much more normal. Anyway I'm hopeful that we might go back in April.
I'll write about hotels and activities later.