At last, it has happened. After two years and one month of having been earthbound, I have finally flown again - four times. The only concern I had was the introduction of ‘only vaccinated passengers’, would be implemented halfway through my trip. Of course I’m vaccinated, but I wondered what it would do to the timing of my return. Fortunately, my layover was overnight so I would not be rushed to make a flight.
Going out was easy. I was told to be at the airport 90 minutes before my flight (I was flying domestic), but thought I would play it safe and be there two hours early. I arrived at the airport, made my way to check-in, pushed a few buttons on the ever-friendly terminal and out came my baggage tag. I simply put it on my suitcase, and put the bag on the belt. Away it went.
My boarding pass was on my phone, which I arranged the day before, and I made my way to security. I was glad to see the process of checking in has been streamlined over the past two years. It is very user friendly and efficient. Security was a breeze, and I was ready to board the plane… 90 minutes early.
The flight was good, not much different than before, except for wearing masks, which the flight attendants enforced. It appeared passengers were good to comply, understanding we all have a common goal.
Coming home was also effortless. It was interesting to see a dozen or so travellers from the US scrambling in a small airport to get their rapid tests. They cannot return to the US without them, at a cost of $155 each (I’m not sure if that was CDN$).
One person’s luggage did not make it to the airport, and as stressful as that was for him, it gave me a sense of normalcy during my trip. I flew back, spent the night in a hotel and was ready for my next departure, with double vax mandatory procedures in place.
I left my hotel with plenty of time to spare, and was again surprised by how efficient the process was. It took me about twenty minutes to check-in, clear security, confirm my vaccination status and make my way to the gate.
It felt good to travel again and I can’t wait for my next adventure. The technology enhancements to travelling have greatly improved the process and the only issue I now face is what movie to watch while we taxi down the runway.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.