Every summer, after school just finishes, we run away from Dubai’s heat and travel to our Vilnius house to enjoy Northern Europe’s cool summers. This year is so different. The international health crisis ruined plans for everyone. We had lots of discussions, considerations, and doubts regarding traveling somewhere this year. Still, after the United Arab Emirates government had eased travel restrictions, we couldn’t resist the home call. We bought flight tickets and took the risk of traveling during a pandemic. Here is my flight experience during COVID-19.
Usually, it takes us two flights to get to Vilnius. This time, it was the same, but because of limited flight options and restrictions, it took us 2 days. Besides, we had to stay overnight in a hotel inside the Frankfurt airport terminal. Two days, two planes, three airports, and three different countries. Dubai — Frankfurt — Vilnius. My travel experiences in three different airports and during two separate flights were so different.
Dubai — Frankfurt Travel Experience
The magnificent and beautiful International Dubai airport was unusually empty. At the entrance to the airport, we each got a kit with face masks, gloves, and sterilizing wipes. It was really thoughtful. The social distancing of 2 meters and face masks were required every time and everywhere. Duty-free shops were open, but luxury stores were closed and looked sad with plastic wrap around their shelves and products. Emirates First Class lounge was not functioning. However, the Business Class lounge was operating, but with some changes — lots of cleaning, sterilizing, digital menus, packed food, and staff in protective clothes. The travel experience during COVID-19 with Emirates was excellent as usual — it couldn’t be better. Everything was the same as usual, except all flight attendants were wearing full protective gear. The plane was half empty. Therefore, it was easy to implement social distancing rules.
Frankfurt — Vilnius Travel Experience
Frankfurt airport was ghostly empty. Social distancing of 1.5 meters and face masks were required. In the terminal, we were able to walk around; everything was closed except for a couple of coffee shops. As we stayed there overnight, we wanted to have dinner and breakfast the next morning. Sadly, we couldn’t find any food options for our diet requirements (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free). Only two bakeries and one shop selling sandwiches were open—sad times.
Our next flight, Frankfurt — Vilnius, was with Lufthansa. Nearly all the seats in the plane were occupied, so there was no social distancing. Two stewardesses were wearing only face masks. The flight experience was the same as usual. The only new thing was getting off the plane. Usually, all passengers pop up immediately from their seats, resulting in some sort of traffic jam. But this time was different. We were supposed to remain seated until the flight attendants announced which row could get off the plane. I was very fond of this change.
Upon our arrival, the Vilnius airport was lively like a regular day. No temperatures were checked on arrival. No masks were required outside the airport. It looked like life here was back to normal. And to tell the truth, after such strict measurements in Dubai, we missed this relaxed and ordinary life so much.
Here is a picture story of how we were going home for the summer during this unusual situation. It is mainly from Dubai airport and the Emirates plane. Sadly, I felt too tired and hungry to proceed with my photo story in Frankfurt and Vilnius.