Even though Maui is lagging in coronavirus illnesses (see updates at end), it’s a personal decision whether you choose to fly to the island. Health and safety of our guests is of utmost importance to us. Please see our page about booking or changing your reservation with our temporary flexible change policy.
If you do decide to fly, social distancing to avoid coronavirus is a little hard once you board a plane. However, airlines are taking steps to protect the health of passengers and crew, with the assistance of medical professionals, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). These steps are essential to keep planes flying. And while many flights have been cancelled to and from foreign ports of call, domestic flights are still in the air.
Cleanliness of airplanes
Airline cabins are regularly maintained. But in the era of coronavirus, aircraft are more thoroughly sanitized and disinfected, according to recommendations from the CDC and WHO, including HEPA filters to remove airborne particles. Each airline has updated information on their efforts during the coronavirus outbreak.
Staying healthy on the plane
There are many illnesses people are at risk for on a plane- generally catching a bug from other passengers. If you are not feeling well, don’t fly. The elderly and those with a weakened immune system, are also recommended to stay home during this time. If you do decide to fly, here are some tips to stay healthy.
Rest up before your flight. One of the best ways to stave off illness is to get plenty of sleep before your flight. You want your immune system in top shape.
Eat well. What you put in your body is also good medicine to prevent illness. Resist the urge to fill up on heavy or greasy foods before a flight, just because you are on vacation. Healthy proteins, fresh fruit and vegetables give your body the right fuel.
Vitamin supplements are a good idea too, especially those specifically targeted at boosting your immune system. An easy way to pump up the vitamins while traveling is by taking Airborne or Emergen-C. Even gummy vitamin C’s are a healthy choice, and are yummy.
Avoid alcohol. As tempting as it is to imbibe on the way to a vacation destination, alcohol can be dehydrating. Coupled with diuretic effects, alcohol can deplete your body’s resources to fight off illnesses.
Wash and wipe
Even though airlines are upping their cleaning, it does not hurt to wipe down any surfaces you may come in contact with around your seat using disinfecting wipes. However, the best practice is to frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. When you finish use a paper towel to open the door handle. A travel size hand sanitizer is handy to use before and after meals or any other time you have handled materials others have touched, including your checked bag.
According to the CDC, coronavirus is spread between people by being in close contact/touching, or through respiratory droplets produced when someone sneezes or coughs. These droplets do not stay airborne, but can still be contagious from surfaces where they land. It’s important to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially on a plane or out in public to prevent transmitting viruses.
What if I can’t fly due to Coronavirus?
Many airplane tickets come with restrictions or penalties for changing and cancelling a ticket. However, now that the coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by WHO, even the most stringent airlines are allowing changes. Check the airlines policies before booking. If you already have flight plans, see what your refund or rebooking options are.
If you are already on Maui and concerned about flying home, please contact us about extending your visit. Isolating yourself on a secluded patch of beach or watching whales from the lanai of an oceanfront condo are pleasant ways to pass the time, and our island economy continues to function, albeit cautiously. Expect events with large groups to be cancelled over the next month.
Most trip insurance policies, whether purchased through Destination Maui Vacations or another vendor, are intended to cover the majority of common issues associated with travel. However, the majority of policies do not cover unique and rare incidents such as a world-wide pandemic affecting masses of people. In insurance terms this is called a “force majeure” clause. However, you can purchase a “cancel for any reason” policy, which is typically an add-on to your base policy. This article from Forbes explains cancel for any reason policies.
You are what is important
Stay safe out there. Whether you decide to stay home or not, avoid crowds and when you do travel, take measures to look after your health and immune system. The County of Maui is consistently updating coronavirus (COVID-19) information HERE. Destination Maui Vacations has weathered other challenges in our 40+ year history in property management on the island. Our lovely condos and beautiful beaches will be here when you are ready.
We will update this story here:
3/18/20 Maui County has 3 confirmed cases and there are 16 cases overall in the state of Hawaii
3/15/20 Maui County announced one confirmed case on the island of Maui.