Travel

Risks of COVID transmission during flight

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  • May 31st, 2021 8:35 am
[OP]
Member
Dec 20, 2009
276 posts
47 upvotes
Mississauga

Risks of COVID transmission during flight

I am thinking about flying mid August. I would be fully vaccinated, kids won't be, however still concerned about getting COVID since I would be staying abroad with high risk group seniors - also fully vaccinated .

Is the risk of getting COVID on a plane very high? Any good research out there?

Why aren't all passengers required to show a negative test before boarding? Seems like an easy solution to stop the spread...
37 replies
Deal Guru
Jun 20, 2020
12079 posts
14566 upvotes
Toronto
Bronson Charley wrote: Why aren't all passengers required to show a negative test before boarding? Seems like an easy solution to stop the spread...
Which country are you flying to?

from https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/hom ... id-19.html

Many countries, including Canada, require proof of a negative COVID-19 test as part of your journey.

Depending on your destination, a negative test result taken within a specified time frame may be required prior to departure, upon landing, or both. Certain countries require a negative COVID-19 test result even if you are only connecting through to another destination. You may not be able to board your flight without the correct documentation.
Destiny is all
Jr. Member
Dec 14, 2009
112 posts
68 upvotes
Kanata
Dhanushan wrote: Which country are you flying to?

from https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/hom ... id-19.html

Many countries, including Canada, require proof of a negative COVID-19 test as part of your journey.

Depending on your destination, a negative test result taken within a specified time frame may be required prior to departure, upon landing, or both. Certain countries require a negative COVID-19 test result even if you are only connecting through to another destination. You may not be able to board your flight without the correct documentation.
On the other hand, there are morons like these: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.5966707
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2009
743 posts
342 upvotes
I’ve read that because of how often the air is refreshed in a plane it’s lower risk than in-person dining. If you’ll be fully vaccinated and willing to wear a quality mask the whole time I wouldn’t be worried.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 6, 2010
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There isn't a lot of data, but this one artificial study by the US military did say that due to airflow circulation an airplane isn't as high a risk an area as original thought (vs say a static store/restaurant with poor ventilation). The risk mostly comes from the prolonged exposure and the CDC still cautions against the activity due to this. A short 1-2h flight is probably not that bad vs say a 10h one.

That being said if you're vaccinated and wearing masks I personally wouldn't worry too too much.
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Feb 8, 2014
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As we are still learning how covid works its hard to be sure of anything. Recently its being realized that covid can linger in the air. That is bad, meaning the 6ft droplet rule is insufficient. Also type of masks matters and there are no standards. Frankly if everyone wore a N95 mask and never took it off we would cut transmission by a huge amount. We don't have this many masks and 100% compliance is not easy. Plus people need to eat. I read an article about a down syndrome patient getting infected while in hospital. Presumably very strict about masking and distancing.
Frankly i would skip the trip.
jeromeh66 wrote:
On the other hand, there are morons like these: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.5966707
Idiots.
I hope those consequences are aggressively employed.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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uber_shnitz wrote: There isn't a lot of data, but this one artificial study by the US military did say that due to airflow circulation an airplane isn't as high a risk an area as original thought (vs say a static store/restaurant with poor ventilation). The risk mostly comes from the prolonged exposure and the CDC still cautions against the activity due to this. A short 1-2h flight is probably not that bad vs say a 10h one.

That being said if you're vaccinated and wearing masks I personally wouldn't worry too too much.
A passenger aircraft recirculates most of the air (along with some fresh air) and the air system incorporates a series of HEPA filters. The air coming into the cabin is as clean as it possibly can be.
That does no mean you don't have to wear a mask though. Masks are required unless eating or drinking.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
9045 posts
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I think if one really wants to be cautious, a properly fitted mask that has filters smaller than the size of the virus (N95 mask?) should give some confidence of protection. Personally, I am not comfortable with flying yet and if I needed to fly, I would try and find a scientifically protective mask.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
6930 posts
3521 upvotes
Ottawa
Despite the requirement for negative tests before boarding, there are at least a dozen flights per week to / from Pearson that are identified with COVID exposure.

The air system is supposed to be fairly good but you are also flying in close confinement with many other people so I would say there's certainly still exposure (way more than at a grocery store with 15' ceilings are realistically, lots of space between shoppers, etc. The duration of the flight likely makes a difference to. 1 hour flight is probably not nearly is risky as is a 3 hour flight as would be a 6 hour flight - that said, even 1 hour is likely plenty to transmit the virus.

Your destination likely makes a big difference as well. Canada has been very diligent and strict as far as air travel and airports (temperature checks, social distancing, enforcing mask requirements, etc). I've flown twice to the US since the pandemic and both times (first was last July), and once you land in the US, it's like COVID doesn't exist.
Jr. Member
Sep 19, 2019
177 posts
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vancouver
Flights are listed as exposures if someone on the flight flew and had covid. There has been no cases of transmission on aircraft in Canada.
Sr. Member
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Jul 30, 2015
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I cant believe people are still worried of getting or transmitting covid when both individuals are fully vaccinated. Maybe it's time you wake up and live your life. Live in fear and waste your life doing so.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 12, 2005
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Mississauga
I'm surprise people are still asking these questions. it's been over a year already. If you're still concern at this point, then you shouldn't be flying.
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Latitude57 wrote: I cant believe people are still worried of getting or transmitting covid when both individuals are fully vaccinated. Maybe it's time you wake up and live your life. Live in fear and waste your life doing so.
Given your username and avatar i'm sure you are objective Winking Face
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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Latitude57 wrote: I cant believe people are still worried of getting or transmitting covid when both individuals are fully vaccinated. Maybe it's time you wake up and live your life. Live in fear and waste your life doing so.
Several facts:
1. Most Canadians are not yet "fully vaccinated" and who knows about non Canadians.
2. Just because you are fully vaccinated does in no way guarantee that you cannot catch COVID 19. Yes, a vaccination does help but it is not a panacea and just lowers your chances of catching it. Effectiveness against variants is yet to be determined.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
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Latitude57 wrote: I cant believe people are still worried of getting or transmitting covid when both individuals are fully vaccinated. Maybe it's time you wake up and live your life. Live in fear and waste your life doing so.
I take your point and while I am someone who likes to think analytically when faced with information that is new and uncertain, I started off thinking that much of what we were told about the virus in the early stages was overhyped.

However, in my journey through studying different information sources and listening to those who know more about this than I do, I have come to the conclusion that you might really not want to get this thing if you can help it. I still believe most people will recover and some may not even know if they get infected BUT there are some concerning things about this virus that many Canadians probably don't know about that might make them feel differently about the virus BUT they would have to do their own homework and have an open mind to become better informed. For this reason, I am doing everything I can to try and avoid it. The risk of dying for most people is extremely low so this isn't a big concern for me, BUT I am concerned about the scientific nature of the virus and what it might be capable of doing to our bodies for the rest of our lives. From what I can tell so far, this is not a typical virus.

Certainly, in time, more information will come out but until then, I am doing most of my hanging out in places and ways that reduce my risk of being exposed.

Once we KNOW EVERYTHING there is to know about the virus, we will have a better handle on things we are currently guessing about.

Also, @Pete_Coach's comments are absolutely correct. Vaccination will not prevent us from getting the virus so we need to keep that in mind.
Sr. Member
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Jul 30, 2015
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Modern/Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective. I was replying to this;
I am thinking about flying mid August. I would be fully vaccinated, kids won't be, however still concerned about getting COVID since I would be staying abroad with high risk group seniors - also fully vaccinated .
Both fully vaccinated individuals, with a vaccine that is 95% effective, yet still concerned of getting COVID. In what world are we living ? Also its COVID, it isn’t cancer. How many millions got COVID with mild to basically no symptoms ? Add to this 95% protection from the vaccine plus current measures such as hand sanitizers, masks, etc. at that point it’s mostly ‘’being afraid of being afraid’’. I dont buy the ‘’variant card’’ as recent studies have shown current vaccines provide protection against the new variants as well.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
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Jul 30, 2015
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Quentin5 wrote: Given your username and avatar i'm sure you are objective Winking Face
Has nothing to do with what I do. Your profile location ‘’ Socially distanced’’ shows you are objective too…. ;) You can stay in your basement if that’s where you like to be.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
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Latitude57 wrote: Has nothing to do with what I do. Your profile location ‘’ Socially distanced’’ shows you are objective too…. ;) You can stay in your basement if that’s where you like to be.
Bullying people into stupid risk taking won't make covid go away. But keep trying it :rolleyes:
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Sr. Member
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Jul 30, 2015
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Quentin5 wrote: Bullying people into stupid risk taking won't make covid go away. But keep trying it :rolleyes:
Stupid risk taking ? Where do you see this? Exactly, nowhere.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
Deal Expert
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Latitude57 wrote: Stupid risk taking ? Where do you see this? Exactly, nowhere.
Make problems you don't like go away with a swoop of your pen (or keyboard) :rolleyes:
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people

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