I flew economy from New York to Austin during the coronavirus pandemic, and it was the quietest flight I've ever been on. Here's what it's like to fly on a ghost plane during the outbreak.

flying during coronavirus pandemic

  • During the coronavirus pandemic, I flew from New York to Austin, Texas, and the plane was mostly empty.
  • The pandemic has led to several flight cancelations, while some airlines have temporarily stopped all flights, according to Business Insider.
  • I booked my ticket to Austin with a reserved seat only two days before my flight for around $130.
  • I was anxious about flying during the coronavirus pandemic because there are many opportunities for the virus to spread on flights and in airports.
  • But I didn't end up coming into contact with many people during my trip, and there were only about 20 people on my flight. Here's what it was like.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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I arrived at JFK Airport at around 6:40 a.m. for my 8:04 a.m. flight to Austin. Terminal 5 was, for the most part, pretty empty. In 2018, more than 10 million people flew through JFK's terminal 5.

I arrived at JFK Airport at around 6:40 a.m. for my 8:04 a.m. flight to Austin. Terminal 5 was, for the most part, pretty empty. In 2018, more than 10 million people flew through JFK's terminal 5.

Source: Statista

But everyone in terminal 5 seemed to be in the same spot — the TSA security checkpoint line ...

But everyone in terminal 5 seemed to be in the same spot — the TSA security checkpoint line ...
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... because although the airport seemed far less crowded than it normally is, most of the TSA lanes were closed.

... because although the airport seemed far less crowded than it normally is, most of the TSA lanes were closed.

I got to my gate and there was no one there waiting to board. Assuming I must be running late, I didn't even snap a photo because I ran up to the desk to board thinking it was my last chance.

I got to my gate and there was no one there waiting to board. Assuming I must be running late, I didn't even snap a photo because I ran up to the desk to board thinking it was my last chance.
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But once I got on the plane, I saw it was only 7:35 a.m. — my flight wasn't leaving for another 30 minutes.

But once I got on the plane, I saw it was only 7:35 a.m. — my flight wasn't leaving for another 30 minutes.

I sat near the front of the plane — seat 7F, and there weren't many people seated around me.

I sat near the front of the plane — seat 7F, and there weren't many people seated around me.
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One look behind me and I realized there weren't many people on the plane at all. Once we were in the air, I counted how many people I saw on the plane — 21.

One look behind me and I realized there weren't many people on the plane at all. Once we were in the air, I counted how many people I saw on the plane — 21.

The flight was quieter than any red-eye I've ever taken, and the flight attendants were very attentive and friendly. Overall, I was surprised at how calm I felt throughout the flight.

The flight was quieter than any red-eye I've ever taken, and the flight attendants were very attentive and friendly. Overall, I was surprised at how calm I felt throughout the flight.
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