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Healthy travel from A to Z

Suitcase packing for travel, COVID-19

Please note: as COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted over the past two years, we encourage passengers to reach out directly to their airlines for the most up-to-date information as some of what’s below is now outdated.


Updated May 2021

Make sure you’re prepared for your next journey by following these ABCs of healthy air travel.

A is for airline policies. Make sure you are aware of how your airline is handling cancellations, middle seat use and in-flight amenities like snacks.

B is for barriers. At the ticket counters and TSA checkpoints, you’ll see CMH airport staff has installed plexiglass barriers for enhanced safety – for you and for our employees.

C is for cleaning. Our Custodial staff is constantly cleaning high-touch surfaces, restrooms, equipment and seating areas. And John Glenn International has become the first facility in Columbus, and one of the first airports in the world, to earn a Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR facility accreditation, the industry’s gold standard for sanitization protocols.

D is for disinfectant. Use disinfecting wipes on hard surfaces like your suitcase handle or phone. Airlines have enhanced their cleaning protocols but, for an added safety measure, you might want to wipe your airplane seat travel tray, arm rests, seatbelt, rental car steering wheel, etc.

E is for ezPark. Register for ezPark for convenient, contactless entry and exit at all of CMH’s public parking facilities.

F is for face covering. Bring several, especially if you won’t be laundering while you’re away. To be the most effective, a face covering needs to cover both your mouth and nose, and it needs to be dry. Pack a variety in case you’re going to a different climate. Once you park at the airport, you’re going to need to wear your face covering on the shuttle bus, throughout the terminal and then on the plane. When you arrive at your destination, continue wearing a face covering at the airport, on the shuttle bus or tram. And while the CDC has laxed some of its face covering guidelines, they are still required at airports and for public transportation.

G is for guidance. Let airport police, TSA officers and airline staff guide you as you travel. Follow signage to ensure social distancing and other safety precautions. Listen to announcements, boarding instructions and deplaning procedures. Use this travel planner to check for possible state, local and territorial governments travel restrictions, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders and quarantine requirements.

H is for hangry. Avoid hangriness by bringing some snacks. Airport concessionaires might not be open the hours they used to be (check at, and in-flight snacks might not be available.

I is for itinerary. Map out your itinerary including any layovers, ground transportation, and plans for accommodations and restaurants. The more prepared you are, the more you can focus on having a healthy, safe and enjoyable trip.

J is for join. Join TSA PreCheck for expedited screening procedures and a shorter wait time. This is not only more convenient but also allows for less person-to-person contact at the TSA checkpoint.

K is for know. Know the symptoms of COVID-19 so you can stay home if you are experiencing any of them. Use the CDC’s self-checker before heading to the airport.

L is for liquids. TSA has temporarily adapted its 3-1-1 liquid rule and is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. When going through screening, remove from your bag and place it in a bin.

M is for mobile. Reduce contact using mobile options. Download a mobile boarding pass, and set up mobile payments such as Apple/Android/Samsung/Google Pay. Mobile and chip reader payments are accepted at many retail and dining businesses in our airports.

N is for nonstop. Minimize your travel time by booking a nonstop flight from Columbus.

O is for other people. Remember to give people space, social distance, give people the benefit of the doubt and smile with your eyes.

P is for pen. When signing receipts, use your own pen for extra germ avoidance.

Q is for quarantine. The CDC updated its quarantine guidance, stating that fully vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine, but non-vaccinated travelers still do.

R is for reach. Stash your carry-on within reach when boarding the plane so you have easy access to all the healthy essentials you’ve packed.

S is for sanitizer stations. You can find plenty of hands-free sanitizer stations at both CMH and Rickenbacker. Keep your hands clean – and save your own sanitizer for later.

T is for test. The CDC has updated its recommendations regarding COVID tests and traveling. Domestic, fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested after travel unless they are symptomatic or testing is required by authorities, nor do they need to self-quarantine. International travelers who are fully vaxxed should get a test 3-5 days after travel but do not need to self-quarantine. Travelers who haven’t been fully vaccinated should have a COVID test 3-5 days after arrival at their destination, self-monitor and self-quarantine for 7 days (even if the test is negative).

U is for up. Make sure you stay charged up and able to stay on top of current events, including any travel restrictions and flight changes. Portable chargers are also handy in case you’re stuck somewhere without a convenient power source. Don’t have a portable charger? Visit one of the FuelRod Mobile Charging Stations at CMH.

V is for Visa. Or MasterCard or Amex… credit cards are preferable to cash to avoid touching shared surfaces. Set up mobile payments for contactless purchases.

W is for water bottle. You might be unable to find a beverage during travel so pack your favorite water bottle. At CMH, you will find water bottle filling stations post-security so you can fill up before you board your plane.

X marks the spot. At CMH and many other venues, you’ll see signage to help promote social distancing, especially when standing in line and when boarding your aircraft.

Y is for you. We ask that you do your part to protect yourself and others. Wearing a face covering, staying six feet from others, and washing your hands are all ways you can help create a healthy and safe environment for all.

Z is for Ziploc bags. Not only great for packing liquids in your carry-on, these bags can come in handy. Mark one for clean masks and one for used masks to keep germs at bay. These can also double as an impromptu glove to protect against dirty doorknobs, remotes, etc.

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