Senior Journalist Samantha Campbell shares her experience flying from Mount Isa to Brisbane as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Last weekend I took my first flight since the COVID-19 pandemic started and I was a little nervous.
I caught a flight from Mount Isa to Brisbane to spend four days with family and celebrate my cousin's baby shower, and despite there only being two active cases in the state I couldn't help but remain cautious.
In the Mount Isa Airport seats were marked where passengers could seat in the waiting and screening areas and at boarding time Qantas staff offered hand sanitiser and a Fly Well pack.
This pack contained sanitising wipes and a face mask, for passengers' peace-of-mind as there was no social distancing on the flight.
The plane was at full capacity. There was no in flight entertainment or Wi-Fi due to the airline's COVID-19 restrictions, and passengers were offered banana bread and a bottle of water as refreshments.
Despite the more "luxury" items being unavailable the flight was still comfortable, and I managed to download some Netflix movies onto my phone before leaving so I had something to do for the two hour flight.
Not many people wore the masks on the flight to Brisbane, there was maybe four people that I saw with them on.
Once we landed in Brisbane, we were asked to depart the plan by seat number to minimise contact and once at the baggage terminal most people kept their 1.5 metre distance from each other.
More passengers put their masks on when they got into the Qantas terminal, including me.
Clearly there was nowhere near as many people in the terminal, as there was prior to COVID-19, but I couldn't take the risk as I was visiting my pregnant cousin.
On the way back the airport was more busy and checking in my own baggage, there was no one wiping down screens and surfaces between check ins. everyone was responsible for that themselves.
During security screening in Brisbane, there were not many people social distancing in the queue but while waiting to board passengers kept a seat between themselves.
The service on the way back was the same as it was on the way down, but when disembarking the plane and moving into the arrivals bay I was surprised to see police temperature checking every single passenger.
Of course it is common sense, but for some reason I did not expect it. Especially considering it was not done when we landed at Brisbane Airport.
Overall I had a pretty good experience flying, and now that the Queensland borders have opened to all states except Victoria it will be interesting to see how this continues.
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