Skip to main content

What to Consider Before Employees Fly the Friendly Skies Again

Now that restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are being lifted, some businesses are allowing employees to travel for work again.

If you travel or are considering letting employees travel again — particularly flying — here’s what you need to consider.

Real ID

Due to the pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald Trump, has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current Oct. 1, 2020 deadline. The new deadline is Oct. 1, 2021.

The REAL ID is identification that meets minimum security standards for issuing drivers licenses. Your employees will need a REAL ID or a passport to gain access to federal facilities, to enter nuclear power plants or to fly on federally regulated commercial aircrafts.

The extension gives people more time to gather the information they need — proof of identity, proof of Social Security Number; proof of residency documents; and, if applicable, an original or certified copy of a name change document.


Safety for the employee and fellow travelers obviously still is a priority. No one should travel if they are not feeling well, are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has the virus.

Airlines have been doing extra cleaning on their aircrafts. However, the low cabin humidity in airplanes dries out the mucous membranes, making a passenger’s eyes, nose and mouth less effective for blocking viruses from infection.

To maintain the recommended six feet distance from other people, a passenger would need to sit two rows apart from other passengers. If possible, it’s recommended flyers upgrade to business or first-class travel to gain more personal space.

Although there is no COVID-19 vaccine available yet, it’s also recommended that flyers be up to date on essential vaccinations to prevent compromising their immune system.