Flying in 2022 amid the omicron surge? Here's what you should know

Travelers should pack N95 or KN95 masks, according to AAA

In recent weeks, droves of flights have been disrupted due to a mix of winter weather and a swath of new COVID-19 cases, forcing an increasing number of crew members to call in sick. It's created "the storm for travelers," according to AAA.

Denver International Airport crowded with passengers at security

Travelers queue up in long lines to pass through the south security checkpoint in Denver International Airport in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File / AP Newsroom)


Although traveling in the new year isn't impossible, it will come with its obstacles. To help, AAA created a list of six things travelers should be wary of in 2022 before heading to the airport. 

Travelers should prepare for any expenses that may be associated with delays and cancelations which includes the "possibility of having to stay longer if stranded," according to AAA.

It's also important to pack N95 or KN95 masks in your carry-on. AAA also recommends adding hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves to your packing list for better protection against the highly contagious variant. 


It's been roughly two years since the pandemic first gripped the U.S. and yet, cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise. Currently, transmission "remains high" in communities throughout the country.

People travel at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.  (Nathan Denette /The Canadian Press via AP / AP Newsroom)

Amid so much uncertainty, travelers should also purchase travel insurance "that specifically provides coverage for travel interruption and additional expenses due to COVID-19," according to AAA. 


However, if the airline is forced to cancel a flight, carriers say they proactively rebook customers on alternate flights. To ease a passenger's frustrations, the carriers will do so at no additional cost and in some cases, customers may even get reimbursed for the disrupted flight. 

According to AAA, travelers should have a picture of their vaccination card and other documents like a passport on their phone as backups when getting to the airport. 

They should also be mindful of the COVID-19 restrictions and requirements at their intended destination including whether testing is required. 

If it is, AAA says travelers should get a COVID-19 PCR test at least one month before their intended departure and to "make sure the date of your results adheres to the timeline set by your destination." 

Travelers should also request a QR code from the PCR tester now that more places are requiring this, AAA said. 

Lastly, travelers should also tell their credit card providers where they are going and for how long in order to "reduce the risk" of their cards being frozen, AAA added.