The friendly skies will soon get more crowded as airline companies, struggling to stay solvent, say they have to begin flying full again.
This means no more mandatory empty seats but they’re offering a compromise for those passengers not ready to get back on a packed plane
American Airlines is the first to say they’re going to full flights starting July. Most passengers at San Francisco International Airport say they’re not ready just yet.
They’ll now have that option. American and United Airlines both say they’ll offer passengers a chance to switch, free of charge, from a full flight to a flight with fewer people if they want.
“Less than full,” said Lonson Kemp from Los Angeles. “So we can maintain some level of social distancing and be safe while we get where we're going."
It’s a common conversation these days as people mask up and try to social distance on board while the battered airlines try to gradually boost their bottom lines.
“I don’t think personally things will go back to normal until there’s a vaccine. The big question is how packed the aircraft gets,” said Mike McCarron, aviation consultant. “The recycled air in the cabin is a little iffy, which is why they want you to wear a mask, and just think, the queue outside the gate."
Meanwhile, the Allied Pilots Union is asking the federal government to buy up a third of all airline seats to keep them empty.
It would be paid for by the taxpayers, but would also keep passengers more socially distant.