Lately, we’ve seen airlines and hotels scramble to make changes in order to convince customers that it’s safe to travel. They’ve taken enhanced cleaning measures and have changed the way they operate. However, the debate whether airlines should be selling middle seats still continues to rage.
Airlines Block Middle Seats
American Airlines recently announced that they would no longer block the sale of middle seats starting July 1st. This drew criticism from the director of the CDC as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci. United Airlines is set to follow the same policy, while Delta plans to continue its existing policy and will be capping capacity.
Travel Pulse reports about the concerns raised by government officials at a recent senate hearing when asked about the airlines relaxing their policies pertaining to blocking middle seats. Senator Bernie Sanders posed the question to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield.
CDC Director Dr. Redfield: “We don’t think it’s the right message.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci: “Obviously, that is something that is of concern.”
American Airlines put out this statement to assuage customer concerns.
We have multiple layers of protection in place for those who fly with us, including required face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and a pre-flight COVID-19 symptom checklist—and we’re providing additional flexibility for customers to change their travel plans.
The Pundit’s Mantra
Critics would be first to point out that it was Dr. Fauci who bungled the advisory about the use of masks at the initial stage. Also, we’ve seen many reports point to the fact that the spread of the virus could well be contained while on an airplane. Also, blocking a middle seat does little to mitigate the spread.
This policy battle is only bound to play out in the open in the upcoming months. It’s clear that the government advisory about face coverings wasn’t clear to start with. Later, we saw airlines block middle seats. Now, we’re seeing a few of them see middle seats as they see increasing demand. However, others like Delta are still refraining from doing the same.
What’s your personal preference? Would you rather fly an airline like Delta that’s currently blocking middle seats or would you simply buy the best ticket available irrespective of the airline? Tell us in the comments section.
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