American Airlines pilots want the U.S. government to buy middle seats on planes. Will it happen?
The American Airlines pilots union wants the government to buy some middle seats on all planes to keep people safe from COVID-19
The union representing pilots of American Airlines wants to see the U.S. government buy middle seats on flights to help promote social distancing on board, giving the airline a chance to continue flying, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Allied Pilots Association has promoted the Safe Essential Air Transportation Seating (SEATS) program, which would come as a second round of stimulus aid for airports during the coronavirus pandemic.
Allied Pilots Association President Eric Ferguson said this might be cheaper than the stimulus given to airlines earlier this year when the pandemic first began, Dallas Morning News reports.
The proposal requests the government buy the average number of seats at 2019 fares to make sure no one has to sit next to strangers on a passenger flight.
Per The Points Guy:
The concept aims to kill two birds with one stone. It would give flyers the appearance of social distance onboard a plane — something airline executives have said is physically impossible — while also allowing the industry to continue with business as usual. Business as usual would mean no furloughs or layoffs once the protections under the government’s first aid package, the CARES Act, expire on Sept. 30.
The proposal comes as airports raise questions about how to flying during the coronavirus pandemic. American Airlines has asked for passengers to wear face masks on flights, though that has not been a policy shared by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the Dallas Morning News.