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Major airlines now allow full flights

American Airlines and others will be bringing more passengers on board
Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 7:45 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - American Airlines joined Spirit and United Airlines Wednesday to begin allowing full flights.

With air travel picking up, major airlines like these will be filling their planes more than just half-capacity, like they have been for months during the pandemic.

The move is a controversial one among passengers like Marge Dales, who said one of her flights was socially distanced, but the other was not. “That was full,” she said. “You don’t feel very comfortable with that.”

Another airline passenger, Sasha Velasco, said most people were socially distancing and wearing masks on her flight. However, she worries about certain airlines’ next steps. “Fuller flights...yes, that makes me nervous. I’m hoping...that the flights stay, you know, as socially distanced as they are for now,” she explained.

American Airlines said they are ensuring that surfaces on their planes are thoroughly disinfected between flights and that passengers wear masks. “If customers refuse to wear the mask, we will limit their travel,” said Ralph Lopez, the vice president for American Airlines’ Integrated Operations Center.

However, there is still concern that things are returning to normal too soon.

“It worries me a great deal because the pandemic is just coming back in full force,” explained Dales.

“None of us thinks it’s a big deal until it affects someone we love and when it affects your mother or your father or your grandmother or your grandfather,” said Velasco. “And someone you love dies from this. That’s when you start thinking it’s real.”

In addition to wearing masks, American and other major airlines are also requiring passengers to fill out a health questionnaire before boarding.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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