CDC provides another excuse to avoid American Airlines like the plague

Henrietta Brewer
July 1, 2020

"Obviously, that's something that is of concern", Dr. Fauci said.

The large airline carrier announced on Friday that flights will be at capacity again, meaning middle seats will be filled.

The airline has said it will add additional flights to routes where demand outpaces the limited capacity.

Also addressing the panel, top US infectious diseases official Anthony Fauci called American's decision "of concern".

Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a Senate hearing that there was "substantial disappointment" with American, given many airlines are keeping middle seats open.

This change in American Airlines' policy also comes at an inopportune time, shall we say.

While flights will be able to booked to full capacity, American Airlines will continue to notify customers when the flight is crowded and let them move to a more open flight if it's available.

Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, and Redfield made the comments in response to questioning by Sen. Additionally, if passengers board a flight that's not completely full, they'll be allowed to move another seat within their ticketed cabin.

"We don't think it's the right message", Redfield said. Masks will continue to be required for passengers and American Airlines crews. Sanders, an independent from Vermont, pressed the officials on how full flights square with the message from public health experts that people should stay six feet apart to prevent transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Most major airlines are now operating flights at a capped maximum of passengers, to help ensure that passengers aren't crowded inside like sardines at a time when we're all supposed to be doing our best to socially distance from each other. Some days, there were fewer than 100,000 people flying in the United States, a level not seen since the 1950s, except in the days following the September 2001 terror attacks.

Starting Wednesday, however, American Airlines is resuming the sale of the entirety of its planes' seats, so that you could conceivably board a full flight soon if you choose to fly with the airline. Budget carrier Spirit Airlines does not.

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