While the U.S. is still struggling with a raging pandemic, American Airlines has decided its time to return to its regular flying schedule, throwing social distancing measures out the door. The airline must know this is a controversial move as it announced it quietly in one of its press releases about its new Travel Health Advisory Panel and a COVID-19 symptom checklist.
The firm did state that it was looking to bring increased levels of health and safety and was receiving support from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center to do so.
“We are proud to be advising a worldwide aviation leader like American Airlines as it works diligently to bring a new level of health and safety to the skies. As part of the Travel Health Advisory Panel, our infectious disease experts are working closely with leaders at American to help them identify and apply COVID-19 safety and infection prevention best practices for their team members and passengers around the world,” said in the statement M.D., Ph.D. Jeff Balser, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Another thing that the airline did add was that it would allow passengers booked on very crowded flights to change seats or flights at no extra cost. The firm also took the chance to remind the public that it disinfects every aircraft by applying an electrostatic spray inside the aircraft every seven days which kills 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria within 10 minutes.
The firm also added that it is the only network airline to use a product on EPA List N which provides continued seven-day protection against SARS-CoV-2 and that it has expanded the frequency of cleaning in airport areas under its control.
Although it's a relief to hear that the firm is taking such measures, we can't help but feel it might be a little too early to be filling up airplanes with people. Time will tell how this will play out.