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COVID policy

Jonesbbkr
New Arrival

As a business traveler I am in a position where flying is required. While I understand revenue is needed to survive as a company I am struggling to accept the “middle seats open” policy SWA had in place for most of 2020  ( due to the severity of the pandemic) has been lifted. I keep hearing “we are concerned for the safety of our passengers” but what I see is we are concerned about revenue. It is very discouraging that I feel this way, but when a policy implemented due to the severity of the the pandemic is lifted when the pandemic is even worse than what it was when the policy was put in place, what else am I to think?

 

7 REPLIES 7

Re: COVID policy

dfwskier
Top Contributor
Solution

I believe you are mistaken about why middle seats were left open. It wasn't due to the severity of the virus, but instead was due to the uncertainty about how it was spread.

 

Over time, studies revealed that the probability of getting the virus on a plane is exceedingly small -- one study said 1 in 400,000 to 1 in 600,000. Basically an unmasked virus carrier hasto cough in an unmasked face to have a significant possibility of disease spread.  In response to the new information more and more airlines started selling middle seats.

 

At this point I believe Delta is the only airline that is still  blocking middle seats.  

Re: COVID policy

skuehl14
New Arrival

Could you refer me to the studies you mention?

Re: COVID policy

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@skuehl14 wrote:

Could you refer me to the studies you mention?


 

"This research is bolstered by another recent study from the IATA which concluded the “risk of contracting the virus on board appears to be in the same category as being struck by lightning,” in the words of CEO and Director General Alexandre de Juniac. Earnest on Thursday stressed that United Airlines, as other airlines said in September, is reporting lower infection rates among its flight attendants than among the general U.S. population. 

 

44. That’s the known number of confirmed Covid-19 cases transmitted on airplanes among the 1.2 billion passengers who have traveled this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA)."

 

By my math that is 44 divided by 1,200,000,000 = .0000000367.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2020/10/15/study-risk-of-covid-19-transmission-on-planes-v...

 

As apoint of comparison, your chances of dying in a car crash during your lifetime is a little less than 1% --- .01

 

https://www.thedrive.com/news/18985/lifetime-odds-of-dying-in-a-car-crash-at-1-in-102

Re: COVID policy

ffflyer
Active Member

If you are concerned then fly Delta. Delta is blocking middle seats through at least the end of March, 2021.

https://news.delta.com/deltas-safety-measures-personalized-experiences-and-exclusive-gift-ideas-brin...

Re: COVID policy

Palacios69
New Arrival
This policy tracker summarizes the key economic responses governments are taking to limit the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Re: COVID policy

skuehl14
New Arrival

I wish I had seen this post before making my own. I completely agree. If they want to book middle seats fine--but don't mislead the customer into thinking it will be open until just a few days before the flight. 

Re: COVID policy

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@skuehl14 wrote:

I wish I had seen this post before making my own. I completely agree. If they want to book middle seats fine--but don't mislead the customer into thinking it will be open until just a few days before the flight. 


That's not what is happening. The airline is letting people know that their flight will have a significant number of filled middle seats as soon as it is aware of that fact.

 

I was notified on 12/13/20 that my 12/30/20 flight would fit the category.