Big 4 airlines take on coronavirus with new safety measures
United Airlines adds safety procedures, ticket changes; Sicily tries to tempt tourists
Fox Business Briefs: United Airlines makes several moves to ensure the safety of passengers and crew; Italian island of Sicily is reportedly offering a deal for tourists saying it will cover half of the flight costs and a third of hotel expenses for travelers.
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The largest of the U.S. airlines joined its competitors on Friday in creating safety measures the industry has never seen before as they all attempt to get their businesses flying again in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.
Southwest, which according to recent U.S. Department of Transportation data claimed 20 percent of U.S. air passengers wtih more than 132 million fliers, unveiled a series of safety measures from capping bookings at around 79 passengers on its Boeing 737-700s and about 102 passengers on its 737-800s to creating "multiple layers of stringent cleaning and disinfecting" to having passengers wear face masks. If passengers do not have a face-covering one will be provided.
Top U.S. Airlines
American Airlines was the first carrier to announce it will offer face masks to its customers earlier this week. On Thursday the offer became mandatory with a mask-wearing policy for all who board its planes, starting on May 11.
“The American Airlines team continues to prioritize the safety of our customers and team members, and requiring a face covering is one more way we can protect those on our aircraft,” said Kurt Stache, the senior vice president of customer experience at American Airlines, in a Thursday press release.
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American's decision came within hours of Jet Blue and Delta Air Lines which will institute the requirements May 4. Frontier Airlines also said on Thursday its face mask policy will begin May. 8. In addition, Delta is informing passengers that the masks should be worn at check-in counters, Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gate areas and jet bridges
|AAL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.||10.64||-1.37||-11.41%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HLDG.||26.62||-2.96||-10.01%|
|DAL||DELTA AIR LINES INC.||24.12||-1.79||-6.91%|
But masks are just part of the myriad of measures the airlines are implementing to ensure safety.
United is instituting a type of social distancing policy with middle seats not being made available. According to the airline travel site, The Points Guy, Delta and Alaska Airlines are also not selling some seats capping sales in cabins by as much as 60 percent of available seats
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Frontier is taking the step of asking passengers to fill out a health acknowledgment form before boarding its aircrafts.
“We want our passengers to feel comfortable when flying with us by protecting themselves and their fellow travelers as we all navigate the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Barry Biffle, the CEO of Frontier Airlines, in a company statement. “This new measure is aligned with CDC recommendations and those of many municipalities within the U.S. that include wearing a face covering when out in public.”