Flyers Rights releases Air Travel Social Distancing and Stimulus Plan
Better social distancing on planes is attainable and would decrease the spread of COVID-19
So far the airlines have been given merely a band-aid to the problem of depressed passenger demand
The FlyersRights.org plan requires airlines to limit passenger load factors to 50% or 65%
FlyersRights.org released its Air Travel Social Distancing and Stimulus Plan in response to President Biden’s Executive Order calling on federal agencies to explore and implement additional COVID-19 mitigation measures in air travel.
Paul Hudson, President of FlyersRights.org, explained. “The purpose of the Social Distancing and Stimulus Plan is to increase passenger confidence in the safety of air travel by actually increasing the safety of air travel. Better social distancing on planes is attainable and would decrease the spread of COVID-19. What the airlines have asked for and have been given is merely a band-aid to the problem of depressed passenger demand.”
The FlyersRights.org plan requires airlines to limit passenger load factors to 50% or 65%. The federal government would purchase a sufficient number of seats, and keep them unoccupied, to enable airlines to operate at a profit-generating 80% passenger load factor. In return, the federal government would get back a percentage of seats in the future for federal government employee travel. Throughout the pandemic, airlines have kept passenger load factors around 46% to 52% while increasing the number of flights offered, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
“Many passengers see the horror stories of full flights and decide to not risk traveling, ” Paul Hudson noted. “If passengers were guaranteed their flight would not be more than 50% or 65% full, more people would travel. The cost of the plan is similar to the cost of the three airline bailouts in 2020-2021 but would result in a moderate profit for the airlines rather than a large loss.”
The federal government has not passed any air travel COVID-19 mitigation measures beyond a mask rule, and only one airline has a policy of not putting passengers in middle seats. Meanwhile, the CDC still recommends against air travel unless necessary.