A Florida man traveling to and from Boston to visit his father on his deathbed was shocked when he discovered a packed flight on his return trip home.
Jimmy Solari, of St. Johns County, first took to Facebook on Friday to share his disgust with how nonchalant people seemed to be at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where he was catching a connecting flight.
‘Apparently Chicago O’Hare doesn’t give a s**t about social distancing,’ he said, sharing a photo of people comfortably seated at a bar. Only a woman in passing appears to be in a mask.
He added: ‘Get me out of here! #fail #coronavirus #newsworthy.’
Jimmy Solari was disgusted with how nonchalant people seemed to be at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport
Solari then posted photos of a packed flight he was on, that was headed to Jacksonville.
‘Full flight,’ he shared. ‘Business as usual for American Airlines. Does the FAA and CDC know about this s**t?? Coming from MA which is on a semi-lockdown to this is unnerving.’
The father was disturbed by how many people weren’t practicing proper social distancing measures.
‘Some of the passengers were wearing masks, some were not,’ Solari explained to WJAX.
The Florida man was catching a connecting American Airlines flight there after going to Boston to see his father on his deathbed. He said most on the flight were not wearing masks
‘It appears the seats were two by two and all the way back it looks like a full flight,’ he stated
He later added: ‘The bartender was leaning on the bar with no mask on. There were people standing arm in arm without masks on.’
On the plane, Solari was just as worried as he was in the terminal.
‘It appears the seats were two by two and all the way back it looks like a full flight,’ he stated.
Solari got tested for the coronavirus, after the flight. He took both the antibody test and the traditional test, with the antibody one coming back negative.
Solari got tested for the coronavirus, after the flight. He took both the antibody test and the traditional test, with the antibody one coming back negative
As of Monday, as passengers on American Airlines flights are required to wear masks. The only exception is when food or drinks are being consumed.
The airline is also ‘restricting access to some seats, when possible, to give you more space.’ It also said, ‘when time and flight loads permit, gate agents may move your seat as needed to help create a more comfortable environment.’
In a statement, American Airlines said that it was limiting the number of passengers on flights through May 31.
‘As part of this limit, American will not assign 50% of main cabin middle seats or seats near flight attendant jump seats on every flight, and will only use those middle seats when necessary,’ the airline added in the statement.
‘Gate agents will also continue to reassign seats to create more space between customers or to accommodate families who need to be seated together. Once on board — as long as there aren’t any aircraft weight or balance restrictions — customers can move to another seat within their ticketed cabin subject to availability.
‘On flights that don’t have middle seats (which was this flight – a regional E-175 aircraft from ORD to JAX), we are blocking seats strategically throughout the cabin.
‘If a customer is booked, and does not want to fly: We are waiving change fees for all customers who have travel booked through Sept. 30, 2020. This enables customers to rebook immediately – or in the future – and retain the full amount of the ticket they paid without incurring any change fees. Customers need to complete travel by Dec. 31, 2021, and have the ability to change their origin and destination as well.’
US Airlines are Burning $10 BILLION in Cash Every Month as Demand Plummets
US airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash a month and averaging fewer than two dozen passengers per domestic flight because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even after grounding more than 3,000 aircraft, industry trade group Airlines for America said its member carriers, which include the four largest US airlines, were averaging just 17 passengers per domestic flight and 29 passengers per international flight.
‘The U.S. airline industry will emerge from this crisis a mere shadow of what it was just three short months ago,’ the group’s chief executive, Nicholas Calio, said during a prepared testimony at the US Senate on Wednesday.
Net booked passengers have fallen by nearly 100 percent year-on-year, according to the testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee.
The group warned that if air carriers were to refund all tickets, including those purchased as non-refundable or those canceled by a passenger instead of the carrier, ‘this will result in negative cash balances that will lead to bankruptcy.’
US airlines have canceled hundreds of thousands of flights, including 80 percent or more of scheduled flights into June as U.S. passenger traffic has fallen by 95 percent since March.
While major US airlines have individually mandated facial coverings, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declined to implement the requirement, and it is not clear if the agency has the authority to compel passengers to wear face masks.
In a statement on Tuesday, the FAA said it would continue to engage in discussions about protecting the health and safety of flight crews and the traveling public and was ‘lending aviation expertise to federal public health agencies and airlines as they issue guidance for crew members, including health monitoring, screening protocols and aircraft cleaning’.
Several airline union groups have called for a federal mandate on measures including masks, social distancing and cleaning.
‘Airlines are implementing policies on the fly with essentially no coordination or direction from the federal government,’ said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 19 airlines.
‘We need federal requirements that mitigate risk during this pandemic and put the safety of crews and the traveling public first.’
Last month, American Airlines released a series of new safety guidelines in response to the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
From May 1 all flight attendants were required to wear face coverings on board. That order will be extended to all passengers from 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, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. ‘We ask customers to bring their own masks or face coverings they’re comfortable with when they travel. American is working to procure face masks and hand sanitizer as a supplement.’
American also introduced enhanced cleaning procedures on and off board, extending the efforts to ticket counters and waiting areas.