LOW-cost airline from the United States, Jetblue eliminates the middle seat on a three-row bench in order to comply with health protocols to maintain distance, physical distancing, to prevent the spread of the corona virus (COVID-19). It will at least take effect from June until the holiday season in the US on July 4 next.
According to Jetblue representative Derek Dombrowski said we guarantee you will not sit next to strangers. If you see three people sitting side by side in a row of chairs, we make sure they are people who travel together.
“Other health protocols implemented are monitoring the body temperature of cabin crew and aircraft electrostatic fogging. “The middle bench will be blocked on an Airbus type aircraft and the bench near the aisle will be blocked on a smaller plane, Embraer 190,” Dombrowski said.
Meanwhile Jetblue COO Joanna Geraghty said as the lockdown rules were relaxed in the US more people were traveling by plane and we wanted them to feel safe with Jetblue.
Not only Jetblue, several US airlines have also committed to reducing passengers to maintain distance. American Airlines blocks 50% of the main cabin both the central bench and benches close to the stewardess seat.
But in practice, on recent’s one Twitter user uploaded how full the situation was in the cabin of an American Airlines flight. All rows of benches are full, maybe only 4 rows of benches that don’t. I have never felt so insecure in my life before.
United Airlines is also committed to vacating the middle seat, but with a note “when conditions permit”. Earlier this month, United Airlines met with a storm of criticism on social media when a passenger uploaded a selfie showing a crowded flight, with each seat occupied.
Ten days earlier, the same passenger had received a promotional email from United Airlines stating, “We automatically block the middle seat to give you more space on the board.”
The challenge for airlines is the supply and demand. At the same time more and more travelers, airlines only fly a small portion of the normal flight volume. The result is that many flights are more full than in the beginning of the pandemic. But JetBlue insists that they will do things differently.
“We proactively add extra flights as needed. If we have to do it in the short term, then that’s what we will do,” Dombrowski said.
He also explained, we think it’s important for our customers to realize that they won’t sit right next to someone they don’t travel to, so they feel better about flights. [antaranews/photo special]