WASHINGTON, 29, 2021: Talk about creative marketing; here is
one that requires governments to buy half the aircraft seats on domestic
flights to enable safe social distancing in the cabin, says FlyersRights.org.
But whatever the government buys now, it gets a credit to
redeem the seats once the pandemic scare is over.
It released its Air Travel Social Distancing and Stimulus
Plan at the weekend in response to President Biden’s Executive Order calling on
federal agencies to explore and implement additional Covid-19 mitigation
measures in air travel.
FlyersRights.org president Paul Hudson 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 travelling,” 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.
The plan can be found at: https://flyersrights.org/air-travel-stimulus-plan/
FlyersRights.org, established in 2007, is the largest
airline passenger organization.