Enlarge /. A Frontier plane that landed in 2016 when it was crammed with other passengers was still profoundly uncomfortable, but didn't feel potentially life-threatening.
With schools and businesses closed, conferences and meetings canceled, and travel restrictions in effect, very few of us are currently flying anywhere. However, states and countries are slowly starting to get online again and finally travel – at least to a certain extent – again with a pickup.
However, commercial airplanes are essentially sardine cans in the air, in which germ-filled passengers are packed terribly close together and all breathe the same air. For those who need to travel or plan to do so for the rest of 2020, caution seems advisable. Passengers should wear masks, and airlines can help keep the distance between them by reducing capacity and leaving narrow, crowded seats empty for now.
No two airlines deal with the uncertain future like this. Frontier Airlines, however, relies on the worst nickel and diming impulses in the industry and will gladly let you gain a few centimeters of space from your neighbor and his body fluids for an additional fee.
Frontier promotes the new indictment as a "more room" promise. "We believe that the best measure to keep everyone healthy is to need facial coverings. For those who want a free space next to them for extra security or just extra comfort, we now offer & # 39; More space & # 39; "said Barry, CEO of Frontier Biffle said in a written statement.
The additional fee for a guaranteed empty middle seat is between $ 39 and $ 89 depending on the route. It will be in effect from this Friday and will run at least until the end of August, if not later. Frontier also requires facewear for all passengers in the gate area and on board aircraft, and will perform mandatory handwash and health checks before boarding.
Every other major U.S. airline also prescribes facial coverings for passengers, but none of them charge fees to passengers who try not to be inhaled. American has blocked half of the middle seats on its flights. Alaska is blocking them all. Delta not only blocks middle seat bookings, but also blocks seats in other configurations to more effectively place passengers. JetBlue limits the number of seats sold and "checks pre-flight seat assignments to ensure as much personal space as possible." Southwest, which does not assign seats to passengers, has reduced the number of tickets sold per flight, so all middle seats are unoccupied after boarding.
Spirit Airlines, which, like Frontier, is an ultra-low-cost airline and is known to charge passengers for hand baggage, says the middle seats will remain "free if possible".