No More Middle Seats and Reduced Food and Beverage Service On-Board
Travel demand has declined tremendously in the last few weeks but there are still planes in the sky as some people still need to travel for work or personal matters. If flying is not necessary right now, then avoid flying at all or even leaving your house to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus. Airlines are refunding fares or letting you change flights for no fee.
If you are still flying you might notice some big changes on-board. Some of the major domestic airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Southwest and American Airlines have all announced this week that they are temporarily cutting back on beverage and meal service. This is a cost cutting measure and also a necessity for your safety as it limits interaction aboard. Airlines are also reassigning seats to avoid travelers sitting next to each other.
Starting March 27th, American Airlines will no longer serve meals in first class on flights shorter than 4.5 hours. Purchases of snacks and food in main cabin have been canceled as well. Beverages will be available upon request only. The airlines will no longer sell alcohol in economy. American is also reassigning seats so travelers don’t have to sit next to someone else. So middle seats will usually be empty, but more likely you will have even more space than that. We have seen plenty of images of nearby completely empty flights.
Delta Air Lines is reducing the number of snack offerings to two on domestic and some shorter international flights effective immediately. First class passengers will get boxed meals. Alcoholic drinks will be completely eliminated on-board. The only beverage available to order will be bottled water. First class will no longer have things such as glassware and hot towels either. Additionally Delta Sky Club lounges have cut back food and beverage offerings, stopped shower service and completely closed in most locations.
Southwest has suspended beverage and snack service to limit close public interactions between customers and flight attendants. Canned water will be made available by request only. Southwest doesn’t offer first class service.
So if you are still flying, make sure to prepare accordingly. Maybe eat and before boarding and try your best to stay six feet apart from other travelers. That should be as difficult as usual since airports and flight are quite empty for now.
Please be safe! The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Check out the CDC website for more information. During this coronavirus pandemic try your best to:
- Stay home if you can and avoid gatherings of more than ten people. This is extremely important for older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease etc.
- Practice social distancing by keeping a distance of about six feet from others if you must go out in public.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.