A friend recently flew Dallas to Boston on American Airlines (AA2579). He was accompanied by his 15-year-old son.
Has American adopted my dream scheme and blocked off the middle seats except for families traveling together? Not exactly! In fact, my friend and his son were both parked in middle seats, but not in the same row. Each was seated next to two strangers. Everyone was supposed to be wearing a mask on the flight, but a guy sitting next to my friend was not wearing a mask and was, in fact, coughing. The family now has direct seat-adjacency exposure to four unrelated people (would have been 0 under my plan!).
The Boeing 737-800 was almost 100-percent full. There were no special boarding or unboarding procedures for plague-minimization. It was the usual Fall of Saigon attempt to get everyone into seats and bags into overheads. I asked if people had to raise hands to get sequenced for using the bathroom and the answer was “no”.
What about the luxurious cuisine and wine list for which American Airlines is justly renowned? “They handed everyone a bag with a bottle of water and a snack at boarding.” The flight attendants came through the aisles only towards the end to pick up trash.
The wife is a medical doctor. She decided to place both father and son into home quarantine on their return!
Readers: How much would you have been happy to pay for this experience?
Vaguely related, my most recent flight on American Airlines, Miami to DCA back in February:
Disclosure: As a former Delta Airlines (proud union) employee, American is the frenemy!