We will fly again. But how?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

At some stage, we will be able to fly again.

easyJet will block the centre seat off to help achieve social distancing

But will the vast majority want to do that? How will airlines react and what promises should they make that air travel is safe?

The airline industry is currently hotly debating this in virtual boardrooms up throughout the world.

The existing practice is to try and fit as many people into a plane as possible so that it is difficult not to touch the passenger in an adjoining seat.

Yesterday easyJet announced that, as a temporary measure, they would leave the middle seat empty on the planes so that some form of social distancing was possible. That might get the planes flying again but with 60 empty seats what does their breakeven prices going to be for flights. And will they load the ticket prices with the costs of the empty seats or take a hit on their bottom line?

And how does the window passenger get past the aisle passenger when boarding the plane or popping of to the toilet whilst the flight is in progress. There will be some contact. Will that be sufficient to woo passengers back?

And what about larger planes with a 3:5:3 or 3:4:3 seat configurations? Will airlines block off middle seats in all three positions?

These planes usually are on long-haul flights but will people want to fly long-haul? In a year or two the vast majority might but in the next six months?

And how will we board and de-plane? At present you get in a queue at the gate and queue to enter the plane whilst the cabin crew check your boarding cards. Then you queue again to walk down the aisle usually bumping other people as they stow their luggage.

Getting off involves another queue.

How will airlines cope with us? Escort you off one-at-a time?

Tomorrow I take a look at other problems facing airlines.

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