Air Canada and WestJet to end social distancing policies and people are outraged
Air Canada and WestJet will be putting an end to their social distancing policies in less than a week, and Canadians are in an uproar.
Both airlines announced on Friday they'll be switching back to boarding planes at full capacity on July 1, as opposed to blocking the sale of adjacent economy class seats to prevent the spread of COVID-19 like they've been doing.
The social distancing guidelines they've been following were handed down in a document from Transport Canada, but last month the International Air Transport Association called for an end to in-flight physical distancing.
WestJet and Air Canada will be reverting to guidelines from the IATA and United Nations.
Face masks will still required on board, pre-boarding temperature checks will be performed and hot drink and food service will still suspended.
Canadians on social media are, to put it mildly, "shocked."
Why are Air Canada and WestJet permitted to ignore social distancing when no other companies can?— julia (@gimletgirl10) June 27, 2020
Some are wondering why it is that Air Canada and West Jet seem like they're going to be following totally different rules than many other businesses.
@WestJet @AirCanada , I am extremely disappointed in you. I was actually considering flying this month. Not anymore😫🤯 #COVID-19 #socialdistancing Air Canada will end physical distancing on flights starting July 1 | https://t.co/e1xftBsC8T https://t.co/eaVPqpWiac— Courtney Richter (@CourtMRichter) June 27, 2020
One person that said they were considering flying this month even said they changed their mind due to this announcement.
I will never fly Air Canada again and will be sure to tell anyone I know not to if you don’t reverse your decision to ignore social distancing rules. Unbelievable.— julia (@gimletgirl10) June 27, 2020
Another vowed they'd never fly Air Canada again if the decision isn't reversed.
Another person wrote that they "recognize that the airline industry is getting shattered" but feels these airlines "are moving far too quickly."
I’m really disappointed that @WestJet and @AirCanada are putting profits ahead of health and safety. #WestJet #AirCanada #SocialDistancing— Avi B. (@avijustin) June 27, 2020
The majority opinion overall on social media seems to be that people are concerned about aircraft booked at full capacity bringing on a second wave of COVID-19, and that the health of the population should take precedence over the travel industry.
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