Passenger says social distancing not possible aboard full American Airlines flight out of New York City
Woman posted video of full plane to Twitter
Air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic is at record lows.
American Airlines suspended more than 60% of its flights in April, and the air carrier plans to suspend 80% of its flight capacity in May.
However, at least one passenger is concerned that the limited flight options are leading to full flights in some cases and not allowing for social distancing.
After more than a month of self-quarantine in Brooklyn, Erin Strine flew to her hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina to be with her family after her grandmother passed away.
"My grandmother passed away recently and so I felt it was important to be here with my family," Strine said.
She did not expect the experience she had flying from JFK to Charlotte.
Strine posted this video to twitter showing passengers seated next to each other, some not wearing masks.
Well silly me thinking that an airline would adhere to social distancing guidelines. Currently abroad a nearly full @AmericanAir flight and I’ve never felt less safe or cared for in my entire life pic.twitter.com/sx5STfHKBI— erin strine (@ErinStrine) April 25, 2020
"I just started to panic,” Strine said. “I had people on both sides of me. Every row around me, next to me, behind me, were completely full."
In a statement American Airlines told WBTV, “To encourage social distancing, gate agents will reassign seats to create more space between customers. Once on board- customers can move to another seat subject within their ticketed cabin subject to availability.”
The spokesperson did not comment on situations when this is not an option, WBTV reports.
"They actually came over the speakers to say the flight was nearly full and that people would not be able to move seats to social distance," Strine said.
As for masks, the airline says the CDC is not requiring them for passengers aboard flights.
"I really felt like my life and the life of everyone around me was at risk,” Strine said. “I just sat there silently crying into my mask because I was really overwhelmed by how unsafe I felt."
Strine said she will be canceling her return flight and driving back to Brooklyn.
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