MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Most airports are pretty empty right now because not that many flights are coming and going.
But some flights in Pittsburgh have been surprisingly full, sparking concern among passengers who say airlines are not doing enough to keep them safe.
A viewer sent us photos of a packed Allegiant flight Monday morning. She said passengers were crammed shoulder to shoulder, just inches apart.
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Channel 11’s Jillian Hartmann reached to the airline, and they sent the following statement:
“We take a multi-faceted approach to health and safety on board our aircraft. It starts with our cleaning process, which has always met guidelines established by the CDC and WHO. Since March, we have also been treating our aircraft with an anti-microbial solution that kills any virus, germ or bacteria that comes into contact with a treated surface. The air quality on our planes exceeds HEPA standards thanks to our VOC (volatile organic compound) filters, which remove additional organic compounds.”
“We space passengers out on flights when practicable. However, as more states re-open and people decide to fly again, this won’t always be possible. That’s why we distribute complimentary health and safety kits that include a face mask, gloves and sanitizing wipes. We strongly encourage passengers to wear face masks, and find that most of our customers have already adopted this as a practice. It looks as though the passengers in your photos are wearing their masks.”
Other major airlines like United and American are blocking out seats on flights, but as planes get fuller, it's not a guarantee.
A local travel agent said with hardly any flights going in and out, there are fewer nonstops and flights are filling up fast, which then jacks up the ticket prices.
“I think it’s going to take some time for the airlift to catch up with the demand because so many flights have been canceled or suspended,” said Mollie Fitzgerald, co-owner of Frontiers International Travel,.
Going to the airport and getting on a plane is a whole new experience now, and things will look very different. Travelers are now required to wear a face covering.
At the Pittsburgh International Airport, there are new rules in place to keep you safe.
Passengers are now greeted with a plastic barrier at the check in counter, 6-foot social distancing markers, and signs will show you where to go and stand. There are also brand-new floor scrubbers with ultraviolet lights. Pittsburgh is the first airport to use them.
Airport officials said they've seen an uptick in travel recently as more people are feeling safer and more confident to travel.
“And we are partnering with other parts of the industry to make sure the whole journey you feel good about, not just at our airport, but you have to feel good on the plane and feel good on the other end when you get off the planes,” said Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
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