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December 2019 News Tour Operator News Tourism Industry Travel Agent Travel News

Flying Spirit Airlines During COVID-19 Pandemic

Flying on a plane is different these days, and I wanted to see first-hand what the “new normal” of air travel is like.

Everybody loves a good deal, and those can certainly be found on a budget airline like Spirit Airlines.

Some people have a lot of strong opinions about Spirit, but to them, I would say – have you tried flying on them recently with their new seats?

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic though, the only concern about seats right now is centered around cleanliness.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

So, how is Spirit ensuring passenger health and safety?

“It’s a multi-layered approach, from face coverings to hands disinfecting and cleaning onboard the aircraft, HEPA filters inside the airplane filtering the air,” Spirit Airlines Atlanta Station Manager Barry Payne said. “[It’s] very multilayered to ensure that everyone traveling is safe.”

The blocking of middle seats has become a hot button issue in the airline industry.

When asked what Spirit’s current plans for middle seats are, Payne said they are “selling all seats onboard the aircraft but the middle seats aren’t being assigned until there is a need, so we’re spacing people out as most as we can until the seats are needed onboard.”

With more people on board, more responsibility falls on the flight attendants to stay diligent and uphold that all passengers are following the new rules.

On the trip, I witnessed flight attendants washing their hands and using hand sanitizer more than I’ve ever seen before, as well as on multiple occasions they had to remind passengers to either put their masks back on or make sure their mask covers their mouth and their nose.

Even the Sprit gate agent at Atlanta did something I hadn’t seen before, pausing the boarding the process to tell the “gate lice” – the people who hover around the gate waiting to board even though it’s not their zone – to back up and leave until it’s actually their time to board the plane.

She did it in a true professional manner, but I wanted to echo her words with “sit and wait your turn!”

On my flight home, people were acting more responsible and it was a socially distant boarding process.

And for those wondering, wearing a mask throughout the flight wasn’t unbearable. I ate dinner in the terminal away from other people and there wasn’t a need to open my mask in flight.

Air travel isn’t what it once was and may never be that way again. There is no doubt a stronger emphasis on cleanliness and once this pandemic is over, that same approach needs to continue.