Dr. Ethan Weiss is a cardiologist working in New York City hospitals at the front line against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It was finally his time to board a plane and go home. However, there was one thing that he noticed. Nearly every seat in the United Airlines plane remained filled despite their commitment to practice social distancing.
United Airlines plane filled with passengers
Going back to San Francisco, Dr. Weiss felt shocked to see that the plane he boarded stayed full of passengers. The doctor took to Twitter to express his dismay on how United Airlines currently handles the situation especially with COVID-19 at the rise. He, then, noted that it would be his last time flying again for a very long time.
“I guess @united is relaxing their social distancing policy these days? Every seat full on this 737″
Commitment to social distancing?
In another tweet, Dr. Weiss detailed the e-mail that United had sent him ten days before boarding his plane. Sent on April 30, the e-mail noted that “Safety has always been our top priority, and because of that, the social distancing and cleaning procedures that have become a way of life for all of us are now staples of the way we run our airline.”
The e-mail also said, “We’re boarding fewer customers at a time and starting from the back of the plane to avoid crowding in the gate area, on the jet bridge, and in the aisle. We’re automatically blocking middle seats to give you enough space onboard, requiring all our employees on board, including our flight attendants, to wear masks and, in early May, making masks available to our customers.”
As a part of 25 doctors and nurses who had been working in New York hospitals for the past two to four weeks, United Airlines flew them for free. Dr. Weiss also pointed out that the company should have communicated better. He, then, noted that they shouldn’t have told them that the middle seats would be empty if they won’t do it anyway.
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.