Physical distancing protocol is reported to be ending officially on both Air Canada and WestJet on July 1st.
Canada’s two largest airlines ending their on-board seat distancing policies is raising health concerns among many. Previously both had blocked the sale of adjacent seats in economy class throughout the entire plane, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The carriers said Friday they will revert to health recommendations from the United Nation’s aviation agency and the International International Air Transport Association (IATA) trade group.
At this time, it appears unlikely that passengers who have already booked a ticket and feel uncomfortable with the new set up will get a refund. Instead, ticket holders uncomfortable with boarding a full plane can rebook for free, the airlines say.
While Transport Canada recommends physical distancing on flights to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s not law.
Passengers will still be given pre-boarding temperature checks, and masks will be mandatory. Also airlines have implemented measures like enhanced aircraft cleaning, but, experts note, despite these measures, consumers may still be taking a risk.
American Airlines also announced Friday that it will start booking flights to full capacity starting next Wednesday.
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