Travel restrictions for airlines

Olivia Patterson, Reporter

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has not grounded flights departing from Meadows Field Airport, despite the spread of COVID-19 virus to Kern County. 

“Newsom’s order marks the first statewide mandatory restrictions in the United States to help combat the outbreak. It went into effect at midnight Thursday, meaning Californians should not leave home except for essential things such as food, prescriptions, health care and commuting to jobs considered crucial,’’ according to CNN. 

In some places there are more strict travel restrictions that prohibit residents “from going anywhere besides the supermarket or pharmacy after 9 p.m. curfew,” Carlos Colvin, a resident living in one of these affected areas, said. “They risk getting a $5,000 fine or six months in jail.” 

For plane travel, the United States had travel advisories put in place within the U.S for non domestic flights. 

As of March 16 flights to and from Italy have dropped 74% and Hong Kong flights down to 81% but nevertheless domestic flights have still not been grounded.  The Canadian- US border and Mexico-US borders are closed for non-essential travel except for certain exempt people such as diplomats and Canadian or American citizens. Because of the ban,  “international flight cancellations have cost the airlines $880 billion,“ as of March 20, according to data from the OAG Aviation Worldwide

But in order for airlines to make a profit, they need a plane to be 65% filled to capacity. However, with the restrictions recommended by Trump of no more than 10 people congregating and the CDC recommending no more than 50 people, it puts pressure on  to keep operating in order to not lose any more revenue.  

American Airlines has offered  “the option to change or cancel a flight without a fee change or cancellation fee and have taken additional precautions by sitting people in a row by themselves only if room permits but the planes are empty enough to be able to do this,”  Cathy, an American Airline stewardess said. Before take off, during their safety briefing they advise customers to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and that if they need to cough, please do this into a napkin or their sleeve,” the stewardess continued. With the possibility of sitting in the wrong seat, touching a tray table or arm rest that may be contaminated it’s easy to see why people are following orders to self quarantine. 

With the COVID-19 threat, one should think of all their options before traveling and about what is the best thing that you can do to protect you and your family.