Summary List Placement
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines were the two largest airlines in the US before the pandemic, each generating billions in revenue each year and boasting the largest fleets of any global airline. Both offered similar products with the choice between the two coming down to factors like customer preference, price, and loyalty.
The divide between them widened during the pandemic, however, thanks to one key factor: safety. While Delta blocked middle seats through for most of 2020, American filed its planes to capacity as early as the summer.
I flew on both carriers in June 2020 on my first trip back to the skies since the pandemic began and found Delta to be a far sight better than American, largely because of the former’s above and beyond approach to safety. But as we enter a new year in aviation’s recovery, I wanted to see just how the two were faring nearly one year since COVID-19 upended aviation.
I took three flights across both airlines on a recent trip, flying from New York to Miami on American and then from Houston, Texas to Los Angeles via Salt Lake City on Delta. The result was surprising, especially as the US continues to see record COVID-19-related deaths and a slow-going vaccine rollout.
Here’s which one handled pandemic flying the best in 2021.
My first flight on American took me from New York to Miami on one of the airline’s most popular routes. Florida has become a travel hotspot due to lax restrictions and airlines are angling to take advantage.
When I checked in, I was required to acknowledge that I didn’t have any COVID-19 symptoms and I haven’t been exposed to nor tested positive for the illness. This is standard practice across all major US airlines now but enforcement has proved tricky.
Read more: United banned a Hawaii couple from flying after police said they tested positive for COVID-19 and then boarded a 6-hour flight
Check-in at LaGuardia Airport was filled with social distancing measures including plexiglass partitions at ticket counters and spaced kiosks. The same can be found at airports across American’s network as is the airline’s new safety standard.
Ticket in hand, I headed to the gate through LaGuardia’s newly-renovated Terminal B and arrived at the gate a few minutes before boarding. It was decently crowded and I was expecting a full flight.
Here, there were more plexiglass partitions, social distancing stanchions, and even floor placards to remind folks of social distance and of the new onboard mask requirements.
The digital signage at the gate didn’t do much to convey the safety message. Using this signage to promote the airline’s safety measures can help flyers feel comfortable that the airline is doing everything they can to keep their customers safe, as it did for me on my first flight back.
American does, however, send a push notification to those with the airline’s mobile application saying that the aircraft has been disinfected and reminding passengers to social distance.
The flight was off to a good start but quickly …read more
Source:: Business Insider