Should airlines be banned from selling the middle seat until the pandemic ends?
At least one member of Congress thinks so and will be introducing legislation soon to do just that.
American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit, Sun Country, and Allegiant have all begun selling middle seats again.
Photographs of crowded cabins have begun to emerge around the country.
.@AmericanAir: how many Americans will die bc you fill middle seats, w/ your customers shoulder to shoulder, hour after hour. This is incredibly irresponsible. People eat & drink on planes & must take off masks to do so. No way you aren’t facilitating spread of COVID infections. pic.twitter.com/PWG5macqgC
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 2, 2020
That includes a tweet by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who criticized Americans Airlines for the decision.
Merkley now is on a mission to ban the sale of middle seats until the pandemic ends.
"It has to make a difference when someone is that close to you," Merkley said this week.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is one of the nation's foremost experts on the pandemic, also criticized airlines for selling those seats.
"I mean, obviously that is something of a concern," Fauci told a Senate panel last week.
POLICIES DIFFER FROM AIRLINE TO AIRLINE
Every airline is adopting a different policy when it comes to middle seats.
As of this writing, American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit, Sun Country, and Allegiant have all begun selling middle seats.
Meanwhile, carriers such as Alaska Airlines, Delta, Southwest, Frontier and Jet Blue are not selling those seats for now with many set to start selling them again in October.
COULD THIS ACTUALLY PASS?
Delta CEO Ed Bastian has been critical of airlines selling middle seats at this present time but he is against any congressional action.
"I am not an advocate for adding regulation at this point," Bastian told CNN this week.
That's key, because Republicans who control the Senate are likely to listen to the business community when it comes to future legislation.