Passenger on American Air “Paid the Price” to Avoid COVID
If you have to fly during this COVID-19 pandemic, chances are you're worried about catching the virus. One passenger aboard a recent American Airlines flight from Boston to Cleveland wasn't taking any chances.
American employees knew something was going to be different on this flight when they were told that there were 66 seats sold, with a total passenger list of 51 people. So, what happened to the other 15 people who bought tickets?
It turns out that one passenger "bought up" the first four rows in business class for himself this past weekend, in an effort to guarantee social distance from other passengers, according to an airline employee. The single flyer sat in the first row of business class giving him the extra legroom and the barrier that separated himself from first-class, plus the additional three empty rows of seats, eight per row with four on each side of the isle, which created his own customized "safe" space.
How much did that cost, you ask? Well, the purchase of 16 seats, four on each side of the isle, cost $400 each for a total of $6,400.
Was it Worth It?
I guess, if you have the money to waste, what's the harm, right? And if it made the passenger feel safe and happy, who are we to criticize? According to a flight attendant on board, it was hard to tell whether or not the passenger was happy because you can't see a person's facial expressions through a mask. The flight attendant did say the flight was a smooth one and the passenger was cordial during the rather uneventful 2-hour jaunt to The Rock and Roll Capital of the World.
Was there a Better Option?
A taxi (with a plexiglass barrier between the front and back seat) from Quincy Market in Boston, to Cleveland, would have taken about 10.5 hours for a cost of approximately $1,892.20, according to Taxi-Calculator.com. A private room and bunk aboard an Amtrak train starts at just $400 and would take about 14 hours. Finally, a limousine fully stocked with ice cold Lager from the Great Lakes Brewing Company and a Banter Polish Boy sandwich would take about 11 hours and would cost somewhere in the range of $2,200 or more, depending on the service.
By the way, on average the total time needed to fly starting from a hotel in Boston and arriving at your front door in Cleveland - including travel to and from the airport, check-in with baggage and everything in between - is about 6-7 hours, providing you're able to avoid Cleveland's notorious construction delays.
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