But the union representing American Airlines pilots says the Federal Aviation Administration needs to do more to protect passengers and crew members from the coronavirus. They’re asking for industry-wide policies so no flights or airlines fall through the cracks.
“We called on the FAA to provide us some mandated policies. They essentially washed their hands of it, said it isn’t our job, we don’t have the authority, on and on they went,” said Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines pilot and a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, the pilot’s union. “On the airplane, we need definitive, mandated language for these things.”
Noting a recently publicized American Airlines flight that was 85% full, Tajer said there also needs to be clearer guidance about social distancing measures on planes.
“We cannot be placing people knowingly without social distancing as much as possible. We have flights going out with 10 people on it. To have flights going out with 140 [passengers], it doesn’t make sense,” Tajer said.
Tajer says his union has gone around the FAA to directly lobby elected officials for federal safety guidelines.
Community Reporting Series
“Chicago Tonight” is expanding its community reporting. We’re hitting the streets to speak with your neighbors, local businesses, agencies and leaders about COVID-19, the economy, racial justice, education and more. See where we’ve been and what we’ve learned by using the map below. Or select a community using the drop-down menu. Points in red represent our series COVID-19 Across Chicago; blue marks our series “Chicago Tonight” in Your Neighborhood.