A hot potato: With much of the world taking its first tentative steps toward exiting the lockdown, many are concerned about those environments where germs are rife, such as cruise ships and planes. In the case of the latter, one company is offering passengers extra space away from their neighbors—but it comes at a price.
Frontier Airlines has revealed that from May 8, customers can book an aisle or window seat in a ‘More Room’ row, which guarantees an empty middle seat. This means passengers will be around 21 inches away from the person next to them. There will be 18 More Room seats on every flight, and the scheme will run from Friday through August 31.
The More Rooms offer is part of the new health measures being brought in by the airline to protect against Covid-19 spread. These include the mandatory wearing of face coverings, increased disinfection procedures, added anti-bacterial hand soaps, and pre-boarding health screenings.
If you do want some extra space on a Frontier Airlines flight, it’ll cost an extra $39 to $89, depending on the route.
As noted by Ars Technica, every major US airline is making the wearing of face masks mandatory for passengers, but none are charging extra for the privilege of trying to avoid Covid-19. American Airlines has blocked off half its middle seats, and Alaska is blocking all of them. Delta is blocking bookings for middle seats and some others to space out passengers, while JetBlue and Southwest are limiting the number of tickets sold for each flight.
While some people might be happy to pay more to avoid sitting next to someone, the recirculated air in a plane cabin should be a bigger concern.