airline-union-boss-calls-federal-coronavirus-response-'the-strangest-thing-that-i-have-ever-experienced'

Airline union boss calls federal coronavirus response 'the strangest thing that I have ever experienced'

domestic travel confusion and countries across the world limiting American tourists.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>The U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to domestic travel confusion and countries across the world limiting American tourists.

“This has been the strangest thing that I have ever experienced in my 25 years on the job,” Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), said on Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round (video above). “I have never seen before that an administration has not put forward a plan to deal with an epidemic, a communicable disease pandemic. There is no plan in place, and there is no instruction from the federal government.”

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Map by David Foster, Yahoo Finance

largely avoided implementing any kind of guidelines on a national level as he continues pushing towards a full reopening of the U.S. economy.” data-reactid=”42″ type=”text”>Much of Nelson’s frustration arises for the lack of national policy related to travel safety measures on masks, social distancing, and cleaning. President Trump has largely avoided implementing any kind of guidelines on a national level as he continues pushing towards a full reopening of the U.S. economy.

“What we’re seeing — because we don’t have that kind of federal backing — is that we have people … challenging whether or not they have to wear a mask when, in fact, just like smoking on a plane, you can’t smoke because you’re putting everyone’s safety and health at risk. And if you do, you’re going to be facing severe fines and possibly even some jail time.”

DAL) banned Robert O’Neill, the ex-Navy SEAL who claimed he killed terrorist Osama bin Laden, after he posted a picture on Twitter of him on an airplane refusing to wear a mask.” data-reactid=”44″ type=”text”>Mask mandates have led to some passengers being escorted off planes for refusing to comply. On Friday, Delta (DAL) banned Robert O’Neill, the ex-Navy SEAL who claimed he killed terrorist Osama bin Laden, after he posted a picture on Twitter of him on an airplane refusing to wear a mask.

applauded after a woman was removed from an American Airlines (AAL) flight for also refusing to wear a mask. ” data-reactid=”45″ type=”text”>In July, passengers applauded after a woman was removed from an American Airlines (AAL) flight for also refusing to wear a mask. 

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Passengers walk through a mostly empty Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on May 12, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time Nelson has pointed out the lack of federal oversight on this issue.

an open letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health Secretary Alex Azar asking Americans to not fly for leisure until the coronavirus was more under control within the U.S.” data-reactid=”68″ type=”text”>In April, Nelson penned an open letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health Secretary Alex Azar asking Americans to not fly for leisure until the coronavirus was more under control within the U.S.

federal plan of action” at American airports, imploring airlines to implement mask-wearing policies for all of their passengers and for the government to grant employees the authority to deny boarding to those that refuse to comply.” data-reactid=”69″ type=”text”>In May, Nelson called for a “federal plan of action” at American airports, imploring airlines to implement mask-wearing policies for all of their passengers and for the government to grant employees the authority to deny boarding to those that refuse to comply.

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Passengers, almost all wearing facemasks, board an American Airlines flight to Charlotte, on May 3, 2020, in New York City. (Photo by ELEONORE SENS/AFP via Getty Images)

All major airlines currently require passengers age 2 years and older to wear a mask. Delta and Southwest Airlines (LUV) have kept middle seats open on their flights to support social distancing.” data-reactid=”90″ type=”text”>All major airlines currently require passengers age 2 years and older to wear a mask. Delta and Southwest Airlines (LUV) have kept middle seats open on their flights to support social distancing.

Nelson reiterated that airlines need to take measures that let their passengers feel safe, and the federal government do more to help with that process.

“We need to have backing to make sure that we’re actually following rules in the airline industry to keep everyone safe because it’s a space where you cannot properly socially distance,” she said. “And unless people feel confident that they’re going to be safe when they buy an airplane ticket, they are not going to buy one.” 

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