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Frontier Airlines Is Charging A $39 Fee For Passengers To Social Distance On Flights
UPDATE: Since the original publication, Frontier Airlines has dropped its $39 fee. CEO Barry Biffle released a letter to three lawmakers saying, “We recognize the concerns raised that we are profiting from safety and this was never our intent. We simply wanted to provide our customers with an option for more space.”
The airline will reverse the fees.
Frontier has come up with a plan to pivot during the days of social distancing. Starting Friday, travelers will have the option to pay $39 to guarantee a seat on the plane next to a middle seat, ensuring that social distancing requirements are met during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new upgrade option is being currently being ridiculed because other airlines are implementing new ways to spread passengers out without charging fees.
“While we believe the best measure to keep everyone healthy is to require face coverings, for those who want an empty seat next to them for extra peace of mind or simply additional comfort, we are now offering ‘More Room’,” says Frontier chief executive Barry Biffle in a statement.
The airline also announces in a news release that all crew members and passengers will be require to wear face masks aboard its aircrafts.
In response to Frontier’s new upgrade, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee says in a statement: “I find it outrageous that an airline sees the imperative for social distancing as an opportunity to make a buck. Frontier’s decision to charge passengers to keep middle seats empty is capitalizing on fear and passengers’ well-founded concerns for their health and safety.”
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also shared her thoughts during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday, saying: “I don’t think it’s appropriate for some passengers who can’t afford to pay an additional charge for a seat to be less safe than other travelers.”
Frontier says they are taking the necessary precautions and steps to ensure that all of its aircrafts are sanitized and cleaned thoroughly.