The travel industry has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.
As the media floods the minds of travelers with fears of death if you forget your hand sanitizer at home before flying, airlines enacted extreme measures to make passengers feel safe.
These mandates have only created a more stressful travel experience- so one airline is hoping to create a space for those on both sides of the pandemic with seats for individuals who choose not to wear a mask on board.
“Russian airline Aeroflot has announced it will designate specific seats on board its planes for passengers who refuse to wear masks.”
This announcement comes after stories have went viral where entire families were kicked off flights for not forcefully making their babies wear masks, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported.
Airlines have tried to eliminate the middle seats on flights, increase sanitization practices, force every passenger over two years of age to wear a mask, and require excessive COVID-19 testing before boarding.
This has not only been unable to stop the spread of the virus, but has created a strain among weary and scared travelers, turning even the act of flying into a political war.
Russia is taking the first step in giving freedom back to the passenger to allow them to choose whether or not wearing a mask is a measure they want to take.
A spokeswoman for Aeroflot, Yulia Spivakova, said in a statement, “It is critically important for us to ensure the safety of all passengers.”
Russia’s largest airline requires masks while boarding and on the plane, unless you are eating, drinking, or getting a fresh mask, free of spit and remnants of your last sneeze.
But as with all intrusive mandates that overstep the personal freedoms of an individual, the people eventually revolt.
And because landing over the Atlantic when a passengers asthma acts up or a baby fiddles with a suffocating mask is not an option, they have a contingency plan.
Aeroflot has designated seats on board for all the rebels who will not wear a mask, or who cannot wear a mask because of medical reasons.
“[This] does not exclude the application of other measures of liability for violation of the rules for the use of personal protective equipment on board,” Spivakova added.
What exactly that means is unclear.
While this may resolve confrontation with a few individuals who find masks pointless or intrusive, it won’t prove an effective long-term solution.
What happens when half of passengers refuse to wear a mask?
Or better yet, all but one individual choose not to wear a mask?
Once passengers have the option to wear a mask on a flight you will undoubtedly see more smiling faces on board.
This is likely only the beginning of airlines looking to offer options for all passengers to fly, thus restoring much needed revenue lost over the course of last year.
But until then, pack a mask for every outfit unless you want to be one of the hundreds of travelers already banned for life from traveling certain airlines.