Should Airlines Announce How Many Flight Crew Test Positive For Covid-19?

Qatar Airways flight crew body suit

Airlines have been suffering due to Covid-19, and the majority of U.S. airlines do not announce whether flight crew test positive for Covid-19. Should they?

While all major airlines continue to fly planes during the pandemic, passenger count down is significantly down, and airlines are addressing Covid-19 in different ways. For instance, Delta is blocking middle seats and requiring masks, and Allegiant is handing out safety kits.

But is that enough?

Because most people are worried about getting in contact with the virus, airlines should go the next step and announce whether flight crew test positive for Covid-19 for the safety of passengers.

Airline covid-19 test positive flight crew
Empty Delta flight.

Last week, Delta announced 500 Delta staff tested positive for Covid-19, and 10 staff died, according to Newsweek. However, nowhere in the report does it mention whether any of the staff were flight crew, whether the pilot or flight attendant.

In March, Travel + Leisure reported that both United and American Airlines lost staff due to coronavirus (a pilot and a ramp worker, respectively).

In April, LA Times ran a story with an anonymous flight attendant on a major airline where 100 flight attendants tested positive. While the airline was not named, due to the routes listed, it appears to be American Airlines, which runs on the route schedule to the destinations listed by the flight attendant.

Airline not requiring face mask
Would you fly during the pandemic?

Now more than ever, while airlines continue to increase service and passenger capacity, they should announce whether flight attendants on certain routes have tested positive for Covid-19. While it’s not crystal clear the protocol in place for each airline, flight attendants who test positive for Covid should not be working, even if they are wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Currently, there is no national protocol or mandate for all airlines to require flight attendants to get covid-19 testing. During a time that Covid-19 surges are spiking in more states in America, each and every airline should mandate their flight crew to get tested. Fortunately, as of June 2020, Delta is the first and only airline enforcing all staff to get tested.

No airline is required to announce how many flight crew test positive for Covid-19. For the safety of passengers, especially with airlines flying more routes than last month, this should be a requirement. Also, there is no requirement for passengers to announce whether they have tested positive or not in order to fly.

Airlines are expected to lose up to $113 billion this year due to Covid-19 (though they will receive a $25 billion bailout with the government).

Should airlines announce whether flight crew tested positive for Covid-19? Let us know your comments below.

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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