Coronavirus expert: I'd take a second thought about flying
New York (CNN Business)Purell hand sanitizer is nowhere to be found. That’s part of what makes Delta’s new passenger amenities so intriguing.
Made for the coronavirus era of flying, Delta Air Lines is giving away hand sanitizing wipes as part of its new snack kit on domestic flights. The kit also includes a small bottled water, Cheez-Its and, of course, a Biscoff cookie. Delta (DAL) said the plastic bag it’s served in also doubles as an “individual trash collector.”
In a video that Delta shared with its announcement, the airline showed it would include individually wrapped Purell hand sanitizing wipes in the package. That’s a big commodity in 2020: Hand sanitizer has disappeared from store shelves as people panic buy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Food on airlines has become a rare sight, too. Delta used to let passengers select their snacks and had a wide array of beverages. That was axed in March amid broader on-board changes aimed at saving money and reducing interaction between flight crews and customers. Water is now the only beverage offered on domestic flights.
Passengers sitting in first class will also receive the new snack kits. That’s a stark difference from the hot meals and alcoholic beverages they were given before the crisis hit.
Airlines are quickly adjusting to a new reality amid the pandemic. United (UAL) warned Thursday that travel demand is “essentially zero” and warned of impending layoffs.
“While we have not yet finalized changes to our schedule for July and August, we expect demand to remain suppressed for the remainder of 2020 and likely into next year,” United said.
It’s one of several companies, including Delta, that recently received a federal financial package totaling nearly $60 billion. Delta reports earnings next Wednesday. It’s the first major US airline give investors a snapshot about deep the financial crisis is.
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