Pilots File Lawsuit Against American Airlines Over Coronavirus
Last week, we covered a new study detailing how air travel is the safest it’s ever been. So it’s only fair that this week, we will report on a deadly virus that is spreading around the globe at an alarming rate.
Dubbed the Coronavirus, this flu-like bug is in the same family as SARS, and it started spreading from the same country, China. It has affected more than 40,000 people worldwide.
Due to the spread of the virus, air travel to China has become a hot topic. And now pilots are filing a lawsuit against American Airlines over it. Let’s find out why.
What We Know About The Coronavirus
The Coronavirus mimics flu-like symptoms. Unlike the flu, however, about 20% of the people who get it need to be hospitalized and do not always recover.
Those needing hospitalization are not exclusively those with compromised immune systems. The virus is wreaking havoc on perfectly healthy individuals, resulting in long-stays at the hospital. Sometimes, more than once.
Because there is no cure or vaccine as of date, patients that do recover from the Coronavirus can relapse. Which is one of the reasons why the outbreak is so hard to contain, in addition to the following reasons:
Pets can get the virus.
There are no signs of infection for most of the first week.
People can spread the virus without feeling ill.
Non-infected can catch the Coronavirus if they are within 6-feet from someone infected, even if that person has no symptoms.
That last one is especially dangerous for air travelers.
Needless to say, the Coronavirus is something everyone should be taking seriously. So it should come as no surprise that when American Airlines did not suspend flights to China, pilots filed a lawsuit against the company.
Where Airlines Stand
Even though the United States government advised against traveling to China, many airlines, such as American Airlines, were still offering flights to the country at the end of January.
As a result, the Allied Pilots Association, or APA, filed a lawsuit against the airline, due to the “serious, and in many ways still unknown, health threats posed by the coronavirus”.
Although American Airlines issued no statement in regards to the lawsuit, they did opt to suspend flights to China until March 27th.
Nevertheless, given the month delay in halting flights to China, airliners put pilots and crew members in imminent danger. So don’t be surprised if the lawsuit filed by APA sees a trial. That said, here are the current standings for United States airliners in regards to flights to China.
American Airlines: flights to Hong Kong and China suspended until April 24th
Delta: will resume flights on April 30th
United Airlines: Hong Kong flights delayed until February 20th, China until February 28th
UPS: canceled 22 flights to China
And that is it.
If you are fly for one of the carriers continuing to provide flights to and from China, we advise you to research more about this topic. Consider wearing a certified face mask on these flights, and follow all of the mandated safety precautions outlined by the CDC.