It’s back to fighting over armrests and reclining seat wars for passengers on Canada’s two main air carriers as both Air Canada and WestJet announced an end to physical distancing on their aircraft. As of July 1, the airlines will stop blocking the sale of adjacently occupied seats. Aircraft are getting crowded as the combination of relaxed pandemic precautions and massive schedule reductions narrow the options for air travel. Where load factors of less than 20 percent were common in April and May, some flights are checking in close to full in recent weeks.
Although the occupancy restrictions are being eliminated, cabin crews are said to be willing to move passengers around at their request. Meanwhile other COVID 19 measures remain in full effect, including the requirement of passengers to wear masks at all times. In-flight service has also been virtually eliminated. Most experts agree, however, that trying to stop the spread of the virus in an airliner in flight is a challenge at best, regardless of the precautions taken.