FRESNO, Calif. - A recent video on Twitter depicting a packed American Airlines flight might lead some to believe it was filmed before the coronavirus pandemic. But the video was taken on a May 17 flight by a passenger who said she “never felt so unsafe,” in her life.
Tammy Gonzalez posted the video on Twitter on May 17, criticizing the airline for appearing to fail to implement proper social distancing guidelines.
“Apparently airlines are exempt from CDC guidelines for social distancing,” Gonzalez wrote on Twitter.
The video shows a crowded plane with most of the passengers wearing face masks except for a few that can be seen in the video.
“All rows with the exception of maybe 4 rows were completely full of passengers,” wrote Gonzalez in the caption of the video.
American Airlines responded to the tweet, saying, “We’re working hard to create more space by limiting the number of customers on each flight. We'll share your feedback with the right team.”
On May 11, American Airlines released a statement saying that it would require its customers to wear face coverings, but a passenger sitting behind Gonzalez can clearly be seen in the video not wearing one.
Gonzalez’s video was uploaded seven days after American Airline’s statement on face coverings was released.
The company said in a separate statement to Storyful in response to the video of the crowded plane that 28 seats on the flight that Gonzalez was a passenger on were not occupied.
“The aircraft was not at max capacity,” the company said.
“As part of this limit, American will not assign 50 percent of main cabin middle seats or seats near flight attendant jump seats on every flight, and will only use those middle seats when necessary. Gate agents will also continue to reassign seats to create more space between customers or to accommodate families who need to be seated together,” American Airlines told Storyful.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.