Concerns abound about holiday travel during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 16, 2020

(WXYZ) — The Christmas holiday is just over a week away and there are concerns about travelers spreading the coronavirus.

Thousands of people are expected to take to the friendly skies for Christmas and the New Year, despite the fact we are still in a pandemic.

We're talking about it in tonight's 7 UpFront segment with Senior Vice President for Communications for Airlines for America Rebecca Spicer.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"The situation is still very dire for the airline industry," Spicer says. "Right there in Detroit, you all have seen it first hand. I know that there are many airline industry employees who have lost their jobs. We're working here in Washington to get those jobs back. We're really hopeful that the members of Congress who are here are working very hard, both in the Senate and in the House, we're really hopeful that they're going to be able to come together on a package before they go home for the Christmas break."

"We are hopeful, but on the other hand, we are encouraging people to lean into science. make educated decisions for themselves and their family, listen to what the CDC is saying, read studies like researchers at Harvard University recently published," she says. "It took a holistic look at the in-flight experience, it looked at the layers of protection that airlines have implemented since the onset of this pandemic, layers of protection like wearing a mask, the next time you get on an airplane you will be required to wear a face mask, and airlines are vigorously enforcing that. Something else you'll see the next time you fly is that major airlines are asking you when you check in simple questions in a health acknowledgment checklist, if you will, things like 'do you have a fever?' 'have you been exposed to COVID?' So they want to make sure the passengers who are getting on the aircraft are as healthy as they can be right now. And if you don't think you are healthy, let's rethink the trip and go at another time, perhaps."