Airlines suspending routes, limiting passengers to help combat spread of COVID-19


MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – President Donald Trump is asking Americans to avoid discretionary travel. Meanwhile, he said his administration is working to help boost airline businesses during the financial hardships they’re facing.

There was plenty of parking available at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Monday around noon. Southwest, Delta, United, American, and Frontier had only a few people checking in and a few more getting off inbound flights.

“We are coming from Montreal. We flew through Detroit. There was no one on our flights. Pretty much no one,” said a trio of men in their 20s.

United Airlines announced it is cutting its flying capacity in half. It said it expects planes to be only 20 to 30 percent full. American Airlines said it’s suspending about 75 percent of long-haul international flights, including the nonstop trip from RDU to London. It also expects to cut domestic flying by 20 percent in April and 30 percent in May.

After a lot of thought, LeAnne Thompson is letting her daughter go to Boca Raton for her spring break.

“Well, if you noticed, they had masks for protection of themself on the plane because of the filtration on the plane. I’m a little apprehensive, to be honest,” Thompson said. “But, it’s proper precautions: hand washing, sanitizing, social distancing.”

Southwest said it’s now capping last-minute fares at $199 for one-way tickets bought this week. While some are taking advantage of the lower fares, there aren’t many people on board. One passenger hurrying through the baggage claim said there were no more than 25 people on her flight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants people to ask themselves the following questions beforehand:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading at your destination?
  • Are you at a higher risk of severe illness if you get COVID-19?
  • Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school should you get exposed to COVID-19?
  • Do you live with someone who is older or has a severe chronic health condition?

The intent is to keep people safe from both being exposed to coronavirus and exposing others to it.

More COVID-19 headlines:

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