Should the Government Buy Up Middle Seats? American Airlines Pilots Think It Could Save Travel and Jobs

The proposal comes as there are increased questions about flying rules during the COVID-19 pandemic

The U.S. government should consider buying out every middle seat from commercial airlines until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the union representing American Airlines pilots said Wednesday.

The Allied Pilots Association’s proposal would amount to billions in subsidies every month but the union sees it saving jobs while ensuring social distancing on planes.

The association, representing about 15,000 pilots, is hoping the idea works its way into a second economic stimulus package for the airline industry. Buying up the middle seats would cost between $1.9 billion to $3.8 billion a month at current flying levels.

Read more from NBC 5's media partner The Dallas Morning News.

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