Checkin | 17. Jun 2020

Why Are Airlines Allowed To Risk Our Lives?

Old friends of mine bought a local movie theatre some years ago - and got it going again, investing a lot of private money. But it was a dream come true and worth every cent and every hour of work, so they said. Now it was closed and opened only for one big hall, the three smaller venues would not work with the new rules of social distancing, the big one is only allowed to sell a small share of tickets.

Another friend works in a bar - not enough people are coming back after the lockdown, because the whole point of getting together with strangers doesn't make sense anymore.

Then there is that other friend who wrote a theatre play that will premiere four months late and in front of a third of the audience, and as he is payed by a pro-rata amount of sold tickets, he will be the real loser in this game.

There are two more friends who had books coming out - and now missed their readings that function as a booster for their book selling; book stores have to stop these events, because they cannot bring enough people into their venues to make it worth it.

Liverpool became Premier League Champion - and the fans were not allowed to celebrate together with the team; as they did anyway, police had to interfere.

People will lose their jobs, their well deserved rewards after years of hard work. Bars, restaurants, bookstores, publishing houses or theatres might close because of social distancing rules.

The only exception: Big airlines, supported by hundreds of millions of tax-money.

They change almost nothing. You sit as close as ever, airlines like Lufthansa or Swiss just argue with their air-condition, "as safe as in any operation room".

But doctors and nurses wear sterile clothing form head to toe, don't they? Protect their faces with masks and glasses as well as any inch of their patientsĀ“ body? Wash their hands hysterically and wear gloves anyway????

When a journalist on a press conference asked for the idea of at least one free seat in the middle of the row, the Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr, snapped back: "We have that free-seat-policy since forever, we call it business class."

Meaning: If you are rich enough, you might buy yourself some safety.

When we planned to go to Berlin to see our friends we had no idea; so we booked economy class Lufthansa, paying almost 1000 Swiss Francs for our two tickets from Zurich. When we found out about the conditions, by reading a national newspaper (I took those attached pictures from) we thought about an upgrade to business class; we found out, that every ticket would have cost us more than 1300 Swiss Francs then, we bailed out.

As we can not afford that amount of money, we rather stay at home and go by car or take a train next time we have at least one week off to make the long trip worth the visit.

What is going on with politicians who cannot tell us often enough to stay away from demonstrations, restaurants, seeing our families and friends, having a party, going to bars or packed clubs - but support travel devices that do not even think of taking care of their clients?

I am aware of all those people working for these airlines who are going to lose their jobs if their companies cannot make ends meet.

But is their livelihood security worth so much more than all the others? Those of smaller, private owned businesses and their employees?

And: Wouldn't it be so much more forward looking, if we would stop flying as often as we used to, anyway?

But, wait a minute, maybe this is what just happens! If more people like us stop flying, airplanes will soon be less packed, anyway. Then Mr Spohr will rise the fares again, and even less people will fly.

And in a bright future, we will finally reach our goals of emission standards that might help our planet to survive.

Picture taken by "Blick"