PAL temporarily suspends 'distancing seats' option for domestic flights

Aviation Updates Philippines – National flag carrier Philippine Airlines confirmed it has temporarily suspended the 'distancing option' offered on premium economy and economy flex fares for all domestic flights since July 15, 2020.

This option's suspension will enable the flag carrier to free up the limited capacity to bring home more stranded individuals and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and help authorized travelers get to their destination for essential work reasons.

"This is necessary because domestic flights are still subject to local government (LGU) restrictions and controls that limit the number of flights or routes we can operate, and/or require airlines to change schedules, cancel flights, downgrade to smaller aircraft, and other continuing adjustments," PAL said in an advisory.

READ: PAL to offer 'distancing seats' starting July 1

On July 1, PAL launched the distancing option for premium economy and economy flex travelers on all mainline and PAL Express routes. In this new arrangement, an aisle or middle seat, depending on the aircraft type and the number of rows, will be left empty.

The distancing option was PAL's newest innovation, offering increased safety onboard the carrier's flights. Even without this option, the risk of transmission is significantly lower when flying given "[m]ost viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes," the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

Photo from the Department of Foreign Affairs