Qantas passenger shares frightening image of fully-booked flight
In a time of coronavirus, only essential travel has been advised. Many airlines have resorted to storing their passenger planes for the time being until the world returns to normal - whenever that may be.
But one Qantas passenger was left confused and flabbergasted when boarding a flight from Townsville in north Queensland to Brisbane earlier this week. The passenger, who goes by the name Greenmitty, posted an image of his fully-booked flight on Twitter.
In the image, every seat is filled and no social distancing - something the Australian government has urged its citizens to do.
This is a on a flight from Nth Qld to Bris today for work.— 😷🐨💧Greenmitty🌳 (@greenmitty) April 13, 2020
What kind of social distancing is this? Pls RT. #covid19australia@Qantas @AnnastaciaMP @MadFckingWitch @vanOnselenP @abcnews @ScottMorrisonMP pic.twitter.com/dAs9TNjPXf
"This is on a flight from Nth Qld to Bris today for work. What kind of social distancing is this?" he wrote. To prove that the picture was in no way fake news or doctored, he even posted a picture of his boarding pass.
Here is the boarding pass dated yesterday. The flight pic is genuine. If anyone can tell me how to display a date on a pic that's already been taken, let me know. @QANTAS #SocialDistancing #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/3gVfHxA7Ia— 😷🐨💧Greenmitty🌳 (@greenmitty) April 14, 2020
"Here is the boarding pass dated yesterday. The flight pic is genuine," he added.
When news agency news.com.au approached Qantas for comment, the airline released an official statement. A Qantas spokesperson said most flights had only been around 30 percent full – however, passenger numbers increased over the Easter weekend.
"The average load factors on our aircraft have been very low, with most flights around 30 percent full, so social distancing has been happening by default.
"The weekend saw some flights that were much busier, which was the case on this particular flight," said the spokesperson.
"As a result, we have introduced formal social distancing. This means customers will be seated at the window or aisle with the middle seat remaining vacant.
"It’s important to note that there has been no known case of people contracting coronavirus on-board an aircraft anywhere in the world. This includes instances where a passenger has later turned out to have travelled while infected," the statement concluded.