When I look at flight attendants I do not see mere mortals. I see heroic flying immune systems. When the zombificating superflu does eventually strike, those who survive will no doubt be ruled by former flight attendants and elementary school teachers. In the meantime, they’ll somehow continue working in a “flying petri dish” as some airlines continue to refuse H1N1 as an excuse to rebook.
People are reluctant to pay a fee to keep others healthy. From CNN:
“When people come together, germs can come together too,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
“There are not that many studies about flu spreading on airplanes and trains, but anytime people are close together, there’s a possibility of germs spreading.”
So it may be unsettling to discover that 51 percent of respondents in a recent online poll by TripAdvisor.com would fly while sick with the flu rather than pay a flight rebooking fee. About 2,300 people took part in the survey.
Frequent fliers say the results are disturbing, but not surprising.
“I do think that’s an unfortunate attitude, because the airplane is like a petri dish in the sky,” said Rene Foss, a flight attendant for 25 years and the spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants.
“[But] people really are resistant to paying any extra fees.”
Of the airlines CNN looked into, only Delta let people rebook non-changeable fares with a doctor’s note.