Reopen News: Delta demonstrates new protocols when flying during COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- After four months of the coronavirus pandemic, the term "nervous flyer" has a whole new meaning.

But with more people finally booking flights, Delta says you have nothing to fear.

"I think I feel safer here than outdoors, our cleanliness is literally back to back to back to back," said Delta passenger service agent Jiulliana Baltodano.

On Wednesday, the airline invited Eyewitness News to see firsthand how COVID has transformed the passenger experience - from the army of employees and their gallons of disinfectant to the electrostatic spraying of every inch of every plane before every flight.

Henry Kuykendall runs all Northeast operations for Delta and says the airline's biggest step is the way it books its flights.

A business decision was made to leave 40 percent of every flight empty.

At least for now, gone are days of full flights.

Some passengers may be assigned a window seat and will probably have a seatmate who will get the aisle. But they promise, in every case, the middle seat will be empty to allow for social distancing on the plane.

"That's our commitment to allow our customers to feel safe, not through what we're saying, but through our multitude of actions," Kuykendall said.

Of course no airline can control who boards its flights and with the coronavirus surging in more than half the country, on Wednesday, the tri-state governors announced a 14-day quarantine from anyone traveling from nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.

This also applies to New Yorkers returning home.

"You can violate the quarantine until you get caught and when you get caught, you're in mandatory quarantine and you're fined thousands of dollars," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

RELATED | How the NY, NJ and CT quarantine will work
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New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced Wednesday a joint Tri-State COVID-19 quarantine agreement.


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