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Airlines Scaling Back On Some In-Flight Services Due to Coronavirus

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A few airlines, including those already affected by the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back on some in-flight services as a way to help fight the virus.

The Points Guy writes that Singapore Airlines – obviously based in Asia, where the coronavirus has been most dangerous after originating in China – recently sent its frequent fliers an email about such changes.

Singapore advised its customers that some in-flight amenities will be discontinued, such as hot towel service, after-takeoff drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, said that Chinese and Taiwanese carriers have taken similar precautionary steps based on government guidance, including removing pillows and blankets on some flights.

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“They’re changing their cabin service procedures, so the passengers will notice this,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy.

But Harteveldt also remained optimistic that passengers wouldn’t pitch a fit given the circumstances.

“Passengers will accept (the reduction in services) because they’re being done in the interest of health and wellness,” he said.

As the virus, now known as covid-19, continues to expand globally, it remains to be seen if other airlines – including those based in the U.S. who offer international travel – adopt the same practice.

The aviation industry is quite often a copycat business, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some similar changes put into place.

“As adults, we have to be logical and rational when we experience these inconveniences,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy. “This isn’t cost-cutting, this isn’t random, this is in the best interest of public health.”

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American Airlines Offering Roundtrip Fares as Low as $32

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Granted, there are very few people taking to the air these days in the wake of the devastating global spread of the coronavirus.

But American Airlines, for whatever reason, is offering one of those crazy once-in-a-lifetime deals.

As first reported by One Mile At A Time, American has a fare through the month of April where you can fly from Miami to Los Angeles for $16 each way.

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Yep, that’s right – $32 roundtrip to go coast to coast.

No doubt it’s one of the most eye-catching, startling fares ever offered, even better than when some airlines run a buy one/get one special. Not that we didn’t believe One Mile At A Time, one of the most well-respected and well-read aviation blogs out there, but we had to see this for ourselves.

Sure enough, when TravelPulse checked it out on Sunday, the fare had increased.

By eight whole dollars.

Choosing random dates and leaving Miami International Airport for Los Angeles International on April 22 and returning April 29, the fare for basic economy was $40 roundtrip. Want a better seat? Main cabin fares were just $96 roundtrip. (Forget about first class. You didn’t think American was that generous, did you? Those fares were $854 roundtrip.)

For the month of May, again choosing random dates and leaving Miami on May 13 and returning May 20, we found basic economy roundtrip fares for $56 and main cabin for $121.

So who’s going to take a flyer on these fares while the virus is still raging?

Certainly, there will be some folks, especially those that might absolutely need to travel more immediately. Or, you might have the gamblers out there who will take the chance that the pandemic and the restrictions will come to an end sooner than later, making the purchase of a May flight seem like a steal.

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