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Airlines Vs. Swine Flu: Round 2

Airlines: It's all about making people feel safe when they fly

Sep 03, 2009

After a briefing Tuesday on the Swine Flu, President Barack Obama said the government will strongly recommend that Americans get a Swine Flu vaccine, but it won't be mandatory.

A White House "worst case scenario" report says half of the U.S. population could become infected.

But, a vaccine probably won't be available until October. The nation's airlines are joining the federal government in coming up with their own plans in the event of a surge in Swine Flu cases.

They include some interesting precautions.

Action News Anchor, Tiffani Sargent paid a visit to McCarran International Airport to speak with passengers about the situation.

While you're airborne, so are a lot of germs. Sarah Hammond just flew into Las Vegas from Chicago.

She says, "You notice people coughing more, and you try to lean away from it, so it's just kind of in the back of your mind."

But, it's top of mind for federal health officials as the flu season takes flight and they expect that planes could play a major role in spreading and transporting the Swine Flu.

Gabby Jimenez is from Chicago and when asked what she thinks of the extra precautions on planes, like hand sanitizer and the removal of pillows and blankets.

Gabby says, "I think it's too much of a big deal because everyone is going to get a cold in the season right now, and we do need the pillows because it's not so comfortable on the airline, so."

But, airlines say it's better to be safe, than sorry as a new federal health report predicts as many as half of the people in the U.S. could become infected with the virus and as many as 90,000 could die as a result.

The Swine Flu certainly, is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it comes to a company's bottom line.

Delta alone has lost up to $150 million just over concerns of the Swine Flu virus.

Still many other passengers who travel the world say there are even deadlier illnesses we should be just as concerned about.

Kim Coats, just returned from Africa and says, "Malaria kills more people than the Swine Flu and that's the first thing that I've seen when I've got back to the states is all this stuff about Swine Fl and only a couple hundred people have died and thousands have died from Malaria I just think it's a little much."

But, airline officials say it's all about making people feel safe when they fly. If the situation gets worse, they plan to adjust policies and procedures accordingly.

Airlines: It's all about making people feel safe when they fly
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