Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
October 28th, 2009
08:30 AM ET

Flying Sick

According to a new poll, 51% of air travelers say they’d rather fly while infected with the flu than pay a $150 flight change fee. Tripadvisor.com conducted the survey, and 2,327 people responded.

What do you think?

Post your comments here and Heidi will read some of them on air during the show – 9am to 11am ET.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Colin Dean

    There are probably several worse and just as communicable diseases on every flight. Take some Airborne, drink lots of OJ, get a couple nights' full sleep before getting on your flight, and practice regular handwashing/mouthcovering, and you'll be OK.

    October 28, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  2. Carol Dew

    It's selfish, inconsiderate, and actually should be a crime for people to knowingly subject others to their contagious illness in a confined space for a prolonged period of time. The only reason I fly lately is to visit my elderly father who has cancer. I don't want to unwittingly bring a contagious disease into his house. Airlines, this is as much – if not MORE – your fault as it is the passengers'. You should waive the change or cancellation fee for pax who produce a doctor's certification showing they were advised not to fly due to being contagious. Not doing so is putting your other passengers at risk.

    October 28, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  3. Robert Lake,MI

    That really goes to show what people are really about, me,me,me,me! People should be charged that $150 fee for spreading their diseases!

    October 28, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  4. Scott Stodden

    So lets just make everybody sick now what sense would that make Heidi? What kind of person would want to go anywhere if your sick or infected take some easy, simple advice stay home or go to the hospital.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    October 28, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  5. Tom

    I'd consider changing a flight if I could do it at no cost. But I'm not paying $150 to change my flight just because I'm sick. No way, no how.

    October 28, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  6. Scott Fitler

    It just goes to show how selfish people are. But of course, if I have the flu, it's probably not that bad and certainly not worth not paying extra money for. Those other people, though... selfish!

    October 28, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  7. David

    Heck yes I would still fly. Its never just 150.00 there is always a cost difference of the tickets.

    such a scam its the only place where you buys something and can return it or exchange it

    October 28, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  8. Carlos Cintron

    Good morning Heidi...love your show....

    I think it's very obvious who's sick at the gate of the airport.... officials should not let sick people travel for the sake of the other passengers.
    I travel a lot and this is why I'm not doing it lately...

    Carlos Cintron

    October 28, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  9. numbersdude

    I believe airlines should also have the right to remove passengers who appear to be stricken with the flu. That will teach those the need of the many out weighs their selfish reasons for flying. And I fly for business and would definitely change my flight rather than fly sick. Although I havent been sick in approx. 6 years, not even a sniffle and I'd like to keep it that way!

    October 28, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  10. Lisa, Dublin, Ohio

    Whether you are talking flu or any other communicable/contagious malady it is the height of irresponsibility and selfishness to inflict this on other passengers. What if someone high-risk caught your illness, then DIED as a result? How would you feel if that was directly traceable to you and it could have been avoided by just doing the right thing? Pay the change fee. End of story.

    October 28, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  11. Sierra

    I understand that being sick really sucks, but honestly the Swine is no worse then the seasonal. In fact seasonal has taken more lives then Swine has, and there is a larger graoup who are at rusj with the seasonal flu. I think it is better if we stop fussing so much, and sto stressing people out about the swine, it just adds to the chances of them getting the flu. As for the flying I htink that flying with the flu is fine, the people on the plane with them probally either had the vexination or had the illness making them amune, are out of the high risk group, or it is probally better they get it now and build up a amunity to it. Ifyou get the illness you also build u some tolerance to the seasonal flu as well.

    October 28, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  12. Darth Vader

    I understand that you'd want to save money but the fact is your sick! Unless your not contagious you shouldn't be interacting with society! The last thing I want to do is to fly to some exotic getaway, land there, and be sick for the next 2 weeks with the flu! Its not fair! If your sick, quarantine yourself! Thats the only way to stop the spread.

    October 28, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  13. Pat Martin

    I just flew from Atl to CA sitting next to a guy coughing up blood. I am not sure what his story is but it creeped me out.

    I think if people have a fever they should stay home. However, what does a traveller do if they get ill away from home? Most vacation travellers don't have the means to spend another 3 days and most companies aren't going to pay for business travellers extending their trips until the fever is gone for 24 hours. Unfortunately, people do have to travel when ill so they can get home.

    October 28, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  14. Michael, MI.

    Before the days of H1N1 I probably would not have paid the $150 fee to change flights. Now... I think anyone who has flu like symptoms should consider everyones health especially the little ones, and change the flight.

    October 28, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  15. Kathie

    $150 to change a fee to protect other people seems minimal. Not everyone has the $150 and perhaps had to save months to pay for the ticket. The airilines should assume some responsibility for the health of the passengers and waive the fee where illness is verified.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  16. mary beaver

    spirit airlines,was to fly on Sept.19th to Michigan,went to hospital on the 18th,age 80yrs. husband 87.was release DR> told me not to travel for a week, refund from the airlines 78.00 total price was 298.00 .call was told that is there policy,had a none refundable,next time get a refundable but that was more money ,

    October 28, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  17. Jan Howell

    I believe people who are sick should not travel by any mass transportation entity so that the spread of the H1N1 flu is not transported throughout this country and the world. Security personnel at mass transportation entities should be watchful of people noticeably sick as they are screened for security purposes before boarding any mass transportation vehicle. Further, as a preventitive measure, all passengers should wear a face mask during their travel in the enclosed transportation vehicle to prevent any possible infection of fellow passengers just in case they do have the infection before physical symptoms of the flu have surfaced.

    On another note referencing the public health option, shouldn't the citizens of the US be given the opportunity to let their preference be known to the representatives in congress there to serve them by polling the constituents as to their choice. A certain time frame could be developed for citizens to contact their representatives by means of the internet to a yes or no question. Naturally, in order for there not to be several responses by one individual, a security question could be attached, such as the last 4-digits of their social security number. The people should be granted the opportunity to determine the public option associated with the health care reform legislation - not the politicians who might have been given incentives by lobbyists.

    Jan in Michigan

    October 28, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  18. Roman Gage

    Wouldn't it make sense to ask the airlines to waive $150 change fee with proof from there doctors that the passenger is sick? This could reduce those that are flying sick!

    October 28, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  19. Chris in Toronto

    Personally no i wouldn't -maybe i'm too socialist that way.. but if a no-fly-with-flu policy was that important, wouldn't it be treated in the same way that all other flight risks are?

    In China it is..

    C

    October 28, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  20. Eme

    Heidi, to be honest, I will still fly with an air mask on.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  21. Jeff

    It is a reflection of our society and culture. From a work standpoint, employers (regardless of the current pandemic) still have expectations of employees that they will work through illness. From a personal standpoint, I think many would rather be sick at home rather than be sick while traveling. So, if someone is traveling and becomes ill while on the road, they just want to get into their own bed so they can get better... regardless of the others they may infect while doing so.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  22. paula

    you should NEVER fly feeling less than OK. it's unfair to the rest of the people on the plane to be subjected to your illness. also, the airline should refund the money until you feel better.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  23. Doug Swab

    Why don't the airlines simply provide the Very inexpensive protective masks at boarding....These could be simply available in a bin as you check in or as you are walking down the ramp before you actually board the plane....I believe most people are caring and conciencious about others around them and if they knew they were sick they probably would wear a mask to prevent others from catching their illness. These masks may not be 100% effective but would certainly help and would show the airlines actually care.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  24. Jamie, IL

    As a college student that is trying to save every penny she has, $150 is a lot of money! I would rather stick it out for a few hours on a plane than pay that. If the airlines was willing to reimburse me if I had a doctor’s note, then sure I would be all for it! In these tough times though, $150 is too much money to keep me off the plane.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  25. Bonnie Falcon

    I think that if someone is sick they should have the right mind to wear a mask n take the precautions that are needed to protect others n themselves. That is just the narrow line

    October 28, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  26. Jessica

    Here's a though to all of you who accuse passengers who are sick of being selfish. What if they're flying somewhere to receive treatment?

    October 28, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  27. S.A. Reza

    As a pilot, we are taught the physiological effects of flying that the normal public may not know.
    Even if a person has a mild cold, it can cause serious if not permanent damage. Due to congestion of sinuses, pressure differentials in an aircraft effect the sinuses and ear canal. Congestion does not allow the expansion of gases in the body to release as the aircraft descends. This can cause extreme pain and possible bursting of the ear drum. It can also cause pain and damage in the sinuses.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  28. catherine clark

    hi heidi...of course most passengers ARE going to fly sick. there is no way to stop them...that is why i wore a mask on my recent flight to maine from baltimore and got LAUGHED AT by passengers and also flight attendants!! they waited on us for drinks and snacks but stateted to me " I suppose you don't want anything to drink?"...I answered no thank you...and they thought it was funny. I have an auto-immune disease and any flu can be deadly to me.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  29. Gilbert Ramirez

    I went to Waler Reed Hospital and got a medical note from the doctor that I shouln't fly with the flu. I understand airlines will honor a doctor's request so the extra charge will not be imposed.

    Flying with the flu is not good but sometimes one can't help it.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  30. Tina Salibello

    A friend of mine had a probable case of swine flu. His DOCTOR called the airline to tell them so and they stated that swine flu is not a valid reason for a flight change. He would have to pay all the fees– which do add up to more than $150– even though there were open seats on future flights.

    The airlines need to accommodate flight changes!!

    October 28, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  31. Josh Reese

    We're trying to juggle too much when we attempt to cram as many people as mathematically possible into such a confined space. Combining essential needs for cabin pressurization, odor control, climate control, contaminants, germs, etc. with the national desire to keep flying costs down, and you get a half-cocked attempt to ventilate air at an acceptable level. According to the Nat'l Research Council, "the current design standard for the minimum amount of outside air circulated into cabins is about half the ventilation rate often required for building environments." During a pandemic outbreak of influenza, cautious optimism can be replaced by an educated level of panic. We surely need to overhaul the FAA's standards of air quality. We wouldn't put ourselves through this level of hazard in a restaurant, but it's ok for flying? That doesn't make sense.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  32. Ian from LA

    If I were sick, I would still fly. 150$ is a lot to some people.
    But, I'd wear a face mask for others safety.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  33. Jane Beck

    The question would appear to be moot. Airline personnel do not allow people who are apparently sick to get on a plane.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  34. Tim

    Frankly there is a very inexpensive device that will measure an persons tempature without touching them. Anyone with a fever should be denied boarding. I fly very frequently and whenever someone near me coughs I cringe.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  35. Stephanie Chapin

    If I was home, I would stay home and not risk infection to others.
    If I was in a hotel, I would mask up, and fly home. There would be a risk of infection to others in both cases.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  36. Jeff

    I can't beleive you are airing this news story and survey today. I am literally in my hotel room trying to decide whether to fly today or stay another day...I don't think I have the H1N1 because I don't have a fever, so I am leaning toward flying...then hitting the clinic when I get back to my own soil.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  37. Virginia Andrews

    I never purchase an airline ticket without paying extra so that the ticket is refundable in case I get sick. Not only do I not want to endanger my fellow passengers, I neither want to be miserable on my flight nor at my destination.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  38. Ashley

    Sure, why not! As long as you're taking measures to keep yourself and other passengers safe, i.e., wearing a face mask, carrying hand sanitizer, sneezing/coughing in tissues.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  39. Spring

    I think the responsibility should fall on both sides, the flyer and the airline. Someone who suspects their sick should go see a doctor. If they're found ill, take proof of that to the airline, who should then waive the change fees.

    Spring
    Nashville, TN

    October 28, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  40. AD5OS

    This isn't about people being cheap it is about airlines being stingy. They gouge flyers with their unfair ticket policies and then blame us when we have to reschedule due to illness. We all know it doesn't cost $150 to simply log into a computer and change the date of our ticket!

    October 28, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  41. Tina

    An airplane is the only place a person cannot get away or distance themselves from someone who is sick. Why should those who are healthy be penealized by someone who's coughing, sneezing and creating a potential dangerous situation to others. People aren't allowed to smoke on planes, why should they be allowed to spread their germs on planes? Perhaps those who are sick should be the ones finding other methods of transportation.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  42. kgm777

    When the airlines start getting sued for making people sick, they'll drop their ticket change fees. It's not the passengers, it's the airlines. Whatever they can't make in fares, they'll make up in ridiculous fees. Just wait until fuel prices go back up. Bob Crandall (AMR) once said he never considered any airline a worthy investment.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  43. Jack Parker

    Since President Obama has declared a national emergency, he should use his power to order airlines to accept changes without charging a penalty.

    A few years ago, a hurricane was bearing down on Charleston SC. We were ordered by the Governor to leave. The airlines cancelled the charges.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  44. Allicia

    I would like to know how different flying sick is from getting on the subway or bus with the flu. You are still in close quarters only there is no fee to simply stay home. If people are still going to work and taking mass transit sick I see no way that people would actually pay $150 to stay home.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  45. Nate

    I've heard both sides here, and don't think anyone has been wrong really. Knowing that you could make someone else much worse than you by flying sick is pretty selfish. However, being strapped and forced to watch every penny isn't exactly an easy thing to deal with.

    I'm curious why the airlines wouldn't have more responsibility on this topic. Why, with a doctor's note, would you not be able to change your flight at no additional cost. It's based on availability, so there's really no loss to the airport. You're not asking for money back, but just another seat that hasn't been sold anyway. Seems to me that this presents a way for an airline to make additional dollars at the expense of others.

    I guess my opinion would be to not fly, and not be charged for being unselfish.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  46. Lucy Muller

    I would never subject other people ot me if I were sick. To fly sick is the most selfish thing I can imagine. What is wrong with people? Why is our society so self-centered? Nothing is so important to cause another person to be harmed.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  47. Fred

    I recently had to fly to CA; I had booked my flight 2 months ago for $250. The day before the flight, I fell sick and thought I should change my flight. So I called the airline; they said it would be $150 change fee + $300 fare difference, for a total of $450 additional fare!! I flew the next day with a box of Kleenex. Economics trumps etiquette in today's times.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  48. J Misuck

    I was out of tiwn on business when I became I'll with flu like symptoms. I went to a local hospital emergency room and the physician told me I probably had H1N1 and to stay in my hotel room until 24 hours after the fever was gone. My employer told me I was lying and tried to fly me home immediately. I refused. Hopefully, I don't get fired over this.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  49. Jenni

    I'd like to say that ideally I would decide to change my travel plans if I were sick, but it comes down to not being able to afford it. I save up my money and make travel arrangements far in advance so I can afford the trips I make. If I have to pay exorbitant fees to change my plans or cancel my trip all together, that's a lot of money wasted. If these people who call me selfish and a bad person for potentially putting other people at risk are willing to compensate me for the fees or the cost of the trip I then have to cancel, I'd be perfectly fine staying home while sick. Mostly though, I just work like mad to stay well.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  50. Kym C.

    I just had to cancel a trip from NY to Las Vegas last night. Though I was planning on arriving in Las Vegas right about now, being sick made me think twice. I always cringe on a plane when I hear people sniffling and coughing. I thought to myself, do I really want to be one of THOSE people? The answer is NO.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  51. Sally Wenger

    This is the airlines' fault. If you have a doctor's letter stating that you have a communicable disease (or any serious illness, for that matter), the charge should be waived.

    Another interesting note: When you make a reservation with United, you are offered travel insurance. But when you read the small print, you see that it does not pay in case of an epidemic or pandemic. I checked, and this definitely includes any flu.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  52. Pierrecanel

    Peolple should realize that the swine flu isn't a joke. If you're sick why bother to travel when you know you could get other people. Wait til you get better then you could travel. It's not about the money anymore, people's lives are at risk. There could be children on that flight and you do know how easy it is for them to catch the flu.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  53. dee

    It is so suprising that if you are sick, the airlines wont offer less of a change fee to make sure their passengers don't get sick. Instead we, as passengers, are expected to make the 'right' decision. With my budget, (remember it isn't the best economy right now) I would have to go anyway. $150 would have already been spent on healthcare without my insurance.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  54. Stephen

    Hello, my parents recently had to cancel travel plans, when discussing with the airline offered a rebate of at least $70.00. If they were able to provide proof from the doctor that they used. So it would be a wise idea to call the airline if they offer anything like that

    October 28, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  55. Chuck Matheson

    That is what's wrong with our Country today...more people are selfish and only think about themselves and saving that airline change fee rather than looking out after and protecting their fellow man. I can guarantee you one thing, if you infect someone because of your selfishness or worse, kill someone because of your illness, that $150.00 change fee is going to look mighty good compared to the amount of money you will be losing when that poor person you just infected and possibly killed...when their family gets done suing you. YOu will end up losing much more than the $150.00 you were trying to save. Come on people, start showing a little compasion in situations like that and look after your fellow man instead of being so small and looking out after yourself all the time.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck Matheson
    Vacaville, CA.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  56. Terry

    I work offshore, and it is critical that I do not become sick or cause the other people on the vessel to become sick. When I travel, there is always at least one person that is on the plane coughing or sneezing. What bothers me is:
    – Some people will cough or sneeze w/o covering their faces on an airplane. How soon will it take for one person's sneeze to contaminate the entire cabin?
    – Planes spend little time on the ground, how often are they cleaned? Especially the seats / armrests / seat trays? Those seem like ideal places to catch an illness. I wonder if one of the stewardesses could set off a can of Lysol in the cabin before leaving the plane.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  57. LuAnn

    Airlines charge too much to fly anyway, but then to charge you for canceling your flight due to illness is rediculous! Not only are sick people risking the health of other passengers but they are also risking the health of the flight attendants and the pilots! Germs carry through the air and the flight attendants do serve the pilots also! So the airlines should take that into consideration the next time someone is calling because of illness to change their flights!

    October 28, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  58. Hector

    It is selfish to expose other passengers to a disease, but lets be real here airlines don't make it any easier. Airline prey on peoples misfortune to rip them of there hard earn cash, please! Lets be fair, I would pay a difference in the fair, after all tickets cost more when you purchase them on the fly. So why rip to customer off charging them over and above the difference in fair a 150. change fee. That is abusive in my opinion.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  59. Lucy Muller

    I read the letter that some employers require people to work while sick. Get some backbone and say no. No employer can fire you if you are sick and stay home and anyone who can afford to fly, can pay, but it is completely wrong for an airline to charge anything if you had to cancel for being ill.

    October 28, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  60. Tyler Gregory

    I feel it is wrong of the airlines to make people fly when they are sick. How about a little basic human decency in this regard by not charging people another $150.00. I would like to see the airlines take some responsibility here and protect their passengers from those of us that can't afford to throw that kind of money away.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  61. Jake Taylor

    First, let me say I have flown sick, if there was a way to reschedule a flight without additional cost I would do it.

    Second, when Vice-President Biden said that a virus could be easily passed in the cabin of a aircraft, people jumped all over him, stomped on his chest. Now we want people to not travel when it's possible for them to spread the flu or a cold.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  62. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Any one who gets on a flight with H1 N1 should be charged with carrying a deadly weapon aboard.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  63. rosemary jalovaara

    dear heidi as a 2million mile flyer who has been retired for one year , i can most certainly attest to greatly improved health particularly upper respitory and flu like symptoms. i believe we need to be responsible with regard to the well being of others on the ground or in the air. wearing a mask is an easy answer. i think people who are ill or indeed any of the flying public should have masks available to us at the tsa check in lines. it would certainly cost pennies when comparied to $150 change fees. maybe it would help if airlines chipped in to show good faith. we are all in this together. thanks for bringing this to light as a major issue.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  64. Heather

    Airlines should have some understanding, if someone calls in sick and needs to change a flight they should do so at no extra cost to them. They will not loose money, I always see people on waiting lists for most flights! But honestly, not everyone CAN change a flight, maybe they need to be someplace now!
    I would never wear a mask if I was sick and flying, to me that is just asking for it. When you put one of those masks on you are asking for people to avoid you, look at you, snicker at you etc. It is just germs people, people have been getting them for millions of years, it is actually one way we get more healthy. Get over the germs...

    October 28, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  65. kgm777

    Fine, if people want sick people to stay home, charge the $150 change fee pro-rated to the other passengers on the flight. In the first and second generation jets (707 and 727 and up through the first 747) all cabin air was fresh. Now more than half of the cabin air is recirculated (though filtered). It should be noted that the flight deck still gets 100% fresh air.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  66. kgm777

    $150 is alot of money, especially when you're "donating" it without tax benefits to a crappy airline.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  67. Pat

    I understand that sick people want or need to travel, but consider those of us who care for children with low immune systems. My granddaughter has brain cancer. I usually take care of her, but can't because my cold of flu would compromise her health and I want to keep her here as long as possible. Mabe if they do away with the fee, people would be more considerate.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  68. Magdalene

    Maybe we should start wearing surgical masks on public transport as they seem to do more often in Japan and other Asian countries. Would prevent both transmitting viruses as well as getting a virus. Not exactly a fashion statement but very, very practical.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  69. Adam L

    I have been on aircraft with people who are sick. I believe the airlines should be more proactive and prepared. First, anyone who appears sick should wear a mask while travelling to protect the other passengers. Flight attendants should be supplied with masks for the benefit of the passengers. With Influenza and H1N1, a small inconvenience for a sick passenger benefits the greater good of all passengers travelling and on board.

    Airlines should allow passengers to change their flights with no change fees, IF they are sick for the benefit of all passengers on the scheduled flight. To me this is a simple safety issue to reduce and/or prevent larger spread of any illness a passenger may carry. Airlines should recommend to a sick passenger to change flights and delay travel with no additional fees.

    For example, in Mexico if you appear sick with a high fever, Mexico may not allow you to even enter the checkin area and may prevent travel. They use cameras to measure a persons body temperature in search of passengers who may have a fever above most normal body temperatures for additional questioning and isolation in the prevention of an illness spread. This may be an inconvenience, but with the current epidemic, just like security checkpoints, the minor inconvenience helps protect and prevent the larger issues of illness spread with the population.

    For Example, I was on a flight with a woman who had a persistant cough which sounded like bronchitis or possible pneumonia. The unconnected passenger who had a seat next to her then feared for his health as the attemped to lean away from her into the isle and call the flight attendant. The attendant could only supply water to help the sick passengers' cough as we taxied and prepared for takeoff. I think a mask should have been immediately supplied to the sick passenger by the flight attendant. 1 mask could help 54 other passengers protected more from an illness spread.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  70. F. L. Bracy, Jr.

    Would I fly while I was sick to avoid another ridiculous surcharge?

    No. In fact, like so many people, I choose not to fly at all anymore.

    I used to fly 100,000 miles a year, and it was fun. Well, it isn't anymore. It's like a bus trip used to be: crowded, full of screaming kids and tired angry passengers, all trying to manage 3 times as much luggage as they should be carrying--except with less legroom. It's terminals that are full of rude, pushy people dressed like they are going to a dog fight, all angling for some kind of special consideration, and airline personnel who care only about when their shift ends. It's executives who make more money than God, worrying about who they can lay off next, and how to fudge safety inspection reports in order to improve "the bottom line", without sense enough to contract for fuel months in advance when the price is down.

    I just live here quietly in the great fly-over zone using my telephone and my computer instead.

    October 28, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  71. paul

    it is selfish and morally wrong to fly in a closed plane and spread your sickness to others. Very thoughless!

    October 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  72. cole bradford

    i think that people who are sick should not fly, by them flying, they can make other people onboared the airplane sick as well.

    October 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  73. cole bradford

    im 12 and i see my parents talk about the swine flu or h1n1 and a person should have enough commen sence to to pay the fee and wait untill they feel beter. im only 12 and i can see that if i was older i still would pay the fee and wait untill i feel beter.

    October 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  74. Barr

    Please post the interview w/ Malalai Joya. She was very interesting and maybe should be one of the people our President should interview prior to making a decision on Afghan. Will pick up her book.

    October 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  75. La'Shari Mann

    For one i think its unfair people who is sick to fly on the airplane with those are not sick. Second I also think its unfair for them to have to pay that much money to change their flight. People never plan on getting sick things like that just happen. So inorder to fix this problem they need to lower the rate, or give them some of their money back so they can change thier flight. People who are not may get sick riding with people who are sick.

    October 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  76. David

    If I have to be somewhere, and I don't want to lose $150, I'll strap on a surgeon's mask. Then I'd ask the attendant: Please point me to the seats for the sicklies.

    October 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  77. David

    With H1N1 shown to be a dangerous flu for young people and pregnant women, President Obama declaring a national emergency, and the WHO already calling H1N1 a pandemic, I feel it makes sense, if you feel like you have the flu to consider that it could well be H1N1 that is spreading at levels that are close to peak for regular flu and postpone a flight. Passengers are always seated in close quarters, practically on top of eachother so it would be possible to easily transmit the flu to someone.

    The airlines need to consider this when people have to reschedule. It is good to know that the airlines or travel industry is polling on the question that you note and watching the situaition closely.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  78. allen lewis

    the airlines fail here as they do on most passenger issues. No question about it, flying even without the H1N1 virus, is a very dangerous endeavor from a public health standpoint. With the appropriate documentation, the airlines should be required by law to forgive the exchange fee for anyone with a contagious illness.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:25 am |