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Odds of Catching COVID on a flight

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

A new study shows that the odds of catching COVID-19 on a flight are less than most travelers think. The analysis by an MIT professor attempted to quantify the chances of becoming infected while flying, and it resulted in odds of 1 in 4300 on a completely full 2-hour flight. The odds drop to 1 in 7700 if the middle seats are unoccupied. Source: Bloomberg / Research Paper: medRxiv

And why is that important... [Insights Collective] Planes seem like a natural place for a virus to spread, and previous research before the COVID-19 era showed that illness can indeed pass between passengers while in-flight. But planes have not been the sites of superspreading events so far, the term for incidents where one person can infect many nearby. This should not be an excuse for relaxing standards, but it does give airlines something to work with when trying to convince passengers to fly again. Our network is reporting that carriers are leaning ALL IN to combat previous negative messaging – and we suggest destinations can/should join strongly as it is the best way to rebuild the lucrative long haul and international markets so valuable to all.


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