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VOA慢速英语:为什么疫情期间 飞机仍然很拥挤?

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Why Are Some Airplanes Crowded During the Health Crisis?

为什么疫情期间 飞机仍然很拥挤?

Every once in a while, pictures or videos of airplanes nearly full of passengers appear on social media. That seems to violate advice from public health officials related to social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

社交媒体上时不时会看到有人晒出飞机上满是乘客的照片或者视频。这情景似乎违反了公共卫生部门有关冠状病毒危机期间保持社交距离的公告。

Some people have raised the question: How can airplanes still be full when air travel has decreased more than 90 percent from a year ago?

于是有人就产生了这样的疑问:航空旅行较一年前减少了超过90%,为何飞机仍然满载?

In some cases, airlines are creating the crowds. They are canceling flights. Passengers must then crowd onto the few remaining planes.

其中有些拥挤的现象,是航空公司造成的。他们取消航班,从而导致乘客必须挤在剩下的几架飞机上。

The airlines, however, say that they are taking action to ease passengers’ fears about coronavirus contagion. Some are blocking middle seats — or letting passengers pay extra to guarantee an empty seat next to them. They are also starting to require passengers to wear facial coverings.

但是航空公司表示,他们在采取行动缓解乘客对冠状病毒传染的担忧。有些飞机封闭了中间座位或者让乘客多付钱以保证旁边有个空座位,并开始要求乘客戴上口罩等面部遮盖物。

People are still flying

人们仍在乘坐飞机

The number of people traveling on airplanes is at its lowest level in many years. There are only about 17 passengers on the average flight within the United States. But that is an average.

乘飞机旅行的人数达到多年来的最低水平。在美国境内,平均每个航班上只有约17名乘客,但这是一个平均值。

The number of people passing through airport security has been rising since the middle of April, but it is still down 93 percent from one year ago.

自4月中旬以来,通过机场安检的人数一直在增加,但与一年前相比仍下降了93%。

So, why are some flights full?

那么,为什么有些航班仍然满员?

Partly, it is because of the high number of canceled flights.

部分原因是被取消的航班数量很多。

On routes where there used to be several flights offered by different airlines, now there may be two or three, said Robert Mann. He is a former airline official in the New York area.

纽约地区的前航空公司官员罗伯特·曼恩表示,以前由不同航空公司提供多次航班飞行的航线上,现在可能只剩下两三个在飞。

Airlines have sharply cut their flight offerings. They also cancel flights in the few days before departure. That can force passengers who were scheduled to be on many different flights to be on the same one.

航空公司大幅削减了航班服务。他们还会在出发前几天取消航班,而这可能迫使原定要乘坐许多不同航班的乘客最终只能乘坐同一架飞机。

Some planes are more likely to be crowded, especially those between hub airports operated by the same airline.

一些飞机变拥挤的可能性更大,尤其是那些往返于同一家航空公司运营的枢纽机场之间的飞机。

Another question is whether airlines are spacing passengers out.

另一个问题是:航空公司是否有将乘客座位隔开。

Several airlines are blocking some middle seats. Delta Air Lines, for example, said recently that it will block some window and aisle seats until June 30. This will leave 50 percent of first class and 60 percent of the main area empty. Southwest chief Gary Kelly said his airline will temporarily limit the number of seats it sells, probably to 67 percent.

有一些航空公司封锁了一些中间座位。例如,达美航空公司最近表示,它将封锁一些靠窗的座位和过道座位一直到6月30日。这将使得头等舱的50%和飞机主要区域的60%被留空。西南航空总裁加里·凯利表示,该航空公司将暂时限制其出售的座位数量,大概会限制在67%。

Frontier Airlines said that, until August 31, it will guarantee passengers an empty aisle seat next to them — if they pay between $39 and $89.

边疆航空公司表示,如果乘客支付39美元到89美元的费用,那么他们将保证客旁边会有一个空座位,且政策将持续到8月31日。

Covering your face

遮住面部

What about face coverings?

那么口罩呢?

All the leading U.S. airlines have announced plans to start requiring passengers to wear face coverings on flights. JetBlue Airways was the first to announce the policy, which took effect May 4. Recently, Delta, American, United and Southwest have also made it a requirement.

美国所有主要的航空公司都已宣布计划要求乘客在乘坐飞机期间戴上口罩。 捷蓝航空公司是第一个宣布该政策的公司,且该政策已于5月4日生效。最近,达美航空,美国航空,美国联合航空和西南航空也发布了这一规定。

Airlines say they will not let passengers board a plane without masks. But, small children and people with some medical conditions will generally not have to wear them. Others will be permitted to briefly remove coverings while eating or drinking.

航空公司表示,他们不会让没有戴口罩的乘客登机。但是,小孩和患有某些疾病的人不必配戴口罩。其他人则仅在进食或饮水时短暂地被允许摘下口罩。

Flight crews are preparing for passengers who will ignore the rules.

飞行人员已准备好面对那些忽视此规则的乘客。

An industry official told The Associated Press that airlines would not land planes if a person will not keep their face covering on “unless they are violent or crazy.” The official asked not to be named since he was not permitted to discuss the airline’s operations with reporters.

一位业界官员告诉美联社,如果有人不戴口罩那么航空公司就不会降落飞机,“除非他们暴力或者疯狂抵抗”。由于不被允许与记者讨论航空公司的运营信息,这位官员要求匿名。

In addition, the airlines are requiring crew members to wear face coverings.

此外,航空公司还要求机组人员戴上口罩。

Cleaning procedures

清洁程序

How do airlines clean planes?

航空公司如何清洁飞机?

Every airline says it has increased cleaning of plane cabins to help prevent spread of the coronavirus. Some, like Delta, say they are using special machines to spread anti-viral chemicals.

每家航空公司都表示,为防止冠状病毒传播已经增加了对机舱的清洁力度。一些公司,例如达美航空称他们正在使用特殊的机器喷洒抗病毒化学物质。

Airlines say that the air inside their planes is safe to breathe. Cabin air on most large planes is a mix of fresh air from the outside and air that is passed through high-efficiency air filters.

航空公司称,飞机内部的空气是可以安全呼吸的。大多数大型飞机机舱内的空气是外界新鲜空气和经过高效空气过滤器过滤的空气相互混合的产物。

Changes will remain

变更的政策仍将持续

And finally, how long will the changes last?

那么这些变化将持续多久呢?

Until there is a proven treatment or widely available vaccine for COVID-19, the changes are likely to stay in place for a time. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.

在没有针对新冠肺炎的可靠治疗方法或制造出广泛可用的疫苗之前,这些变化可能会一直持续一段时间。 新冠肺炎是冠状病毒引起的疾病。

If more people start taking airplanes this summer, it is still not expected to be anything like the summer of 2019.

如果今年夏天开始有更多人乘坐飞机,那么当前预计情况不会恢复到2019年夏天那样。

I’m Alice Bryant.

爱丽丝·布莱恩特报道。

 

Why Are Some Airplanes Crowded During the Health Crisis?

Every once in a while, pictures or videos of airplanes nearly full of passengers appear on social media. That seems to violate advice from public health officials related to social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

Some people have raised the question: How can airplanes still be full when air travel has decreased more than 90 percent from a year ago?

In some cases, airlines are creating the crowds. They are canceling flights. Passengers must then crowd onto the few remaining planes.

The airlines, however, say that they are taking action to ease passengers’ fears about coronavirus contagion. Some are blocking middle seats — or letting passengers pay extra to guarantee an empty seat next to them. They are also starting to require passengers to wear facial coverings.

People are still flying

The number of people traveling on airplanes is at its lowest level in many years. There are only about 17 passengers on the average flight within the United States. But that is an average.

The number of people passing through airport security has been rising since the middle of April, but it is still down 93 percent from one year ago.

So, why are some flights full?

Partly, it is because of the high number of canceled flights.

On routes where there used to be several flights offered by different airlines, now there may be two or three, said Robert Mann. He is a former airline official in the New York area.

Airlines have sharply cut their flight offerings. They also cancel flights in the few days before departure. That can force passengers who were scheduled to be on many different flights to be on the same one.

Some planes are more likely to be crowded, especially those between hub airports operated by the same airline.

Another question is whether airlines are spacing passengers out.

Several airlines are blocking some middle seats. Delta Air Lines, for example, said recently that it will block some window and aisle seats until June 30. This will leave 50 percent of first class and 60 percent of the main area empty. Southwest chief Gary Kelly said his airline will temporarily limit the number of seats it sells, probably to 67 percent.

Frontier Airlines said that, until August 31, it will guarantee passengers an empty aisle seat next to them — if they pay between $39 and $89.

Covering your face

What about face coverings?

All the leading U.S. airlines have announced plans to start requiring passengers to wear face coverings on flights. JetBlue Airways was the first to announce the policy, which took effect May 4. Recently, Delta, American, United and Southwest have also made it a requirement.

Airlines say they will not let passengers board a plane without masks. But, small children and people with some medical conditions will generally not have to wear them. Others will be permitted to briefly remove coverings while eating or drinking.

Flight crews are preparing for passengers who will ignore the rules.

An industry official told The Associated Press that airlines would not land planes if a person will not keep their face covering on “unless they are violent or crazy.” The official asked not to be named since he was not permitted to discuss the airline’s operations with reporters.

In addition, the airlines are requiring crew members to wear face coverings.

Cleaning procedures

How do airlines clean planes?

Every airline says it has increased cleaning of plane cabins to help prevent spread of the coronavirus. Some, like Delta, say they are using special machines to spread anti-viral chemicals.

Airlines say that the air inside their planes is safe to breathe. Cabin air on most large planes is a mix of fresh air from the outside and air that is passed through high-efficiency air filters.

Changes will remain

And finally, how long will the changes last?

Until there is a proven treatment or widely available vaccine for COVID-19, the changes are likely to stay in place for a time. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.

If more people start taking airplanes this summer, it is still not expected to be anything like the summer of 2019.

I’m Alice Bryant.


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