A video from a recent flight from London to Beirut is going viral which shows passengers and airline crew in a dispute over a lack of social distancing.
Footage shared by SMASHI TV, the first live streaming business channel for the Arab world, shows the disruption, in which passengers complained about a lack of social distancing and flight attendants responded by telling passengers to leave if they are not satisfied.
The flight, where ticket prices reportedly cost triple the amount of a regular ticket, is part of efforts by Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines to bring Lebanese nationals home.
*Note. This video contains strong language
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#فيديو لركاب مستائين من طيران الشرق الأوسط لعدم التزامهم بالإجراءات الاحترازية والتباعد الاجتماعي في رحلة حديثة من لندن إلى بيروت. وكان رد موظفي طيران الشرق الأوسط "الي مش عيجبو فيو يرجع" على الرغم من أن تكلفة تذكرة الطيران كانت أكثر من 2,500 دولار أي ثلاثة أضعاف سعر التذكرة في الأيام العادية. @mea_airliban #بيروت #لبنان #طيران_الشرق_الاوسط
Many passengers had tested negative for COVID-19
Tickets reportedly cost triple the amount of a regular flight and passengers believed the costly sums were due to limited seating on the plane.
Unseen in the video, there was reportedly an area at the back of the flight where social distancing was implemented, for those who had not yet been tested for the virus.
In response to criticism, the Lebanese airline stated that many passengers had tested negative for the virus, prior to flying. The passengers who were not tested were seated separately, and social distancing was implemented. The airline spoke to An-Nahar, stating that there are 2,700 people waiting to return, concluding that with the number of negative tests, it’s reasonable to try to fill flights.