Dr.Ravi Godse makes it simpler ,Here the airlines get to charge more and consumers get to pay less
Till the pandemic picture clears and we figure out antibodies/immunity passports /relaxed restrictions etc., the airlines will be obligated to keep the middle seat empty, thus losing a lot of money. It is only fair that they pass some of that costs to the consumers.
Suppose there is a 2-2 plane with 50 rows, literally, 50 seats will have to be empty. What if we ask people at the time of booking, whether they live in the same household? Say a family of 4, who is already exposed to each other, is travelling, and then they can just occupy one row. Airline gets to sell 2 more seats, maybe they can charge 1 seat and give 1 seat for free to the consumer. So if the cost of the ticket is 250 dollars, the airline makes 250 dollars more and the family pays 250 dollars less and we save on greenhouse gases by carrying more people with the same fuel.
The computer programs that assign seats at a Broadway show trying to get you best seats in your category with all of you sitting together, can be used, literally in a day, to start selling tickets on the airlines website, minimizing empty seats, considering families travelling together. Now that the social restrictions are easing, friends are doing small get together. If there are friends that you are already exposed to at a party and you don’t mind sitting with them on a plane, you can even do a group booking. Friends/ Family groups can sign waivers to absolve the airlines of their responsibility. It needn’t be a complicated legal document; they just to have to check a box at the time of booking.
This concept can broaden to other industries. Restaurants/Theaters can offer family/extended family/close friends you are already exposed to, packages, make more money and pass some of it to you in the form of special deals or discounts.
Since this is an idea I can’t patent it unless I accompany it with a protocol to implement it. Since the implementation is childishly simple, I can’t think of a way to make it more complex. I hope that all airlines consider to give me a free ticket from anywhere to anywhere. I mean anywhere. New York to Wuhan via Milan will do too. If they consider to give it to my family, even better. It won’t cost them all that much more.