Airlines pack in customers like there's no coronavirus

As restaurants, department stores and other local businesses grapple with operating at half occupancy (or less) to comply with social distancing guidelines, airlines are packing customers to near capacity on a reduced number of flights.

Why it matters: The practice shows how a lack of a national policy allows certain companies — like airlines — to continue to put Americans at risk for exposure to COVID-19 while other companies miss out on revenue by adhering to local regulations.

“If you look back at SARS in 2003, this issue of planes being a spreader of the virus has been well-known,” Paul Tharp, an attorney specializing in negligence and liability at North Carolina’s Arnold & Smith law firm, tells Axios.