United Airlines responds to photo of packed plane

A doctor on flight from Newark to San Francisco said passengers were 'scared'

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

Continue Reading Below

United Airlines responded Monday after a doctor who was on a flight home after volunteering at a New York City hospital said every seat on the carrier's 737 was full.

"Our flight to San Francisco had an additional 25 medical professionals on board who were flying for free to volunteer their time in New York — we’ve provided complimentary flights for more than 1,000 doctors and nurses in the past few weeks alone — and all passengers and employees were asked to wear face coverings, consistent with our new policy," a United spokesperson told FOX Business.

“We’ve overhauled our cleaning and safety procedures and implemented a new boarding and deplaning process to promote social distancing," the spokesperson added.

On May 9, Dr. Ethan Weiss posted a picture on Twitter that showed a plane appearing to be full of passengers and with middle seats occupied.

"I guess United is relaxing their social distancing policy these days? Every seat full on this 737," Dr. Ethan Weiss wrote on Twitter.

Weiss said that passengers were "scared/shocked" and that United should have communicated better after sending an email to customers on April 30 promising that "[w]e're automatically blocking middle seats to give you enough space on board."

AIRLINES MADE BIG CORONAVIRUS CHANGES THIS WEEK. WHAT TO KNOW

United's website says that the airline cannot guarantee passengers will be next to unoccupied seats but "based on historically low travel demand and the implementation of our various social distancing measures that is the likely outcome."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.34.20+1.46+4.46%

A number of major carriers have rolled out new safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

CLICK HERE TO GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO