SFO passengers adjust to new quarantine measures, seating changes

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Passenger Heiko Ruloff faced some confusion at SFO. He didn't know that he may have to quarantine once his flight arrives in New York City. He's only going for a few days and says he wouldn't have bought a ticket if he knew.

"It gets me into big trouble. I was supposed to fly to New York for my daughter's birthday and fly back on (Saturday)," explains Ruloff.

RELATED: NY, NJ, CT want travelers from CA, 15 other states to quarantine

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are asking travelers from states with a spike in COVID-19, like California, to voluntarily quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Enforcement and penalties vary from state to state.

Sichen Yang, who is flying home to Manhattan, plans to self-quarantine.

"I think it will be effective and at least help New York. I mean, New York was hit badly at the beginning. So, I totally understand that they (want) to quarantine," says Yang.

And at a time when COVID-19 is changing the reality on the ground, American Airlines is changing its policies in the sky.

RELATED: American Airlines shows off new cleaning, safety measures

Beginning July 1st, they will sell seats to capacity, meaning no middle seat buffer. The decision is getting some push back.

"Obviously there was substantial disappointment with American Airlines. A number of the airlines decided to keep the middle seat thing. I can say this is under critical review right now by us at the CDC. We don't think it sends the right message," says Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC.

For its part, American Airlines points to its competitors like United Airlines, which never implemented a seating cap on its flights.

RELATED: Future of travel: Here's what to expect the next time you hop on a flight

In an email to ABC7 News, American Airlines says they've added extra cleaning and safety protocols on its flights.

The statement goes on to say: "And we're providing additional flexibility for customers to change their travel plans, as well. We know our customers are placing their trust in us to make every aspect of their journey safe, and we are committed to doing just that."

Passengers on American will be allowed to modify their tickets on flight through September 30th without any penalty.

Talia McCray was in San Francisco visiting her mom. She is headed back home to Boston, a city that does not require quarantine. She says she picked Jet Blue, in part, because she doesn't want to be on a plane sitting close to others.

"I am happy that I don't have to update and change. I really like Jet blue, and I am glad that they are adhering to the separation."

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