A Miami man has described another nightmarish flight aboard a packed American Airlines plane on which 80 percent of the passengers were not wearing masks after social-distancing measures were violated even at the gate.
Pedro Souss, 49, said he arrived at Miami’s airport for his flight to Mexico City on April 16 and was initially pleased to see only a few people in the waiting area.
But before long, he said he was shocked to see a throng arriving from another gate.
“Apparently, there was another flight scheduled to Mexico City leaving from another gate and they decided to cancel that flight and cram everyone in one flight,” Souss told The Post on Friday.
“The issue I see here — beside the obvious of putting people in risk — is that the American Airlines CEO is sending emails stating that they will enforce social distancing on their flights and follow CDC guidelines,” he said.
“I would say 80 percent of the passengers were not wearing masks or gloves and at the moment of boarding people were all standing together keeping no space between them,” Souss added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not require passengers to wear masks.
The telecommunications worker shared with The Post an email he received from the airline that included a video of CEO Doug Parker.
“Aircraft cleanliness and social distancing matters greatly,” Parker says in the five-minute clip. “We have taken unprecedented steps to put additional safety parameters in place. … Our team is encouraging social distancing during the boarding process.”
Not only were passengers crammed on the plane, only one lavatory was available because the crew used a second one that was marked as “out of order,” Souss said.
“I reached out to the airline and their response was that they follow CDC cleaning guidelines and steered the communication to me away from the issue that I brought up to them,” he said, referring to social distancing.
“After going back and forth with them via email they offered me 10,000 miles and they said they offered that to put the situation behind us,” he said.
“I told them that 10,000 miles doesn’t buy me even a one-way ticket anywhere and wasn’t interested. The thing that bothered me here is the CEO claiming they are doing one thing and in reality they are not.”
One of the emails he received from the airlines stated: “I’d like to extend a tangible ‘I’m sorry’ and put this matter behind us.”
Souss’ complaint follows that of a Manhattan woman who flew on a packed American Airlines flight from Miami to LaGuardia who said she was shocked that about half the passengers did not wear masks.
Reached for comment, the airline on Friday referred The Post to a statement it provided earlier regarding the woman’s complaints, saying its team “monitors flights closely to maintain social distancing.”
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