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Jim Cramer: United Airlines Did the 'Unthinkable'

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A viral photo has put United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings Inc. Report in hot water.

The photo, which showed a flight packed with customers elbow to elbow wearing face masks has prompted the airline to pivot on its coronavirus passenger-seating policy.

Following the photo, which was taken on a flight from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco, the airline announced that starting next week it will notify passengers ahead of time if their flight is expected to be "closer to full capacity."

The photo, taken by Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist and an associate professor at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of California in San Francisco, sparked a Twitter-storm of rage at United for allowing so many passengers on board.

United said that 85% of its flights are currently less than half full, but given a drastically reduced flying schedule in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, "there are a small number of flights where our customers are finding planes fuller than they expect."

The policy shift, announced by United late Monday evening, will now allow passengers to re-book on a different flight or receive a travel credit if the airline cannot accommodate giving passengers social-distancing space.

Jim Cramer said that while all attention has been on Elon Musk, United Airlines went and did "the unthinkable." 

In the video above, Cramer weighs in on whether or not the airline has a duty to its passengers to keep them safe or a duty to its bottom line. Or, if it will have to find a way to do both. 

You can follow Jim Cramer and Katherine Ross on Twitter at @JimCramer and @byKatherineRoss. Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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