It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…right? COVID-19 is clearly saying “nope” with record new cases of the virus appearing in the majority of U.S. states.
Despite surges in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, American Airlines is moving forward with summer travel routes — especially to popular vacation destinations like Florida — and is booking flights to full capacity starting next week.
Here’s what you should know about their plans and how this might affect your wallet.
American Airlines is booking full flights starting July 1, even when other airlines are saying “no.”
Delta is only booking 60% of their seats while Southwest Airlines is operating flights at just 67% seating capacity; both airlines will cap seats through September 30. JetBlue is also leaving middle seats empty through July 31…but not American Airlines. Measures to maintain social distancing on flights will apparently stop starting July 1.
Since April, American has left middle seats open and limited bookings to about 85%, but according to the article they released on June 4, they’ve been making plans to “Bring on Summer” by increasing the frequency of flights to popular destinations including major cities in Florida, the Gulf Coast, and mountain destinations starting next week.
In early June, the airline stated, “As the nation’s favorite theme parks begin to open, American will offer more seats to Florida than any other airline in July.” Those plans don’t appear to have changed — even with the record COVID-19 cases appearing in Florida recently.
Change or cancel your American Airlines flight for free.
Want to change your travel plans and have an American Airlines ticket? Luckily, the airlines is giving travelers budget-friendly options. American Airlines will allow you to change your flight — fee free — through September 30. You’ll have to pay any fare differences, though.
American Airlines will send you an email if your flight is full and if there are more open flights available. All you have to do is respond to the email to change flights. No need to speak to someone unless the option you choose is more expensive.
The airline also states that if space is available on a flight after boarding is complete, travelers may move to another seat for increased social distancing.
Expect COVID-19 symptom questions and mandatory face masks on American Airlines flights.
In American Airlines’ June 26 announcement regarding full-capacity flights, they also communicated their expanded coronavirus prevention plans. This includes increased cleaning and hand sanitizing stations.
Starting June 30, they’ll begin asking all travelers to certify that they’ve been free of COVID-19 symptoms for the past 14 days. Travelers and team members on board are also required to wear face masks, unless you have a medical condition.