American Airlines to Start Booking Full-Capacity Flights Next Week
(AP) - American Airlines will start booking flights to full capacity next week, ending any effort to promote social distancing on its planes while the United States sets records for new reported cases of the coronavirus.
American’s move matches the policy of United Airlines but contrasts sharply with rivals that limit bookings to create space between passengers to minimize the risk of contagion.
The pilots’ union at American said it hopes that the airline reconsiders and instead decides to add more flights using idle planes and crews.
American said Friday that it will continue to notify customers if their flight is likely to be full, and let them change flights at no extra cost. The airline said it will also let passengers change seats on the plane if there is room and if they stay in the same cabin.
Since April, American has limited bookings to about 85% of a plane’s capacity by leaving about half the middle seats open. However, the airline will start selling every seat it can beginning next Wednesday.