TravelNewsAsia.com
Wed, 25 March 2020

American Airlines Closes Lounges, Changes In-Flight Service and Seating

American Airlines has confirmed plans to close more Admirals Club lounges, reduce flight attendant-customer interaction and maximizing space between customers on aircraft.

To maximise social distancing and minimize contact between flight attendants and customers, American will offer limited food and beverage options from 27 March through 30 April 2020.

The reduced service will be based on flight length and destination, and the airline has indicated that it may even make bottled water and snacks available at the gate in the near future.

American Airlines Boeing 777 reg: N779AN. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

For all flights shorter than 2,200 miles (typically less than 4 1/2 hours):

Alcohol will not be available in Main Cabin. Alcohol will be available on request in first class.

Beverages available on request and limited to water, canned beverages or juice.

No snacks or food for purchase will be served.

Meals will not be offered in first class.

For all flights longer than 2,200 miles (typically more than 4 1/2 hours), including transcontinental and flights to Hawaii:

Alcohol will not be served in Main Cabin and Main Cabin Extra except on long-haul international flights. Alcohol will be available in first class.

Other Main Cabin beverages will be served as usual.

No snacks or food for purchase will be served. Main Cabin meals will be served on long-haul international flights.

First and business class meals will be served on one tray versus in courses.

American will also suspend pre-departure beverage service on all flights.

"Our flight attendants spend the most time with our customers and play a critical role in ensuring the safety and well-being of our customers," said Jill Surdek, Senior Vice President of Flight Service. "As a result of working with our flight attendant team and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, we are taking these necessary steps today and will continue to update our policies in response to guidance from the CDC."

American will temporarily close most Admirals Club lounges, but will maintain front desk customer service at large U.S. airports and at Londonís Heathrow Airport. These changes go into effect beginning Thursday, 26 March 2020.

"American is committed to caring for customers through these unprecedented times. Customer and team member wellbeing is foremost in our minds," said Kurt Stache, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. "As the travel mandates abate and the COVID19 crisis subsides, we will explore how to manage annual membership benefits for impacted customers ó including for those with a membership through the Citi / AAdvantage Executive card. We look forward to welcoming back our loyal members soon."

Also, and in response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing guidelines, gate agents and flight attendants will be able to proactively reassign seats to create more space between customers beginning.

Once on board and provided there arenít any aircraft weight or balance restrictions, customers can move to another seat within their ticketed cabin subject to availability.

American will also block 50% of all middle seats and all seats adjacent to Flight Attendant jump seats on every flight.

All checked pet services will be suspended beginning today, 25 March. Carry-on pets and service and support animals are still permitted, as long as they comply with existing requirements. American Airlines Cargo will also still accept pets for transport, but with additional restrictions.

See latest Travel News, Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: American Airlines, COVID19.

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