American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) announced that beginning July 1 it will commence full capacity flights. The airline has been restricting capacity to 70% throughout the global coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile the U.S. has hit a 7 day average record high in new COVID-19 cases.
The publicly traded airline says it will inform passengers if their planes reach full capacity and permit them to change to a less crowded aircraft at no fee until September 30. Flights booked through September 30 will also have the possibility of switching travel plans such as origin and destination cities, only paying the difference in fare, if any.
As a precautionary measure, American will require that passengers answer a questionnaire during check-in to validate their health status during the 14 days prior to the flight. Customers will fill out the questions on a self-service machine. It is necessary for both passengers and employees to continue to wear face masks.
“Our customers trust us to make every aspect of their journey safe. We won’t let them down,” said Alison Taylor, American’s chief customer officer, in a statement. “We will continue to refine and update our practices based on the latest information from health authorities and our own Travel Health Advisory Panel.”
Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines have not yet allowed full capacity on their flights. However, United Airlines has not put a limit on its flights, instead the airline implemented a system questionnaire at the start of June. The CEO’s of the mentioned airlines are set to meet Vice President Mike Pence on Friday to speak on the matter of travel amid the pandemic.
American Airlines stock plummeted 5 % during morning trading.