It might not come as that much of a surprise as American Airlines announced they’d be removing capacity restrictions on all their flights effective July 1, 2020. Previously the airline would limit the number of seats it would sell on each aircraft in an attempt to create more space for customers onboard.
Up until this point the airline would sell flights up to 85%, so even before there was no guarantee that you’d have an empty middle seat. For context, Delta Air Lines pledged they’d be blocking middle seats on all flights through September 30, 2020 by keeping 60% capacity restrictions in place.
Per American Airlines,
As more people continue to travel, customers may notice that flights are booked to capacity starting July 1. American will continue to notify customers and allow them to move to more open flights when available, all without incurring any cost. This is in addition to the airline’s current travel waivers. Additional details regarding travel waivers can be found below and on aa.com/travelalerts.
American Airlines does require all passengers and crew to wear masks onboard its flights which will continue. Additionally, they’ll be asking passengers COVID-19 symptoms related questions as part of the check-in process.
When it comes to airlines that are continuing to restrict capacity, Delta Air Lines, Southwest and JetBlue Airways all have policies still in place, with Delta the most generous by blocking middle seats on all flights through the end of September.
Similar to American, United Airlines is selling flights completely full and actually has never added capacity restrictions during the past few months.
If you don’t care about sitting next to other passengers fly American or United. If you want to have an empty middle seat then you’ll want to fly Delta or JetBlue the next several months.
What are your thoughts on American Airlines no longer limiting capacity on its flights? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.