American Airlines Will No Longer Block Middle Seats Starting This Week

Isabel Garcia
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

To allow for social distancing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, airlines have reduced the number of bookings on flights, blocking middle seats. In late March, American Airlines said it would limit the number of passengers on aircrafts, not assigning half of main cabin middle seats on every flight. Although the U.S. continues to report spikes in cases across the country, American Airlines announced that it will begin booking flights to full capacity again starting this week.

"As more people continue to travel, customers may notice that flights are booked to capacity starting July 1," the airline said in a statement. This moves comes as United Airlines revealed that it can't guarantee middle seats on their flights will be empty after a cardiologist tweeted a photo of a packed flight.

While flights will be able to booked to full capacity, American Airlines will continue to notify customers when the flight is crowded and let them move to a more open flight if it's available. Additionally, if passengers board a flight that's not completely full, they'll be allowed to move another seat within their ticketed cabin. And as a new safety precaution, starting June 30, American Airlines will start asking customers during the check-in process to certify that they have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for the past 14 days. Masks will continue to be required for passengers and American Airlines crews.

Need to travel this summer but don't want to board a full flight? Delta and Southwest are blocking middle seats through the end of September.

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