American Airlines is building is schedule back up domestically for July, re-opening Admirals Clubs, and improving its change fee waiver – while re-asserting one element of restrictions attached to its basic economy fares.
American Re-Opening Admirals Clubs
On Monday I wrote that several American Airlines Admirals Clubs would re-open June 22, focusing on clubs at their hubs such as the Dallas Fort-Worth A and C clubs.
The phased re-opening of clubs does begin June 22, with some major hub clubs re-opening first. They’ve installed “[p]lexiglass shields at reception and service desks” and ‘where feasible’ have added “[f]oot-operated door openers to enable touchless operation of restroom doors.” There are hand sanitizer stations along with floor decals “to remind customers to practice social distancing.”
Naturally there aren’t any buffets any longer, instead expected packaged snacks. However they are providing full service bar.
The clubs initially opening are:
- Charlotte C
- Chicago O’Hare H/K
- Dallas Fort-Worth A and C
- Los Angeles Terminal 4
- New York JFK Terminal B (no alcohol per New York rules)
- New York LaGuardia D (no alcohol per New York rules)
- Miami D30
- Philadelphia B/C
- Phoenix A7
- Washington National B concourse
In addition several outstations will offer service centers for assistance with reservations: Atlanta;, Austin; Nashville; Boston; Dallas Fort-Worth D; Houston; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Orlando; San Francisco; Orange County; St. Louis; Tampa.
Looking For Summer Travel Recovery
I’ve written for several weeks that forward bookings in July start to look fairly good, at least compared to recent lows, with many flights to domestic leisure destinations selling out far in advance.
American Airlines is growing its July domestic schedule to more than half of what it was last year (55%). International will remain at ‘nearly 20%.’ Overall capacity will be down 60% from last year. Growth focuses on the Dallas and Charlotte hubs to Florida, the Gulf Coast, and Mountain destinations, and the airline says they “will offer more seats to Florida than any other airline in July.”
However planned international flights out of Philadelphia and Charlotte that were planned to re-start in July have been pushed to August.
|Time Period||Domestic reduction
vs. same period 2019
|Avg Daily Passengers||Avg Load Factor|
|May 1-23, 2020||80%||78,718||41%|
|May 24-29, 2020||80%||110,330||55%|
To support the schedule buildup American is offering double redeemable miles up to 10,000 bonus miles for travel through September 30 (registration required).
Improved Change Fee Waiver
American’s extended change fee waiver, announced a week ago, has been improved.
- Tickets purchased by June 30, for travel through September 30, received a change fee waiver
- That’s still in place for basic economy tickets
- However other tickets no longer have the ‘travel by September 30’ requirement for a waiver.
American is envisioning a time in the next few months when they’ll want to be enforcing what remains of the restrictions on basic economy fares.
Two months ago I wrote that continue to waive change fees into the future because of the uncertainty customers feel. They’ll avoid purchasing tickets even when they are willing to travel, because they don’t know what is going to happen in two weeks or two months.
JetBlue’s CEO now agrees, change fees aren’t going to be able to operate the same as they once did because they pressure customers to travel while sick. This represents a huge challenge to American’s pricing strucutre, however, which relies on change fees to separate business from leisure travel fares.