American Airlines Re-Opening Admirals Clubs, Growing Summer Flight Schedule

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
April 2020 65% 32,154 15%
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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Well, good to see that at least we’re seeing positive (and hopefully permanent) design changes out of this. I swear, if I never have to touch another restroom door handle in my life, I’ll die a happy man. Given the behaviors I see in Admiral’s Clubs, the stuff I’d imagine to be on those door handles scared me for years before COVID even existed.

  2. They should re-activate the mobile check-in at Admirals Club to further minimize contact. That was a stupid step backwards when they removed that feature (it was problematic then when customers who just wanted to enter a club had to wait in stupid long lines during IRROPs behind people who needed time-consuming assistance).

  3. LGA Terminal B, pier D is the Admiral’s Club location. It’s not the same as LGA-D (99% of the operations in Terminal D is run by Delta). The previous Admiral’s Club in LGA-C has been taken over as overflow lounge for SkyClub.

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