American Airlines Adjusts Food and Lounge Service in Response to COVID-19

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 6:17 PM

Temporary changes include scaled back food and beverage service, closing additional Admirals Club lounges, maximizing social distancing on aircraft, and short-term suspension of checked pets

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is making several changes in service and policies as it continues to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on customers. These changes include temporarily closing more Admirals Club lounges, reducing flight attendant-customer interaction and maximizing space between customers on aircraft.

Reduced food and beverage service

To further provide for social distancing and minimal contact between flight attendants and customers, American will offer limited food and beverage options from March 27 through April 30. The reduced service will be based on flight length and destination. Full service will resume once the COVID-19 situation has stabilized. American is exploring and expects to make bottled water and snacks available at the gate in the near future.

For all flights shorter than 2,200 miles (typically less than 4 1/2 hours):

  • Alcohol will not be available in Main Cabin. Alcohol will be available on request in first class.
  • Beverages available on request and limited to water, canned beverages or juice.
  • No snacks or food for purchase will be served.
  • Meals will not be offered in first class.

For all flights longer than 2,200 miles (typically more than 4 1/2 hours), including transcontinental and flights to Hawaii:

  • Alcohol will not be served in Main Cabin and Main Cabin Extra except on long-haul international flights. Alcohol will be available in first class.
  • Other Main Cabin beverages will be served as usual.
  • No snacks or food for purchase will be served. Main Cabin meals will be served on long-haul international flights.
  • First and business class meals will be served on one tray versus in courses.

American will also suspend predeparture beverage service on all flights.

"Our flight attendants spend the most time with our customers and play a critical role in ensuring the safety and well-being of our customers," said Jill Surdek, Senior Vice President of Flight Service. "As a result of working with our flight attendant team and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, we are taking these necessary steps today and will continue to update our policies in response to guidance from the CDC."

Admirals Club lounges

American will temporarily close most Admirals Club lounges, but will maintain front desk customer service at large U.S. airports and at London’s Heathrow Airport. These changes go into effect beginning Thursday, March 26.

Team members working at the locations below will be available to offer travel assistance. To reduce large gatherings, lounge services — including all food and beverage offerings, restrooms and shower facilities — will be temporarily suspended.

Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT), Concourse C

Chicago (ORD), Concourse H/K

Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Terminals A, C and D

London Heathrow (LHR), Terminal 3

Los Angeles (LAX), Terminal 4

Miami (MIA), Gate D30

New York (JFK), Gate 12 (Flagship Lounge with temporary Admirals Club service)

New York (LGA), Concourse D

Philadelphia (PHL), Terminal B/C

Phoenix (PHX), Gate A7 and Gate A19

Washington (DCA), Terminal C

"American is committed to caring for customers through these unprecedented times. Customer and team member wellbeing is foremost in our minds," said Kurt Stache, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. "As the travel mandates abate and the COVID-19 crisis subsides, we will explore how to manage annual membership benefits for impacted customers — including for those with a membership through the Citi / AAdvantage Executive card. We look forward to welcoming back our loyal members soon."

Relaxed seating policies

In response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing guidelines, American will temporarily relax seating policies for customers on most flights and reduce onboard food and beverage service levels.

To encourage social distancing, gate agents may reassign seats to create more space between customers beginning March 24. Once on board — provided there aren’t any aircraft weight or balance restrictions — customers can move to another seat within their ticketed cabin subject to availability. American will also block 50% of standard middle seats and all seats adjacent to Flight Attendant jump seats on every flight.

Temporary suspension of checked pet service

Because schedule changes increase the risk of stranded pets, all checked pet service will be suspended beginning March 25. Carry-on pets and service and support animals are still permitted, as long as they comply with existing requirements. American Airlines Cargo will also still accept pets for transport, but with additional restrictions.

American is closely monitoring government policy changes, CDC guidelines, government mandates and customer demand, and we will continue to make changes as necessary.

About American Airlines Group
American Airlines offers customers 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. With a shared purpose of caring for people on life's journey, American's 130,000 global team members serve more than 200 million customers annually. Since 2013, American has invested more than $28 billion in its product and people and now flies the youngest fleet among U.S. network carriers, equipped with industry-leading high-speed Wi-Fi, lie-flat seats, and more inflight entertainment and access to power. American also has enhanced food and beverage options in the air and on the ground in its world-class Admirals Club and Flagship lounges. American was recently named a Five Star Global Airline by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and Airline of the Year by Air Transport World. American is a founding member of oneworld®, whose members serve 1,100 destinations in 180 countries and territories. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company's stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what's happening at American by visiting news.aa.com and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.