American Airlines will restore some flights in July, reopen lounges


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A brand new American Airlines Airbus A321neo took to the skies with passengers from Phoenix to Orlando for the first time April 2, 2019.

The Republic | azcentral.com

American Airlines plans to bring back more domestic and international flights next month as travel demand returns from the sharp downturn related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The carrier, based in Fort Worth, Texas, will fly 55% of its July 2019 domestic flights next month and 20% of its international flights a year ago. Total flights, domestic and international combined, next month will be 40% of July 2019 levels.

By the last week of May, which included Memorial Day, American’s daily passenger countrebounded to 110,000 from the April low of 32,000.

“We’re seeing a slow but steady rise in domestic demand,” said Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president of network strategy. “After a careful review of data, we’ve built a July schedule to match.”

The airline is increasing the frequency of flights from its hubs at Dallas-Fort Worth and Charlotte Douglas airports. It is also increasing service to Florida in July, as the state’s theme parks reopen. Universal Orlando is reopening on Friday, and Walt Disney World is set to begin reopening on July 11.

American will also increase service to Montana, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming as national parks reopen.

On Thursday, American will resume flying to six international destinations: Dallas-Fort Worth to Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt; Miami to Antigua; and Chicago O’Hare and New York JFK to London.

Other international routes will return in July and August. July flight schedules will be posted on aa.com on Sunday.

American is waiving change fees for flights booked through June 30. The airline is also waiving change fees for tickets for travel through Sept. 30.

Some airport lounges to reopen

The airline will also reopen 11 Admirals Club lounges in 10 U.S. airports. The airline has the membership-based lounges at more than two dozen U.S. airports. They have been closed since late March.

Admirals Club lounges will reopen June 22 at Charlotte Douglas, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York JFK and LaGuardia, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington Reagan National.

Bar and food service will resume at the lounges, but buffets will not, at least for now.

“I wouldn’t say never,” said Julie Rath, American’s vice president for customer planning.

Rath said the lounges would have individually wrapped snacks, and eventually, packaged fresh food.

Staff, including bartenders, will wear face coverings. Customers will be encouraged, but not required, to wear them. Passengers will still be required to wear face masks when they board the plane, and on the flight.

Rath said no seating would be removed from the lounges, but that the number of people in the space at any one time would be controlled. 

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