Local Airlines to Book Flights at Full Capacity Despite COVID-19 Guidance
Two major airlines that fly out of local airports will begin booking flights at full capacity, even though there are state and national calls for social distancing.
Forbes magazine reports that both United Airlines and American Airlines will resume booking flights at full capacity on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height in the U.S., air travel dramatically decreased and airlines received billions from the government as a bailout. These airlines are now apparently seeing an increase in travel and have decided that it was time to begin booking flights at full capacity again.
When social distancing guidelines first came out, many airlines announced they would not book the middle seat on flights. These airlines included Delta, American, and United. Even though United promised to maintain socially distant seating, they came under fire in May when photos of a packed flight surfaced. It's unclear how long United was booking the middle seat of flights after promising not to do so.
But that doesn't matter now because they will be booking flights at full capacity. There are social distancing and face-covering guidance from multiple states, like New York, and the CDC. Currently, these airlines are mandating that all passengers wear masks during flight and while in the airport. According to Forbes, American Airlines will allow passengers to select a different flight if they are alerted that their flight is near capacity for no extra cost. American Airlines will also require passengers to verify that they have been COVID-19 free for 14 days. It is unclear how they will implement this.
American Airlines flies out of Stewart, JFK, LaGuardia, Albany, and Newark Airports. United Airlines flies out of JFK, LaGuardia, Albany, and Newark.
In other flight news, JetBlue recently announced they would be adding flights are nearby airports. These airports include Newark and JFK. LaGuardia recently had it's Terminal B overhauled where American Airlines is housed. Airlines have been making headlines consistently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Delta Airlines and American Airlines both announced the suspension of alcohol service during flights. Delta Airlines previously serviced Stewart International Airport and Westchester County Airport but has halted service temporarily. American Airlines is still flying out of Stewart Airport. Both airlines service surrounding airports like Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia.