Up until now, American Airlines has been waiving change fees for bookings made through 31 March 2020 (today) but with no sign that anything around us is getting any better soon the airline has now extended that booking period by a month.
American Airlines operates its best narrowbody aircraft (complete with lie-flat seats in First & Business Class) on a few select transcontinental routes on which the airline feels that it needs to compete for premium passenger traffic. One of the routes on which these aircraft operate is the route between Los Angeles and New York (JFK).
The latest big changes to hit the US airlines are the ban on travel between select European countries and the US (which comes into force tonight) and the ban on travel between the US and Argentina that the Argentinian authorities have announced. In response to this very fluid situation, American Airlines has moved to reduce the number of flights it plans to operate in the coming months very significantly.
American Airlines was the first US legacy carrier to waive change fees for travel across its network and now that Delta and United have both caught up and issued their own change fee waivers I thought that I may be helpful to show what all three carriers are offering in one single post.
Widebody aircraft mean large premium cabins (good for upgrades from cargo class), large numbers of seats with extra-legroom (for when the upgrade doesn't clear) and lie-flat seats in the frontmost cabin (for when the upgrade does clear or for when you're paying to fly upfront) so it's always good news when we see Dreamliners and 777s scheduled to fly between various US cities.
American Airlines has followed the likes of JetBlue and Alaska Airlines by waiving change fees for customers booking travel in the next couple of weeks. However, in two key ways, American's latest move is significantly different from what Alaska and JetBlue are offering.
Alaska Airlines and American Airlines have issued a joint statement in which they have announced a new "West Coast International Alliance" under which Alaska's West Coast network will connect up to (and feed) American's long-haul network, which will see Alaska Airlines becoming a member of the oneworld alliance in 2021 and which will see American Airlines launching a new route to Asia and a new route out of Alaska's hub in Seattle.
American has recently been trying to make up for the collapse of its partnership with LATAM (and the exit of that partner from the oneworld alliance) by partnering with GOL, a Brazilian airline based in Sao Paulo.
One of the best ways to fly domestically is, unsurprisingly, to fly in First/Business Class and one of the best ways to fly domestic First/Business Class is to book a flight which offers lie-flat seating in its premium cabin(s) - that's why I was pleased to find that I could book American's widebody 767 aircraft for a flight between New York JFK and Miami.
These are tough times in Hong Kong and with the protests showing no real sign of dying down for good (and having dragged on for far longer than anyone had expected) the appetite for travel to the 'Special Administrative Region' has dropped significantly.