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American Airlines will require masks for flight attendants, and unveils other new anti-coronavirus measures

April 28, 2020
4 min read
American Airlines will require masks for flight attendants, and unveils other new anti-coronavirus measures
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American Airlines is announcing major new initiatives to combat COVID-19 going forward. In a press release late Monday, AA said it was determined to keep passengers and crew safe as coronavirus spreads.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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AA will be requiring all flight attendants to wear face masks starting May 1, and hand them out to passengers as well. The airline is also handing out sanitizing wipes to passengers where available, and will be deep cleaning between flights. American said new procedures will begin as soon as this week and will rollout to all mainline flights in the next few weeks.

Related: American Airlines extends elite status in the wake of the coronavirus

The airline said the same deep cleaning policies already in place for long-haul flights will be used on all flights. This includes the use of strong disinfectants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Tray tables, handles, seatbelt buckles, armrests, seatback screens, overhead bins, window shades, and other surfaces will get disinfected. Crew areas will also be cleaned more thoroughly under the new policies.

Back in March, AA expanded fogging with an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant in all public areas on aircraft.

The airline has also previously relaxed its seating policies. It now allows customers to move within their ticketed cabin as long as it doesn't create any weight or balance issues. The airline has blocked at least half of its middle seats and seats around the flight attendant jump seats. Inflight service has also been cut.

American said it is also expanding deeper cleanings and disinfection to all regional flights.

Kurt Stache, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience said in a press release, “We are looking out for our customers’ well-being to give them peace of mind while they travel with us. We’re moving quickly on these enhancements and we’ll continue to improve the travel experience for our customers and team members as we navigate these times together.”

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Delta Air Lines also said it was requiring flight attendants to wear masks and begin handing them out to passengers. JetBlue announced a similar policy and will also soon require passengers to wear masks.

Related: American accelerates Boeing 757, 767 retirements due to coronavirus

Traffic has collapsed for airlines as coronavirus has spread around the world. Passenger traffic is down by more than 90% for many airlines and airports. AA had previously announced it was cutting most of its long-haul flying and its domestic route has also been dramatically scaled back.

American Airlines planes parked in Tulsa after coronavirus. Image from American Airlines.
American Airlines planes parked in Tulsa after coronavirus. Image from American Airlines.

Related reading:

Featured image by AA parked planes at various locations including Tulsa and Pittsburgh. Photos courtesy American Airlines.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees