On the rebound? American Airlines’ flights were 56% full over Memorial Day
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
American Airlines saw a banner Memorial Day weekend — at least by 2020 standards — as more travelers seemed ready to shrug off concerns about flying during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier’s flights were 56% full over what is the symbolic start of summer in the U.S., American CEO Doug Parker said at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference on Wednesday.
“We are still flying only 20% of our schedule, but on that much reduced schedule we are definitely seeing more demand than we were seeing in prior months,” he said.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) saw an uptick in people screened over the holiday long weekend. The agency screened 348,673 people on Friday, May 22, at the outset of the weekend. That marked the highest total since March, when people began staying home in large numbers because of COVID-19. Still, even the May 22 total represented less than 15% of the number screened a year ago.
Still, the uptick in travel is good for airlines as they look to cut losses. At the same time, however, it raises questions over traveler safety as concerns of COVID-19 remain high.
Some travelers tweeted images of busy airports and long queues, including at American’s Charlotte (CLT) hub.
— Hunter Sáenz (@Hunt_Saenz) May 25, 2020
American is slowly adding back flights in response to the improving demand. In June, the airline will operate about a third of the schedule it flew a year ago, according to Cirium data.
The carrier will resume a number of routes in June, including select flights to Europe from both its Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) hubs. At the same time, it will suspend service to four smaller cities: Aspen (ASE), Montrose (MTJ), Vail (EGE) and Worcester (ORH).
American has extended its waiver allowing travelers to change bookings without a fee through June 30. Tickets must be for travel by Sept. 30.
“These are early returns but they are encouraging,” Parker said of the Memorial Day weekend performance. “We certainly believe the worst is behind us and we’re on the uptick.”
Featured image by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees