American Airlines makes sweeping cuts
AA announced on Sunday some of the largest cuts to international flights ever seen. British Airways is likely to do the same in the coming days but I will cover that fully in more detail. (They have already just announced certain route cuts as I write this).
- Reduce international capacity by 75% year over year — from March 16 to May 6
- Continue to operate one flight daily from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to London (LHR), one flight daily from Miami (MIA) to LHR and three flights per week from DFW to Tokyo (NRT)
- Continue short-haul international flying, which includes flights to Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and certain markets in the northern part of South America, as scheduled
In addition to the international changes, the airline anticipates its domestic capacity in April will be reduced by 20% compared to last year and May’s domestic capacity will be reduced by 30% on a year over year basis.
International Route Changes
By region, the new schedule changes include the following:
Asia, effective March 16
- American will suspend all remaining flights to Asia, except for three flights per week from DFW to NRT
Australia and New Zealand, effective March 16
- Suspending service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland (AKL) effective March 16, which was slated to end seasonal flying on March 28
- Suspending service from LAX to Sydney (SYD) effective March 16
Europe, phased suspension
- American will continue to operate one flight daily from DFW to LHR and MIA to LHR
- Suspending flights from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), and LAX to LHR gradually over the next seven days to re-accommodate passengers and crew
- LHR, Dublin (DUB) and Manchester (MAN) flights from Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL) and Phoenix (PHX) will be suspended faster, as these airports are not approved gateways by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Final eastbound flights from CLT, PHL and PHX will be on March 15; final westbound flights returning from LHR, DUB and MAN will depart March 16
- Continued suspensions in other parts of Europe, as previously announced, including the delayed start of some seasonal routes as well as flights to and from Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN), Frankfurt (FRA), Madrid (MAD) and Munich (MUC) Paris (CDG) and Zurich (ZRH) through early May, or later, based on guidance from the U.S. government and customer demand.
Donald Trump has also suggested that he may force domestic flights to be cut as well, but I’m not sure he will need to based on the current situation.
I am due to fly with American on one of the suspended routes and am yet to be contacted. I will keep you advised about what happens and how I get my refund!
Why the FCO US warning may be a good thing & how to keep up
The Foreign Office has now issued a warning against visiting the US “The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the USA, due to restrictions put in place by the US government“. This joins other warnings on countries such as China and Italy.
If there is an FCO advice against all or all but essential travel to..most policies will cover losses as a result of cancelling the trip. It’s worth checking with your insurer as not some airlines and most foreign hotels won’t give a full refund for this. Don’t forget if you have an American Express Platinum you will have travel insurance with them. If you booked on the card they have a generous cancellation policy. This means you can potentially get a full cash refund.
If you are one of the few people that it is still able to travel somewhere or you want to know when a warning is issued for travel insurance purposes, you can sign up for FCO alerts here.
I also advise looking at https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm for the latest entry restrictions. They can take a few hours to update after an announcement. Reuters is normally one of the first to report new restrictions.
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