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Travelers Will See New Inflight Social Distancing & Pet Rules On American Airlines Planes

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - American Airlines had already taken some steps to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Fort Worth-based company has made more policy changes.

The revisions include a further relaxed seating policy, reduced food and beverage service, and suspension of checked pets.

"Our gate agents can reassign seats at the gate, to create more space between you and other travelers," AA Vice President of Customer Experience Kurt Stache explained in a video update. "To help make this easier we're blocking half of all middle seats. Once boarding is complete customers have the flexibility to move to another seat within their cabin."

Earlier this week American had said it would offer limited food and beverage options through April 30, now the airline is temporarily suspending all food and beverage service on flights under 2,200 miles. On flights of more than 2,200 miles (typically longer than 4½ hours), American will continue to offer a streamlined food and beverage service.

The airline said they are working to offering bottled water and snacks at airline gates.

While carry-on pets and emotional service animals are still allowed on flights, all checked pet service has been suspended. "Because schedule changes increase the risk of leaving a pet stranded," Stache said.

American is also temporarily closing most Admirals Club lounges -- including the one at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

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