“For the safety and comfort of all customers, we have aligned our seating accommodation policies with other major airlines regarding customers who may require more than one seat,” reads the webpage outlining the changes to American’s policy. As American Airlines and US Airways work to integrate the two airlines, they are making policy changes that align with other carriers, this is such a case.
The new policy is as follows:
“If the passenger requires a seat belt extension and their body extends more than one (1) inch beyond the outermost edge of the armrest, another seat would be required.”
The old policy simply required that the passenger be capable of lowering the armrest(s) without his body impeding.
If you meet the abovementioned criteria, American offers two possible solutions.
- At booking: A reservations representative will ensure that you receive two adjacent seats at the same rate for each seat.
- At the airport: If you have not booked an extra seat in advance, you will need to speak with an airport agent as soon as possible. If seats are available in your ticketed cabin, you may be accommodated in the same cabin next to an empty seat. However, that additional seat must be available without downgrading or unseating another customer.
- If time allows, and upon payment of the fare difference, you may be offered a seat in a higher class of service that may provide more space.
- If no space is available you may purchase a second seat on a different flight at the airport.
Keep in mind that not all flight attendants may enforce the policy. Some may be fine with you taking up another passengers seat (unless they complain). Others may force you to move to another seat or purchase a second seat.
In general, I am okay with this policy because it isn’t fair to the other passenger whose space is being violated and who paid for their ticket just as the person whom cannot properly fit within their assigned seat.
Your thoughts/opinion on the matter?