American Airlines rolls out touchless bag check but is still booking middle seats

US-HEALTH-VIRUS-AVIATION Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

American Airlines announced on Friday that it is making the check-in process completely touchless, even for passengers who have to check bags. But the company continues to book passengers into middle seats, so it’s ultimately a small gesture that only slightly reduces the chance of exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Starting Friday, passengers flying with American Airlines will have to set the number of bags they’re bringing ahead of time on the company’s app or website. Then when they show up at the airport, they just scan their mobile boarding pass at a kiosk to instantly print the bag tags — no touchscreen interactions required. The passengers can then drop those bags before heading to their gate.

American Airlines frames this a “new…

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