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(abcnews) – American Airlines plans to join United in filling flights to capacity as the number of travelers choosing to fly continues to rise.

Major U.S. carriers announced policies to encourage social distancing in late April as images surfaced of fuller flights that sparked concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies included blocking some or all middle seats and capping bookable seats.MORE: Images of fuller flights amid COVID-19 pandemic renew calls for federal action

The Transportation Security Administration on Thursday screened the highest number of passengers at U.S. airports since mid-March.

Flight crew walk past thermal cameras, that check passenger’s body temperatures, at… moreFlight crew walk past thermal cameras, that check passenger’s body temperatures, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, June 23, 2020.Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

However, air travel is still down almost 80% compared to this time last year, and airlines expect a long, sluggish recovery. Industry experts have expressed concern over capping seat capacity.

“In the long term, that’s a business model that cannot be sustained,” Nick Calio, head of a lobbying group that represents the major U.S. airlines, said at a hearing in early May. “If it costs more to fly people from point A to point B, it’s a total money-losing proposition, which then means it’s a job-loss proposition.”MORE: American Airlines bans activist who was kicked off plane for refusing to wear mask

Here’s what airlines are doing now:

AMERICAN AIRLINES

Starting July 1, American is lifting its seating cap of 85%, allowing all middle seats to be filled.

Passengers are seen onboard of American Airlines flight 388 at John F. Kennedy International Airport… morePassengers are seen onboard of American Airlines flight 388 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, April 25, 2020.Erin Strine via Twitter

American said it will continue to notify customers through the end of September if planes are filling up and “allow them to move to more open flights when available” without paying a change fee. Additionally, passengers can ask to move to another seat within their ticketed cabin once boarding is complete if there are no weight or balance restrictions.

An American spokesperson pointed to its notification to customers, enhanced cleaning procedures, HEPA filters, and mandatory mask-wearing policy as reasons for deciding to fill flights.

UNITED AIRLINES

United, which originally said it was limiting advanced seat selections, now said it never put a cap on capacity or blocked middle seats, according to a company spokesperson.

A United Airlines flight from Newark to San Francisco is crowded with passengers.A United Airlines flight from Newark to San Francisco is crowded with passengers.Ethan Weiss via Twitter

United said customers are contacted 24 hours before departure if their flights approach full capacity “so they can decide whether to adjust their plans before they arrive at the airport.” If a traveler gets to the gate and more than 70% of customers on that flight have checked in, customers will be allowed to adjust their plans.

DELTA AIR LINES

Delta said it will cap cabin seating at 60% in the main cabin, at 50% in first class and block middle seats through the end of September.

JETBLUE AIRWAYS

JetBlue said it would have empty middle seats through the end of July.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

Southwest said middle seats will remain open through the end of September.

Customers still can pick their own seats, and the airline will not block or direct seating so families may sit together.

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