Delta Air Lines has announced it will continue to block middle seats at least through March 30, extending a policy that had been set to expire Jan. 6.
In April early on in the coronavirus pandemic, the airline implemented capacity limitations, one of the first major carriers to do so.
The policy is one component of Delta CareStandard, which encompasses more than 100 safety protocols meant to combat spread of the virus.
Citing recent studies that show the risk of inflight transmission of COVID-19 is low, Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer, said blocking seats into spring 2021 provides added confidence and reassurance for customers booking future travel plans. “We recognize some customers are still learning to live with this virus and desire extra space for their peace of mind,” Lentsch said.
However the same studies have prompted other airlines to end capacity limits. JetBlue has announced that beginning Jan. 8 it will end capacity controls on its flights. Along with Delta, JetBlue had been among the first airlines to block middle seats, but starting Oct. 15, the carrier had opened middle or adjacent seats again and will increase capacity in phases through the holiday travel period.
Only Alaska Airlines among major carriers has been limiting seating for as long as Delta. As of now, Alaska’s policy is set to end Jan. 6.