TORONTO — Delta has announced that it is extending middle seat blocks on its aircraft into January 2021.
The airline first launched the protocol to block the selection of middle seats last month as a way to limit the number of customers per flight, making travel safer and easier to book.
The extension will run to at least Jan. 6, 2021 and will be available in Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin via the Fly Delta app or online.
For customers in parties of one or two, middle seats will be blocked for safety. For customers in parties of three or more, middle seats will appear as available for booking to allow families and travel companions to select seats together.
“Medical experts, including our own partners at Emory Healthcare, agree – more distance onboard makes a difference,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We believe that taking care of our customers and employees and restoring confidence in the safety of air travel is more important right now than filling up every seat on a plane. We’ll continue taking a thoughtful, layered approach ensuring customers know to expect the highest standard of care as they prepare for their holiday travels.”
In addition to extending middle seat blocks, Delta is also extending its change fee waiver for new flights purchased through Sept. 30, as well as reducing capacity onboard. For travel through at least Oct. 31, the airline will be limiting the number of customers onboard all aircraft, with or without middle seats, as well as limiting the First Class cabin to half capacity. It will also block one aisle of seats on aircraft without middle seats.
On routes where planes begin to fill, the airline will look for opportunities to upsize to a larger aircraft type or add additional flights.
The Delta One cabin on wide-body aircraft, which is designed with more space and privacy, will be offered at full capacity effective Oct. 1.
For everyone’s safety, customers are required to wear masks or face coverings throughout the airport, in Delta Sky Clubs and onboard the aircraft through the winter holiday travel season and beyond. Those who indicate they have an underlying condition that prevents them from wearing a mask are required to complete a ‘Clearance-To-Fly’ process before being permitted to travel.
Lastly, Delta has updated its booking policy to give travellers peace of mind during this uncertain time. For all new flights purchased through Sept. 30, travellers have the option to change their flight without a change fee for a year from the date of purchase.