Delta Air Lines will stop blocking middle seats in May, meaning that no more U.S. airlines will limit capacity on flights to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19
Delta Air Lines, the last U.S. airline still blocking middle seats, will end that policy in May as air travel recovers and more people become vaccinated against COVID-19.
The decision announced Wednesday reversed a policy that had been in place since last April, and which Delta’s CEO had repeatedly cited as raising trust in the airline.
Social-distancing is hard if not impossible on an airplane, even with middle seats empty — a point that United CEO Scott Kirby made many times to explain his airline’s resistance to seat-blocking.
Air travel in the United States is recovering from pandemic lows. More than 1 million travelers have gone through U.S. airports for each of the last 20 days, although March traffic remains down nearly half from the same month in 2019.
Delta announced a smorgasbord of other changes. Tickets bought or expiring this year will be good through the end of 2022, Delta will offer a quicker path to elite status in its loyalty program for the rest of 2021, and it will bring back snacks on April 14.