Delta to Block Aisle and Window Seats Through September to Promote Social Distancing
Delta will continue blocking middle seats and capping capacity through September 30.
In a press release this week, the airline announced a three-month extension to its coronavirus policies that blocked off select window and aisle seats from being booked, in addition to all middle seats, in an effort to maintain social distancing for passengers while flying.
Seating will be blocked at 50 percent full in first class, 60 percent in the main cabin and Delta Comfort+ and 75 percent in Delta One to reduce the number of passengers on board each flight.
“Reducing the overall number of customers on every aircraft across the fleet is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure a safe experience for our customers and people,” Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch said in a statement. “Delta is offering the highest standards in safety and cleanliness so we’re ready for customers when they’re ready to fly again.”
Since mid-April, Delta and many other airlines began blocking the middle seat to encourage social distancing in the cabin. In early May, Delta expanded the measure to select window and aisle seats — allowing smaller, narrowbody aircraft to boast blocked seating for social distancing, too.
When passengers try to select seats during booking or check-in, they will see much of the cabin is unavailable or not assignable because of the blocking measures. Passengers who need to be seated next to a travel companion are encouraged to speak to a gate agent at the airport for new seats.
However, there is progress towards returning to normal cabin procedures. Starting June 10, Delta will resume automatic complimentary Medallion upgrades that are managed in advance, subject to availability with seating caps. On routes that are full or are repeatedly approaching the seating caps, Delta will either upgrade to a large aircraft or add another flight to the schedule.