EasyJet Considering Leaving the Middle Seat Open in a Post-Coronavirus World (Video)
One day we will all get to travel again, but what that might look like post-coronavirus is currently up in the air. That’s why EasyJet, the budget airline popular throughout Europe, is considering nixing the dreaded middle seat in an effort to promote social distancing.
EasyJet confirmed to Travel + Leisure that the airline is looking for ways to create more space between people — at least temporarily — and while nothing has yet been decided, we don’t think passengers would complain.
"That is something that we will do because I think that is something that the customers would like to see," easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren told the BBC. "Then we will work out with the authorities and listen to the customers' views and points on what they believe is the right thing to do, particularly in the start-up period."
He added: "I think it's important that customers understand that we are taking this very seriously, and first and foremost, our concern is about the customers' well-being and our people's well-being."
The no-middle-seat idea is a practice several other airlines have already implemented, according to CNN. American Airlines and United Airlines have both started reseating customers to create social distance when seats are available.
Additionally, Alaska Airlines has blocked all middle seats on large aircraft and aisle seats on small aircraft through May 31, according to the airline.
EasyJet has grounded all its flights until further notice. Currently, they're offering customers the chance to change their flights without a fee or fare difference until March 2021, the option for a travel voucher valid through the end of Summer 2021, or a refund.
“We are continuing to explore all ideas around what health and safety measures will best protect our customers and employees when we restart commercial flights,” easyJet told T+L.
EasyJet isn’t alone in exploring options to get people flying again. Emirates this week started testing passengers for COVID-19 right in the Dubai terminal utilizing rapid blood tests.