When Delta began blocking out middle seats in economy and premium economy back in April this year, the move was initially meant to last until the end of May.
But the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has seen the US carrier extend the policy several times, and in its latest update the airline said that it would continue to block middle seats until the end of March next year.
The carrier said that the commitment – part of its Delta Care Standard programme – “provides added confidence and reassurance for customers booking future travel plans”.
Delta also said that it is “the only US airline blocking middle seats for flights departing now through March 30, 2021”.
Several other US airlines have been blocking middle seats, although Southwest plans to drop the policy from December 1, and similarly Hawaiian Airlines currently plans to stop blocking seats from December 15.
Note that as with most things travel related these days, policies can and may well change.
Delta has also launched an interactive map allowing customers to “search, view and click-to-book their desired destination all in one place, giving full control and a better understanding of current travel restrictions and what to expect upon arrival”.
Commenting on the extension to the blocking of middle seats, Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer, said:
“Several independent studies have validated the effectiveness of the Delta Care Standard’s multi-layered protection, like advanced ventilation and an extensive cleaning regimen, which together significantly reduce the risk of flight-related transmission.
“However, we recognize some customers are still learning to live with this virus and desire extra space for their peace of mind. We are listening and will always take the appropriate steps to ensure our customers have complete confidence in their travel with us.”