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The policy started April 13, but one recent passenger has reached out to the company to ask why it is not being practiced on all Delta flights.
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“@Delta I’m just curious, so supposedly y’all are supposed to be blocking middle seats on flights, yet my flight I had two days ago was pretty much full (middle seats included),” the concerned tweeted on May 1.
On the same day, Delta responded with its current seating policy.
“Hello! We are blocking middle seats in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+, and Delta Premium Select across all flights,” the company said in a tweet. “When booking your future seat selection via the Fly Delta App or online, middle seats will be shown as unavailable.”
It is not clear whether middle seats were actually filled during the flight or if this all may be because the seats in question were possibly booked prior to the announced policy.
However, the passenger replied to Delta’s tweet insisting that middle seats were filled.
“It’s my understanding that this policy was in place prior to my flight yet from my experience the middle seats were still occupied,” the passenger wrote. He added that Delta’s flight attendants were also confused about the policy.
For customers who find themselves in a similar situation, Delta urges they reach out as soon as possible with their flight details, so the company can review the issue.
Aside from blocking off middle seats, Delta will now block select window and aisle seats in all aircraft cabins that have “1x2, 2x2 and 2x3 seating,” according to a company statement issued on May 5. Seat blocks for narrowbody and regional jet aircrafts will be implemented this week while seat blocks for two-seat sections of widebody aircrafts will be implemented in the coming weeks.
Delta’s current seating policies are effective through June 30 and will be rolled out on its entire operating fleet. The changes are set to be reflected in the Fly Delta app and company website for future seat selections.
Customers who wish to sit directly next to a travel companion are encouraged to speak with a Delta agent prior to boarding.
Other airlines that are implementing COVID-19 seating policies:
Alaska Airlines is blocking off middle seats on all its large aircraft and the policy is effective through May 31.
American Airlines is blocking off 50 percent of its main cabin middle seats and any seats situated near the flight attendants’ jump seats. The policy is effective through May 31.
Middle seats will be blocked off for passengers who pay an additional fee for Frontier’s “More Room” seat. The starting price is $39.
Starting May 8, Hawaiian Airlines’ crew will manually assign seats to “increase personal space onboard” and prevent the booking of middle and adjoining seats.
JetBlue is not barring middle seats outright, however, its flight staff is limiting the number of seats for sale on most aircrafts “to provide additional space between individuals who are not traveling together."
Middle seats on most of Spirit Airlines’ aircraft will be blocked, according to the company’s website. There is no end date specified.
Instead of blocking off middles seats, Southwest Airlines is capping the number of passengers that are allowed on each of its aircraft. Passengers are responsible for picking their own seats and managing their own space needs, according to a recent company statement. The policy began May 2.
United Airlines has limited passengers from booking middle seats “where available.” Aircraft that have two-seat rows will only allow one passenger to book a seat while the other remains empty. Additional spacing procedures include blocking off seats directly next to the book seat, whether it be directly in front of a window seat or beside an aisle seat. The policy is effective through May 31.
This article has been updated to reflect Delta's updated seating policy for May 5, which goes beyond blocking off middle seats.