Southwest Airlines is going to start filling up its planes. Here’s when it starts
Forget about the empty middle seats during the coronavirus pandemic. Middle seats will be filled soon.
Southwest Airlines will join United and America in filling up unused seats on new flights beginning on November.
What’s going on?
Southwest Airlines’ new policy — which will fill the middle seats originally left open because of the coronavirus pandemic and the call for social distancing — will begin Dec. 1.
- Thanksgiving travel won’t be affected. But this will impact travel for Christmas, New Year’s and other winter holidays.
- “This practice of effectively keeping middle seats open bridged us from the early days of the pandemic, when we had little knowledge about the behavior of the virus, to now,’’ Southwest said in a statement. “Today, aligned with science-based findings from trusted medical and aviation organizations, we will resume selling all available seats for travel beginning December 1, 2020.’’
Southwest will allow guests on full flights to rebook their seats on another flight if they want.
Why this matters
Both United and American have updated their policies to fill middle seats. At the beginning of the pandemic, airlines kept their middle seats open and unused to promote social distancing between guests, according to USA Today.
In fact, United Airlines has called the middle seat safety precaution a gimmick to steer customers in the right position.