JetBlue announced Wednesday that it will block middle seats during upcoming trips through the Fourth of July.

  • JetBlue said it will block the seats for passengers who aren’t traveling together and don’t want to sit next to each other amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The company said it will block aisle seats on smaller aircrafts as well.
  • “The airline does allow customers traveling together to sit in middle and aisle seats,” the company said.
  • Face coverings are required for travelers, according to JetBlue. This will remain in place until July 6.

What they’re saying:

  • Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer of JetBlue, said: “As communities start to reopen and with summer travel kicking off this weekend, more people are beginning to fly and we want them to feel safe on JetBlue. Our program layers together a series of protections throughout the entire travel journey, which work together to help keep everyone safe and well.”
  • JetBlue said it is focused on having healthy crew members, clean air and surfaces, space, fewer areas to touch and some flexibility with traveling.

More context:

  • Frontier Airlines announced a program earlier in May called “More Room,” which allowed people to pay to keep middle seats free during flights. The program was canceled, though, after the company suffered criticism for charging customers for keeping themselves safe.
  • Questions arose about the safety of flights last week when a Dr. Ethan Weiss tweeted a photo of a near-full United Airlines flight, suggesting that the plane had not kept middle seats empty as it had previously promised to do, according to my report for the Deseret News.