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Delta is still planning to block middle seats. But for how long?

Delta wants to provide full confidence for flyers. How long will it last?

People wait in line at a Delta Air Lines gate at San Francisco International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020.
People wait in line at a Delta Air Lines gate at San Francisco International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic in San Francisco, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020.
Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

Delta Air Lines said Monday it would continue to block middle seats on its flights through April.

What’s going on?

Delta has decided to extend its new middle seat policy for one more month.

  • It will also limit capacity on all flights until April 30.
  • These extensions come during the spring break travel season and near the Easter holiday.

Key quote

“We want our customers to have complete confidence when traveling with Delta, and they continue to tell us that more space provides more peace of mind,” said Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer. “We’ll continue to reassess seat blocking in relation to case transmission and vaccination rates, while bringing back products and services in ways that instill trust in the health and safety of everyone on board — that will always be Delta’s priority.”

Context

Several airlines in the United States blocked middle seats in the beginning of the pandemic as a sign of social distancing, according to USA Today. But all airlines ended the policy since then — except for Delta. Southwest, JetBlue and Hawaiian kept their policies until December before dropping them.

Can you get COVID-19 on a flight?

Research continues to pop up about whether or not you can get COVID-19 on a flight. For example, Canadian public health authorities released data that showed there’s almost a daily occurrence of someone getting infected with COVID-19 while flying.

However, United Airlines and the Department of Defense teamed up for a study in October that found the risk of COVID-19 is “virtually nonexistent,” as I wrote for the Deseret News.