Delta blocks more seats for social distancing

Delta Air Lines is blocking off more seats on its planes to allow for social distancing.

In addition to its April announcement that it is blocking middle seats from being sold, Atlanta-based Delta is also blocking the sale of certain window and aisle seats in situations where there are no middle seats. In plane rows with only two seats together on one or both sides of the aisle, Delta said it will block select window and aisle seats “to make more space for safer travel.”

The new policy starts this week on narrow-body planes and regional jets and will expand to the rest of Delta’s fleet in coming weeks. It will be in effect through June 30.

Delta called these “hard blocks,” meaning that the seats will not be occupied. Some airlines have been criticized for leaving open the possibility that some of their blocked seats could be filled.

The measure will cap seating at 60% in Delta’s main cabin, Comfort+ and premium economy, and at 50% in first class “to reduce the overall number of customers in every cabin across the fleet.”

There are already a small fraction of passengers on planes due to a more than 90% decline in air travel.

Those who want to sit next to their friends or family members who they are traveling with can talk to a gate agent to request to sit together.

The airline said last week it is requiring customers and employees to wear masks.

04/28/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - Delta Air Lines customer service agent Kim Franklin retrieves a new pair of disposable gloves after working with a customer during her shift at a Delta Air Lines ticket counter inside Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Tuesday, April 28, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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