Delta Air Lines extends seat-blocking through March 2021
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Delta Air Lines will continue blocking seats into the spring, the carrier announced Wednesday.
The carrier’s seat caps and blocks on middle seats will now run through at least March 30. Previously, the caps had been set to expire Jan. 6.
In extending the policy, Delta hopes to remove anxiety about packed planes as a reason travelers might put off returning to the skies. Many customers have not flown since the pandemic first hit the U.S. in March, and flights in the U.S. are still only about half-full on average — even after a slow recovery that began in the summer.
Delta, citing recent studies, says it’s confident that the risk of inflight transmission is low.
“However, we recognize some customers are still learning to live with this virus and desire extra space for their peace of mind,” Bill Lentsch, Delta’s chief customer experience officer, said in a statement.
For now, Delta’s move means it will be blocking seats longer than any other of the nation’s six biggest carriers. Alaska, which had stood out along with Delta for capping sales, has a policy that is set to end Jan. 6. It would not be surprising, however, if Alaska moved to match Delta’s extension.
Delta’s move also stands in contrast to Southwest Airlines, which will end its policy of capping seat sales on Dec. 1.
Elsewhere, JetBlue is capping flights at 70% of capacity now and will up that to 85% of capacity from Dec. 2 through Jan. 7. But JetBlue said it expects to begin selling flights to capacity starting Jan. 8.
Hawaiian appears set to end its cap on seat sales on Dec. 15, while American and United have been willing to sell their planes to capacity throughout most of the pandemic.
As for Delta, it will block middle seats on flights with 3-3 seating configurations. On regional jets with 2-2 seating, it will block at least one seat in each row. For planes with other configurations – notably widebody jets – sales will be capped at about 75%.
TPG reporter Zach Griff contributed to this post.
Featured image by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.