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Delta further limits seat sales, including half of first class

May 05, 2020
2 min read
Delta further limits seat sales, including half of first class
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Like Alaska Airlines and most recently Southwest, Delta has been limiting the sale of economy seats, capping the number of passengers on each flight with the aim of enabling physical separation onboard. As with other carriers, American Airlines and United have been blocking seat selection, but if a flight is fully booked, agents will assign middle seats at the gate. See our detailed guide for more on how each airline is handling seat sales, onboard separation and more.

Tuesday, Delta announced an even more safety-focused strategy, capping sales of first-class seats at 50% as well. That join's the carrier's previous effort of capping economy, Comfort+ and Premium Select seat sales at 60%.

As the airline explains, "Delta will now also block select window and aisle seats in all cabins on aircraft configured with 1x2, 2x2 and 2x3 seating. Seat blocks for narrowbody and regional jet aircraft will launch this week; blocks for the two-seat sections of widebody aircraft will be visible in the coming weeks."

Delta's A220 first class cabin. Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy.

Naturally, upgrades will be affected as well. Delta has already paused advance complimentary upgrades to the first-class cabin, and, as my friend experienced on a flight from New York (LGA) to Atlanta (ATL) yesterday, gate agents will only process upgrades until the cabin is 50% full. Travelers may request to sit next to a companion if they'd like, but, otherwise, they'll fly next to an empty seat.

As of now, this policy is effective through June 30, though there's always a chance Delta could continue limiting ticket sales beyond that date. Other coronavirus-related procedures, including a requirement for all passengers to wear masks or face coverings, could be extended as well.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more