Delta Is Blocking Middle Seats Until At Least January 2021

The airline is also upping its sanitation efforts.


We can all agree that both the aisle seat and the window seat have their own advantages. Maybe you want easy bathroom access so you can knock back those in-flight mimosas without having to climb over a sleeping seatmate. Maybe you need that skyline Instagram while in descent. We don't judge. 

What we do know is this: no one wants the middle seat, and that was the case even before coronavirus forced us to keep a six-foot distance. And while certain airlines have already opened booking for the dreaded center seat, Delta Air Lines just announced plans to block it off until at least January 6.

"Medical experts... agree -- more distance onboard makes a difference," chief customer experience officer Bill Lentsch said in a statement. "We believe that taking care of our customers and employees and restoring confidence in the safety of air travel is more important right now than filling up every seat on a plane. We’ll continue taking a thoughtful, layered approach ensuring customers know to expect the highest standard of care as they prepare for their holiday travels." 

In addition to nixing that middle seat, Delta will continuing to limit passenger capacity through October 31 at the earliest. The company's stringent mask policy remains in place, as well -- with the promise of landing yourself on a no-fly list for non-compliance. 

Delta is also upping its sanitation protocol, with at least eight employees responsible for disinfecting planes versus the original three to five requirement, Reuters reported earlier this week. 

"We’ve done quite a lot of change to our turn process," head of Delta's new Global Cleanlinness Division Mike Medeiros told the outlet. "As important as [being] on-time is to our company, we know that cleanliness, particularly in this environment but also going forward, will be just as important." 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.