Delta Air Lines will become the next airline to stop blocking middle seats on commercial flights. The US carrier is expected to open all seats to passengers, a year after the airline began blocking seats in order to give passengers a chance to better distance themselves socially.
According to a recent Travel + Leisure report, the U.S. airline will continue to block the middle seat until May 1, when it will completely eliminate the practice of the pandemic era, as more and more passengers will be vaccinated.
“While Delta’s decision to block out middle seats has given many customers a reason to choose Delta over the past year, the hallmark hospitality of our employees and the experiences they provide to customers every day have also boosted their confidence in our airline, ”Delta Air Lines CEO, Ed Bastian, said Travel + Leisure in a report.
Delta is also reportedly bringing back snacks as of April 14, including Coca-Cola drinks, Clif bars, Biscoff cookies and almonds. By June, the airline is expected to offer hot food on select domestic routes coast-to-coast for Delta One and First Class flights.
“The relationships we have forged, as well as the fact that nearly 65% of those who flew with Delta in 2019 expect to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, give us assurance of ‘Provide customers with the flexibility to choose any seat on our aircraft, while introducing new services, products and rewards to support travel, ”added Bastian.
Note that even though the airline has started to revert to pre-pandemic practices, it will continue to waive change fees for Basic Economy tickets purchased through April 30, including tickets from outside of North America. In addition, all tickets expiring in 2021 will be extended until December 31, 2022 and tickets purchased in 2021 will also be extended until 2022.