Delta Air Lines passengers could start seeing middle seats being filled up again in the middle of next year, the company’s CEO said this week.
During Delta’s third-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Ed Bastian said he expects the airline will stop blocking middle seats in the first half of 2021 — depending on how passengers feel.
“It’s going to be [based] on consumer sentiment and confidence in air travel,” Bastian said, according to a transcript of the call.
And he said confidence in air travel is improving, he added.
“We’ve got a lot of studies coming out from experts about the safety of air travel. And sometime in the first half of next year, I have no doubt we will be lifting those caps. But we haven’t picked a date yet, and I’d say we will continue to start the New Year with the caps in place.”
Currently, Delta’s website says it will continue to block middle seats until at least Jan. 6, 2021.
Delta is one of the only US-based airlines that has promised to keep the middle seats blocked to passengers through the end of the year.
Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced they will block the middle seats to passengers through Nov. 30 and Hawaiian Airlines has said it will block middle seats through Dec. 15, according to Forbes.
Meanwhile, JetBlue hasn’t given a specific day when it will reopen middle seats to passengers, but the airline posted on its website that it would sell less than 70 percent of seats through the holiday season.
Other airlines including United, American and Spirit are selling middle seat tickets. However, American and United reportedly allow passengers to change their flights for free if the plane is too crowded, Forbes reported.
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