As air traffic slowly recovers, big US carriers struggle financially. Southwest Airlines, the nation's largest domestic airline, withdrew their
Coronavirus pandemic promise of blocking middle seats this week, as many worry. Southwest Airlines won't prohibit middle seats on future flights due to their pandemic policy.
Southwest capped flight passengers at 66% after that policy. Every middle seat would fly vacant, increasing passenger distance.
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines will ban middle seats until January 6. Delta and Alaska Airlines are the two major US carriers barring middle seats over the holidays.
Alaska said it would restrict middle seats on flights over Christmas and New Year. Alaska and Delta are trying to boost revenues by boosting confidence in their processes.
JetBlue will cap seat sales at 70% until December 1. The airline cannot guarantee that you will not be seated next to another customer. Some middle seats will be sold to reach 70% flight filling.
Southwest, American, and United cite pandemic studies claiming flying is safe. Hospital-grade air filters, mask laws, and thorough aircraft cleaning are cited.
One customer said, “I'm very sad about you unblocking the middle seat. I loved my flights, but now they'll be full with masks and strangers
sitting next to you. Too bad passengers can't do anything. Passengers come first sometimes, not money. Wish you had waited till after New Year."