delta block middle seats
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Delta announced this morning that it will extend its pandemic-related middle seat blocking through at least the end of April 2021.

This is yet another extension of their industry leading middle-seat blocking policy that both adheres to science and also, perhaps more importantly, makes customers feel safer. Southwest and Alaska, two airlines that blocked longer than most, both ended their middle seat blocking policies by the start of 2021.

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As for the science, actual evidence does bear out that the risk of catching COVID-19 on-board is absolutely reduced when the middle seat is blocked, by a factor of 1.8.

But the goodwill this engenders may be even more important. I have no idea how much this move is costing them, but they are long term focused on providing customers with experiences that keep them flying Delta.

As a reminder, Delta’s policy is as follows:

  • Limit the total number of customers on board all aircraft – with or without middle seats.
  • Block adjacent seats in First Class.
  • Block one aisle of seats on aircraft without middle seats.

Even when I go on the attack against Delta’s SkyMiles program, which I do every time they destroy that program even more than the last time, I always simultaneously point out that they may well have the best domestic flying experience – and elite experience – of any US airline.

This middle seat blocking extension shows that second part in spades.

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I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.


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