Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines have all joined United Airlines in ditching change fees for flights within the U.S. USA TODAY


Delta Air Lines, hoping to nab a bigger share of travelers flying during the pandemic, is extending its policy of blocking middle seats to space out passengers on its planes.

The airline's policy, previously set to expire on Jan. 6, will now be in place through March, a period that includes the usually busy spring break travel season. 

Bill Lentsch, Delta's chief customer experience officer, said in a statement Wednesday: "We recognize some customers are still learning to live with this virus and desire extra space for their peace of mind. We are listening and will always take the appropriate steps to ensure our customers have complete confidence in their travel with us.”

With the extension, Delta is the lone U.S. airline to continue blocking middle seats well into 2021.

Southwest Airlines, which like Delta has relentlessly marketed its policy of not filling its planes, recently said it will no longer block middle seats beginning Dec. 1.

Goodbye empty middle seats:  Six things to know about Southwest's new pandemic policy

The only other U.S. airlines currently blocking some seats are JetBlue, Alaska and Hawaiian. JetBlue's policy runs through Dec. 1, Hawaiian's Dec. 15 and Alaska's through Jan. 6.

Delta's move comes as coronavirus cases surge across the country and many health experts are recommending against traveling.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Americans should 'think twice' about holiday travel plans

Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
Read or Share this story: /story/travel/airline-news/2020/11/18/delta-airlines-plans-block-middle-seats-through-march-2021-pandemic/6340857002/