Delta Expands Seat-Blocking Practices Fleetwide

More changes are coming to Delta flights, due to the continued threat posed by COVID-19.

Effective through June 30, 2020, the airline is guaranteeing a greater distance between customers in plane cabins by blocking the sale of select aisle and window seats on additional aircraft. It’s also reducing the number of passengers per flight, capping seating at 50 percent in First Class and at 60 percent capacity in the Main Cabin, Delta Comfort Plus and Delta Premium Select sections.

While Delta had already blocked off middle seats on all Delta flights since mid-April, the airline is now also blocking select window and aisle seats on aircraft with one-by-two, two-by-two and two-by-three seating configurations. This latest measure expands seat-blocking protocols to Delta’s entire operating fleet, including mainline and regional Delta Connection aircraft.

Delta said seat-blocking on regional jets and narrowbody aircraft will launch this week, while it will take a few weeks to see blocks on the two-seat sections of widebody aircraft implemented.

When booking their seat selections online or via the Fly Delta app, customers will see blocked seats as unavailable or unassignable. Those who wish to be directly next to their companions or who require special assistance are advised to speak with a gate agent upon arrival.

Last month, Delta also modified its boarding process temporarily by loading planes from back to front to minimize the need for customers to pass one another in the cabin aisles. It also paused automatic, advance complimentary upgrades for Medallion members, so that gate agents can better control how many passengers are boarding at a single time and in what order.

The onboard health and safety of Delta’s guests and team members are paramount, and the airline promises to do an ongoing evaluation of its practices in light of evolving concerns. Delta continues consulting with health experts and healthcare industry leaders to determine current best practices.

Take a look at how we’re expanding our safety practices to create a higher standard of clean.

Delta’s New Standard of Clean:

—Employees and passengers alike are now required to wear face coverings throughout their travel journeys.

—Electrostatic spraying (using a high-grade, EPA-registered disinfectant) protocols prior to departure are being expanded to the entire fleet, in addition to the extensive cleaning procedures already being practiced to sanitize high-touch areas.

—State-of-the-art air circulation systems were installed onboard many Delta aircraft, utilizing HEPA filters to extract more than 99.999 percent of viruses.

—Streamlining the frequency of food-and-beverage service on all flights, and encouraging customers to bring aboard their own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages to limit touchpoints and interaction.

—Adjusting the boarding process, loading all aircraft from back to front, based on seating assignments, to reduce the instances of customers needing to pass by one another in the aisles.

—Providing passengers with individual amenity kits, hand sanitizers and other personal protective materials, based on availability.

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