American Airlines is making headlines this week after it announced that it will be joining United “in filling flights to capacity as the number of travelers choosing to fly continues to rise.” Middle seats, in other words, will not be kept open.
In reality, neither AA or United ever really blocked middle seats. Flight loads were so low that both airlines could just say that they did. When the airlines started reducing flight schedules and passengers slowly began to creep back, they then only prevented some passengers from being assigned seats in advance. And even then, if a plane was full, they would assign seats at the gate. I had multiple friends fly on full American and United flights.
American and United aren’t alone in selling all their seats. Canada’s two largest airlines, Air Canada and WestJet, for example, have each said they will start filling their planes to capacity on July 1. Obviously, flying on a plane with an empty seat next to you won’t prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it will reduce the chances and make your flight a lot more enjoyable. I’m still not comfortable traveling, but if I were, I would be booking a ticket with one of the four airlines below because they are blocking middle seats:
- Alaska Airlines: “Through July 31, 2020, we are blocking middle seats and flights will be capped at 65% capacity to allow for extra space between guests not traveling together.” (source)
- Delta Air Lines: “Through Sept. 30, all middle seats will continue to be shown as unavailable or not assignable when selecting seats via the Fly Delta app or online. We’ll also continue to block the selection of some aisle seats in aircraft with 2×2 seating configurations.” (source)
- JetBlue: Through July 6, “middle seats will be blocked on its Airbus aircraft, and on its smaller Embraer 190 aircraft, JetBlue will block aisle seats. The airline does allow customers traveling together to sit in middle and aisle seats.” (source)
- Southwest Airlines: “Middle seats open through at least September 30 to provide Customers more personal space onboard. Customers can pick their seat—if you’re traveling together, you’re welcome to sit together.” (source)
As you can see, JetBlue’s policy of blocking middle seats is set to expire on July 6. So unless you’re flying JetBlue next week, you’ll want to avoid it as well if you’re looking for extra space (though JetBlue does have the most legroom in economy).
And don’t forget: Wear a mask! More on that:
- Airlines May Now Ban You for Not Wearing a Face Mask
- Wearing a Face Mask Can Reduce Coronavirus Transmission by Up to 75%
- How to Keep Your Glasses From Fogging up While Wearing a Face Mask
- 3 More Ways to Keep Your Glasses From Fogging Up While Wearing a Face Mask
- The Face Mask Travelers Already Have at Home
Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Enter your email address and check “Daily Travel Tip” to receive Johnny’s best tips in your inbox each day!
If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check “Daily Travel Tip” on the same page. You’ll receive an email with a link to update your JohnnyJet.com preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 03/31/22.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.