Delta blocks some aisle, window seats on flights to maintain social distancing

Middle seats have already been blocked on Delta flights.
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/ Source: TODAY

Not many people are traveling by plane these days in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for those who do need to fly, Delta is limiting sales of certain seats to encourage social distancing.

Through June 30, the airline is blocking the sale of select window and aisle seats on its flights to limit the total number of people in all cabins. This will apply to all Delta aircraft configured with 1x2, 2x2 and 2x3 seating, the airline said in a press release this week.

Air travel rates have plummeted during the pandemic, as shown by this nearly empty Delta flight from Minneapolis to Baltimore on April 25. S?bastien Duval / Getty Images

Delta has already been blocking sales of middle seats on its flights since mid-April. Under the updated guidelines, seating will be capped at 50% in first class cabins and 60% in the main cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta Premium Select sections.

“When booking your future seat selection via the Fly Delta app or online, blocked seats will be shown as unavailable or not assignable,” Delta said. “Customers who prefer to be seated directly next to their travel companions or who need additional assistance are encouraged to talk to an agent upon arriving at the gate.”

A video invites passengers to wash their hands before a Delta flight departs from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on April 25. S?bastien Duval / Getty Images

As of this week, Delta is also requiring employees and passengers to wear masks or other appropriate face coverings on flights. Several other airlines, including JetBlue, United, Frontier and Alaska Airlines, are also requiring passengers to wear masks or similar face coverings while flying, and in some cases during boarding and check-in as well.

In another expansion of safety measures, Frontier Airlines will check temperatures before allowing them to board. Anyone passenger or crew member with a temperature of 100.4 or higher at the gate will not be allowed to fly.