Since April, Delta has been blocking middle seats to promote social distancing onboard. It has also limited capacity in first class to 50% on narrowbody aircraft, a policy that was set to expire at the end of the month. But Delta has now extended its first class seat blocking into January 2021.
Delta Extends First Class Seat Blocking Through Holiday Season
Originally set to expire on October 31st, Delta’s first class seat blocking policy has been extended through January 6, 2021.
- First class on narrowbody jets will remain limited to half capacity (includes Boeing 757 in Delta One configuration, pictured above)
- On regional jets in a 1×2 configurations, the first class cabin will be capped at 67%
As of this month, Delta is no longer blocking seats in its Delta One business class on widebody jets (which makes sense, considering how spacious these seats are).
While Delta’s seat blocking policy is not as generous as it originally was, it remains the most generous among U.S. legacy carriers.
Delta’s Premium Strategy
In June, I wrote about Delta’s experiment in differentiating its product further from American and United by offering open seats as a selling point that could command a revenue premium.
In August, Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, said:
“We believe that taking care of our customers and employees and restoring confidence in the safety of air travel is more important right now than filling up every seat on a plane. We’ll continue taking a thoughtful, layered approach ensuring customers know to expect the highest standard of care as they prepare for their holiday travels.”
While Lentsch still emphasizes safety, open seating in a premium cabin is equally if not more about the added comfort that comes from being able to spread out without the elbow of your neighbor to contend with.
> Read More: Delta’s Bid To Become The Premium U.S. Airline
Delta remains committed to blocking first class seats on narrowbody aircraft through the new year. With schedules still limited but flights beginning to fill up again, I have to imagine Delta is leaving a lot of potential revenue on the table. But perhaps Delta is wisely thinking big picture here, hoping to win new customers and guarantee loyalty on that inventible day when seats are no longer blocked absent payment for two of them.
What do you think about Delta’s decision to continue to block first class seats?
I think what’s even more newsworthy / useful to the vast majority of the traveling public in that update is that this, too, will continue through January 2021:
“Blocking middle seats on all aircraft in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta Premium Select.”
That alone solidifies my commitment to flying Delta, and yes, the upgrades to F are nice when they do happen, although as a PM I’m only at ~50% for upgrades to F during COVID, with half the seats in F blocked for social distancing and going out empty.
Agreed that is broader news, but that was announced in August.
While that is nice, what’s the difference between F and Y? You literally have 18″ of space between two people in Y, so how does this differ than F? Especially since 2 F seats are as wide as 3 Y seats.
Delta cancelled our flight and moved us to another. Husband and I were separated and placed in middle seats. Third flight change in 5 weeks. I changed to a different flight yet again to avoid middle seats. We’re thinking of scrapping our flight all together. 🙁
sounds good to me…. less passengers to deal with… work less.. same pay… good for DL employees.
Por qué no hacen algún artículo sobre las NO devoluciones de los pasajes. Ya que no fue por la pandemia que se suspendió el viaje sino por un problema en la escala Compramos pasajes para retornar a Uruguay el 21 de marzo y cuando estábamos a punto de embarcar en Orlando vía Chile. Nos comunican que si no teníamos pasaportes o visa chilena no podíamos viajar. No la teníamos así que no viajamos en ese mismo momento nos dicen que realizaron el reembolso de los pasajes, que habíamos comprado con tarjeta de crédito. Hasta el día de hoy (05/10/20) no hemos recibido dicho reintegro. Nos hemos comunicado varias veces con la empresa y siempre tienen una excusa. El mes pasado nos dijeron que teníamos que hacer a través del banco una solicitud de reintegro por no haber utilizado los pasajes. Ya llevamos casi 7 meses y cuando pagamos los pasajes lo debitaron inmediatamente y ahora para devolver se hacen los desentendidos. SI ALGUIEN PUEDE HACER ALGO POR FAVOR. SON UNOS CUANTOS DÓLARES QUE NO LE SOBRAN A NADIE.
Have you disputed with your credit card company?