Say Goodbye to Blocked Middle Seats Starting May 1 2021 on Delta Air Lines

Middle seats in the economy class cabins aboard airplanes which are operated by Delta Air Lines have been blocked from being reserved or occupied since April of 2020 due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — some aisle seats in aircraft with 2×2 seating configurations were also blocked — and the company is one of the last airlines to still block middle seats…

Say Goodbye to Blocked Middle Seats Starting May 1 2021 on Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but that is about to change on Saturday, May 1, 2021, when customers will once again be sitting in middle seats aboard airplanes operated by Delta Air Lines.

“While Delta’s decision to block middle seats has given many customers a reason to choose Delta over the past year, the signature hospitality of our employees and the experiences they deliver to customers every day have also deepened their trust in our airline,” said Edward Bastian — who is the current chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines — according to this article from Delta News Hub. “The relationships we’ve built, together with the knowledge that nearly 65 percent of those who flew Delta in 2019 anticipate having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, are what’s giving us the assurance to offer customers the ability to choose any seat on our aircraft, while also introducing new services, products and rewards to support the journey. We take great pride in the trust we’ve built with customers by listening and delivering on what they said was most important, and that is the approach you can continue to expect.”

Everyone will continue to be required to wear masks or cloth coverings for the nose and mouth while aboard any airplane which is operated by Delta Air Lines until further notice: “While scientific studies showed the risk of transmission onboard a full aircraft with everyone wearing a mask is nearly one in a million, Delta was the only airline to continue its middle seat block for an entire year to give customers peace of mind.”


Airbus A350-900 Delta Air Lines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The return of the unblocking of middle seats led to the latest example of corporate euphemistic marketing with these carefully chosen words: “more available seats to choose from”. That reminded me of when a company which manufactures lowfat yogurt reduced the amount of content from eight ounces to six ounces years ago while keeping the container the same size, brazenly advertising on the packaging that consumers now had more room to add their toppings.

I had the pleasure of flying as a passenger aboard an airplane with the middle seat purposely left empty while paying a low airfare for the nice experience — but as uncomfortable as they can potentially be to passengers, to leave middle seats unoccupied indefinitely was unrealistic, as keeping them blocked was one of the many reasons which caused airlines to lose revenue as a result of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

All photographs ©2015 and ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “Say Goodbye to Blocked Middle Seats Starting May 1 2021 on Delta Air Lines”

  1. Tom says:

    Goin to LV in late April and chose DL over AS due to the empty middle seat. It’s a great perk and I’m sad to see it end.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Have a safe flight, Tom, and enjoy Las Vegas and the last of the empty middle seats during your flight!

      I am sad to see it end as well…

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