Delta will limit aircraft passengers through early January


View of the cabin of a Delta flight between Minneapolis and Baltimore on April 25, 2020.

Sebastien Duval | AFP | Getty Images

Delta Air Lines will continue to limit the number of passengers it allows on each flight through early January in an effort to win over potential customers worried about flying during the coronavirus pandemic, the carrier said Thursday.

Delta had previously said it will limit capacity to 60% of of its main cabin through the end of September. But  after that it will raise that limit to 75% of its main cabin, blocking some middle seats, and continue blocking some middle seats through “at least” through Jan. 6. It said it would reevaluate the capacity limits at the end of October.

Carriers, facing weak demand as concerns about the virus keep many travelers home, have scrambled to find ways to convince customers that flying during the pandemic is safe.

Airlines’ physical distancing policies on their flights have differed, with Delta, JetBlue and Southwest among the airlines temporarily limiting capacity while American and United do not have limits. The capacity caps come at a time of severely depressed demand so blocking some seats this year isn’t as difficult as least year’s peak summer season.

All U.S. airlines each require that passengers wear face coverings like masks on board and have banned some travelers who failed to comply.

They have also increased aircraft cleaning and put up physical barriers in some of their airport facilities.



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