Delta Air Lines to keep blocking middle seats

Pete Muntean, CNNPublished 18th November 2020
Planes belonging to Delta Airlines sit idle at Kansas City International Airport on April 03, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. U.S. carriers reported an enormous drop in bookings amid the spread of the coronavirus and are waiting for a government bailout to fight the impact. Delta lost almost $2 billion in March and parked half of its fleet in order to save money. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(CNN) — Delta Air Lines said on Wednesday it will keep middle seats empty on its flights through March, an extension of the social distancing policy it put in place at the start of the pandemic.
Delta maintains it is the only US airline to keep blocking middle seats on its flights.
The move comes as other airlines are ending similar policies, gearing up for a potential onslaught of air travelers during the busy holiday rush.
Last week, JetBlue announced it will start to phase out capping capacity on its flights -- currently 70% -- and fill every seat starting January 8, 2021.
Southwest Airlines said in September it will fill every seat after November 30, following the Thanksgiving travel period.
American Airlines and United Airlines have been selling every seat on their flights since the summer.
Airlines say they feel empowered by new research from Harvard University, the Department of Defense, airlines and aircraft manufacturers that claims the transmission rates of coronavirus through the filtered air of an airliner is low, so long as all passengers wear masks.
Last week, Delta announced that a total of 550 people have been put on Delta's no-fly list for refusing to wear a mask.