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Delta starts automatically blocking adjacent plane seats for flight bookings

The airline is bringing in better coronavirus social distancing measures.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert

Delta is blocking out adjacent plane seats when customers book a flight.

Angela Lang/CNET

Delta Airlines is now automatically blocking adjacent plane seats when customers make a flight reservation. The coronavirus social distancing measure will last until at least Sept. 30, the airline said Thursday. The company will also now allow parties of three or more to book seats together, including middle seats,

"Health and safety remains Delta's top priority," said Dwight James, senior vice president of pricing and revenue management at Delta. "We'll continue evaluating our policies to maintain the high standard of care."

Previously, Delta Airlines said it would limit capacity to 60% in the main cabin and 50% in first class while also blocking off some window and aisle seats. Other major airlines that are limiting capacity by blocking off seats are Alaska AirlinesHawaiian AirlinesJetBlue and Southwest

As of July 30, Delta is also extending its change-fee waiver for any new flights purchased through Aug. 31, and offering travel rebookings for up to two years for anyone who purchased flights prior to April 17 for travel in 2020.

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