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Which airlines are filling middle seats?

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Posted at 5:58 AM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 05:58:45-04

Delta Airlines has just made a major announcement to try to ease the fears of travelers during this pandemic.

It will not fill middle seats on its planes this fall.

Here’s a guide on which airlines are giving fliers more space and which may be filling their planes so you don’t waste your money.

Thinking of flying again over the holidays or next spring?

During this pandemic, you may want to know which airlines are leaving middle seats empty and which ones may pack your plane.

Alicia Lopez just flew two flights, one of which was too full for comfort.

"One flight wasn't and it was actually nice,” Lopez said. “I didn't realize it until the second flight that was crowded. It was sort of uncomfortable, but we got through it."

Photos of packed planes are what worried Christine Wolf when she booked her flight.

"I had concerns at first because of COVID, but I needed to get away,” she said.

So how can you boost your chances of ending up on a comfortably empty flight, as opposed to an uncomfortably packed aircraft?

Well it all comes down to doing your homework at the time you book your flight.

"There are four airlines that are not selling seats to capacity,” said Ben Mutzabugh, who writes for the travel site thepointsguy.com. "Delta says their flight caps will go through at least early January, the others right now are into the fall."

Mutzabugh lists four airlines who are guaranteeing empty seats: Delta, Southwest, Jet Blue and Alaska.

But only Delta promises empty middle seats through the holidays.

Some airlines, though, will allow you to switch flights if the plane is too full for you.

"American and United are telling you that if your flight is 70% full they will notify you, and you can take another flight,” Mutzabugh said. “Allegiant is doing something similar."

Kerry Ellis and Virginia Miller are glad they booked Delta, with no one in the middle.

"There’s only one on the aisle and one on the window, so that gives you distance between the person next to you,” Ellis said.

One last tip from the points guy: open the air vent and direct it right down on you. Because that air is fresh and filtered.

And as always don’t waste your money.