There’s nothing like having that middle seat unoccupied, when catching flights. Luckily, Southwest Airlines has extended their COVID-19 policies and the middle seat will remain empty throughout the holidays.
“Our goal has been to put forward procedures and policies that we know, ultimately, will bring added comfort in flying by giving our customers an assurance that we’re focused on an environment that fosters wellness,” a spokesperson with Southwest Airlines told FOX TV Stations.
Southwest will continue to have extra space onboard, keeping the middle seat open through Nov. 30th.
“We hope this provides peace of mind as you plan your travel this autumn and through Thanksgiving. Of course, if you are traveling with your family or others, you can still sit together. Otherwise, middle seats will be open,” Ryan Green, SVP & chief marketing officer wrote in a press release, according to Fox 29.
Southwest evaluated its policies and procedures based on “science and evolved guidance from the CDC and broader medical community,” Ryan Green wrote.
Southwest will continue to have extra space onboard, keeping middle seats open through Nov. 30.
“We hope this provides peace of mind as you plan your travel this autumn and through Thanksgiving. Of course, if you are traveling with your family or
others, you can still sit together. Otherwise, middle seats will be open,” Green wrote.
Face coverings are still required during check in, boarding, during the flight, and baggage claim.
It’s also reported that Southwest Airlines will provide fresh air on board with a technique similar to what hospitals use. An exchange of air every two to three minutes while flying with an air re-circulation system which introduces outdoor air into the cabin every second while in flight.
Other updates will include a multi-layered cleaning program to disinfect the aircraft, ticket counters, gates and baggage claim areas.
“As with our requirement that every person onboard Southwest aged two or older travel with their face covered throughout their journey, or with round-the-clock cleaning in our airport spaces, on every airplane, and between flights every time, our commitment to operate all flights with Middle Seats Open from early May through the Thanksgiving period is about outlining an expectation and ensuring it,” Southwest’s spokesperson said.
Delta extended their middle seat policy throughout the holidays, until January 2, 2021.
In July, American Airlines started to book flights to capacity.
“American continues to sell middle seats as we provide critical air service for those who need to travel now,” a spokesperson with American Airlines told Fox TV Stations. “On an aircraft, social distancing is not viable. Even if middle seats are blocked, passengers are not six feet from the person across the aisle or Clean Commitment to care for the safety and well-being of our customers and team members,” American’s spokesperson said.