Airlines That Are Blocking Middle Seats Right Now
The CDC doesn't want us to travel much if at all this Thanksgiving, but sometimes ya gotta go. If you're flying, there are two airlines that are leaving middle seats empty.
While we're on the subject, it might be fun to highlight all the reasons why the middle seat can be the most undesirable seat on the plane.
-- You feel trapped by the window and the aisle people, even if they are members of your family.
-- Leaning on anything becomes impossible and it's hard to slouch, and anything over a thirty-minute flight becomes uncomfortable.
-- The odds double that you'll be sitting next to someone chatty because you've got a person on either side.
-- You can't see out the window very well and it's hard to people-watch down the aisle too. It's a headphone or movie kind of seat.
If you're not a huge fan of the middle seat, you might welcome the news that two airlines are blocking middle seats right now. They're doing it to enforce social distancing, and while no one is a fan of COVID or the challenges associated with it, there are some changes that might not be so bad.
The Huffington Post said these are airlines blocking middle seats during the Thanksgiving travel period:
American Airlines: Not Blocking Middle Seats. Flights may be full capacity, but passengers are giving the option during the check-in process to switch, free of charge, if their flight is eligible.
Delta Air Lines: Middle Seats Blocked Until The End Of March. If you are a party of one or two people, you cannot buy a middle seat, but if you are a party of three or more, you can buy the middle seat if you wish to sit next to your people.
JetBlue: Not Blocking Middle Seats. JetBlue said it will keep flights under 70% full through Dec. 1st, so some seats may be blocked, but not necessarily the middle seat.
Southwest Airlines: Middle Seats Blocked Until Dec. 1st. Passengers are notified two to three days before their flight, and if it is full capacity, they're given the option to change flights at no charge if another is available that is less full.
United Airlines: Not Blocking Middle Seats. The airline said it will notify customers when “their flight is fairly full” to give them the option to change it.
It might feel so good to be traveling again that sitting in any seat is just fine. Just wear the mask, because those are usually required.
Assuming that every seat is sold and every passenger is wearing a mask, professor and aviation expert Arnold Barnett said that the probability of getting COVID-19 from a nearby passenger on a flight of average duration drops from 1 in 4,300 when middle seats are sold to 1 in 7,700 when they are left empty.
Whether you're driving, flying, or staying home, have a Happy Thanksgiving! The middle seat on the couch might be the best place to be.