Southwest Airlines Will Block Middle Seats Through October - Forbes

The practice of blocking middle seats on commercial flights is being extended into October — for some air carriers at least. Last week, Southwest Airlines updated its cleanliness standards (branded as the Southwest Promise) to extend the practice of not filling middle seats on all of its flights through at least October of 2020.

“As part of our Promise, we are limiting seats sold on each flight through at least October 2020 to allow for middle seats to remain open to allow for physical-distancing onboard our aircraft,” the airline said as part of a quarterly earnings update last week. “Customer feedback has been very positive,” the carrier added.

In extending its middle seat blocks, Southwest Airlines becomes the first major air carrier in the United States to extend its capacity caps into October. Both Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways have put similar restrictions in place, but each of those caps only goes into September. Both airlines however, have been consistently pushing back capacity caps as the pandemic continues.