Delta Air Lines said on Wednesday that it would sell beach seats on flights starting May 1, after more than a year it left them vacant to promote distancing. Other airlines had blocked seats early in the epidemic, but Delta held the longest for several months and is the last of four big US airlines to get rid of the policy.
Ed Bastian, the company’s chief executive, said that a survey of fliers from Delta in 2019 found that by May 1, about 65 percent expected to receive at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, which allowed the airline to “offer customers Assured to “. The ability to choose any seat in our aircraft. “
Delta began halting mid-seat bookings in April 2020 and said it continued the policy of providing mental peace to passengers.
“During the past year, we changed our service to ensure their health, safety, convenience and comfort during our journey,” Mr. Bastian said in a statement. “Now, with increased immunization and increased confidence in travel, we are ready to help clients reclaim their lives.”
According to the Transportation Security Administration, air travel has begun meaningfully since March, with ticket sales rising as more than a million people are shown at airport checkpoints per day. More than 1.5 million people were screened on Sunday, the busiest day at airports since the epidemic began. Air travel is still down by about 40 percent since 2019.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to make recommendations against travel, even to those who have been vaccinated. This week, its director, Drs. Rochelle Wallensky said she warned of “impending doom” from a possible fourth wave of the epidemic if Americans move too quickly to defy the advice of public health officials.
Delta also said on Wednesday that it would give customers more time to use expiring travel credits. All new tickets purchased in 2021 and credits scheduled for the end of this year will now expire at the end of 2022.
Since April 14, the airline plans to bring back soft drinks, cocktails and snacks to international destinations within and around the United States. In June, there are plans to start offering hot meals in premium classes on some coast-to-coast flights. Delta also announced changes that would make it easier for members of its loyalty program to earn points this year.