Customers traveling together are welcome to sit together, including in … Passengers who refuse to wear a mask may be banned from flying the airline. Masks with exhaust valves are not allowed, and those who refuse to wear an approved mask or face covering may be banned from flying the airline. Additionally, testing and/or a 14-day quarantine may be required for all passengers traveling to Hawaii, as outlined in this detailed guide. Southwest began limiting the number of seats sold on its flights in May and continued the practice through the Thanksgiving travel rush. The airline said on an earnings call that it will notify passengers two days before travel if their flight is near full, and will give passengers the option to be rebooked onto another flight free if one is available. During boarding, the airline will provide passengers with health and safety kits, which include face masks, gloves and hand wipes. JetBlue says it is sanitizing surfaces throughout airport terminals more frequently and implementing other measures to limit contact, such as encouraging customers to scan their own boarding passes. All employees are required to wear face masks and all passengers age two and above are required to wear face coverings as well, at all Frontier areas within the airport and onboard all flights. As with many other carriers, vented masks are not permitted. Delivered every Thursday. Many travelers, myself included, might start making booking decisions based on airline polices around seat restrictions and face masks for crew and passengers. Delta is thoroughly cleaning common touchpoints (armrests, seat belts, overhead controls, etc.) JetBlue Please view our advertising policy page for more information. United is selling flights to capacity. American says it is thoroughly cleaning aircraft between flights, including using an EPA-approved disinfectant to clean common customer touchpoints (armrests, seat belts, tray tables, etc. All JetBlue crew members and passengers over the age of two are required to wear face coverings or masks. Almost all U.S. carriers now require passengers to cover their faces onboard, and Alaska, Delta and Southwest each are capping ticket sales, effectively blocking middle seats, as detailed in my guide outlining distancing-related airline policies. The airline was previously limiting flight capacity to 70 percent of normal levels “to provide additional space between individuals who are not traveling together.”. The airline has also installed clear shields at counters, added “distance dots” to promote distancing and shifted to an “on-demand” snack service. Additionally, testing and/or a 14-day quarantine may be required for all passengers traveling to Hawaii, as outlined in this detailed guide. Frontier is boarding passengers boarding from the rear of the aircraft to the front, to avoid unnecessary contact. The airline is so far the only U.S. airline to commit to blocking middle seats through the first quarter of 2021. Detours with locals.Travel tips you can trust. A RED VENTURES COMPANY. and applying a disinfectant fogging before every flight. Sun Country is selling all flights to capacity. You can still pick your seat and sit together, however. The Points Guy will not sell your email. Hawaiian is blocking the sale of middle seats on certain aircraft through Dec. 15, 2020. The airline is boarding economy passengers from back to front. "For regularly scheduled flights that are expected to be fairly full, we’ll let you change your flight with no change fee or receive a travel credit for your trip. American has also increased the frequency of cleaning areas it controls throughout the airport, including ticket counters, team member rooms and gates. This is e ven though the airline is burning through four million a day – it could really use the revenue a middle seat would provide. When the pandemic came to the United States at the beginning of 2020, airlines … Spirit is offering self bag-drop stations at select airports, minimizing interactions with employees. Note that the airline does not guarantee a blocked seat, however, as the carrier may choose to use those seats to accommodate passengers on previously canceled flights. Southwest customers may still choose their own seats… Airlines launch trial of an app that would verify travelers’ coronavirus test results. Aboard Amtrak’s Crescent, surprising comfort and welcome seclusion on a slow train to Mississippi, Paddling through a painterly landscape in New York’s Adirondack Park. Face masks and sanitizing wipes are available upon request. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. Flights with rapid testing are being dubbed ‘covid-free.’ Here’s why that is a myth. Middle seats American Airlines no longer blocks off the middle seat and allows planes to fly completely full. Sun Country is not offering any service onboard, including complimentary beverages and buy-on-board products, to minimize interactions between passengers and crew. CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners. Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter for more airline news! … American and United adopted policies of keeping the middle seats vacant last spring but rescinded that policy over the last couple of months as demand for air travel has gradually increased. Travel tips you can trust. In cases where more than 70% of passengers have checked in, the airline will allow customers to move to another flight free of charge. All Alaska employees are required to wear face masks, and all passengers two years and older are required to wear masks as well. American requires masks for all employees and passengers are required to wear masks as well, from the time they enter their departure airport to the time they leave the airport upon arrival. Through Jan. 6, 2021, Alaska is blocking middle seats. Alaska Airlines also intends to extend the seat block policy until after the Christmas period. JetBlue is not blocking middle seats, but is trying to give passengers some space. Middle seats: United will not promise to keep middle seats empty. The airline is boarding economy passengers from back to front. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Up until now, in a move adopted by most U.S. airlines, American had blocked about half of its economy-class middle seats, meaning that sales for each flight had been limited to … United Airlines is joining the list of airlines introducing policies to encourage social distancing, including blocking seats. Southwest Airlines. Starting Dec. 1, budget carrier Southwest will join competitors United and American Airlines in returning to filling flights as normal. Traditionally, fall is a good time to look for … [What to know about getting tested for the coronavirus to travel]. 1 weather alerts 1 closings/delays 1 weather alerts 1 closings/delays Some of the procedures we’re seeing include: While it’s important to check with your airline as things can change by the day, here’s what you can expect when traveling on each U.S. carrier: Let’s break the policies down in more detail below, giving you an idea of what to expect throughout your journey. Delta is requiring that all employees and contractors wear masks, and passengers are required to wear face coverings as well, at all Delta areas in the airport and onboard all flights. While a few airlines are still blocking seats from being booked to allow for extra space, they might not be doing so for long. After a United Airlines spokesperson criticized the safety policy of blocking middle seats on flights, Delta reiterated its stance. “This practice of effectively keeping middle seats open bridged us from the early days of the pandemic, when we had little knowledge about the behavior of the virus, to now,” Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly said in an October statement announcing the change. All Allegiant customers, flight attendants and airport employees are required to wear face coverings. According to the airline’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage, Spirit’s “expanded aircraft cleaning protocols include hospital-grade disinfectants and antibacterial processes that keep all surfaces throughout the cabin free of viruses and bacteria.”. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Southwest spends at least six hours cleaning all aircraft overnight, and the carrier says it is using a disinfectant to clean tray tables and lavatories before every flight. 30, 2021. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, some airlines blocked selling middle seats to allow passengers to social distance while flying. “In Southwest’s open seating environment, families, or those traveling together, may still sit together and occupy a middle seat for their convenience.” Previously, middle seats were being accounted for in booking limits only through October, so the practice could again be extended. Finally, the airline is requiring passengers to undergo a temperature check at boarding — customers with temperatures at or above 100.4 degrees will be denied boarding. The airline says currently 85% of its flights are less than half full. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. United Airlines Won’t Block Middle Seats, Here’s How To Protect Yourself From COVID-19 by Gary Leff on May 12, 2020 Delta and American Airlines are limiting the number of seats they’ll sell on each flight, to give customers confidence they can travel without having another passenger squeezed up next to them in a middle seat. https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/nxfjYY5X1OmODzMvrNNCDc2w8qo=/480x0/www.washingtonpost.com/wp-stat/newsletter/btw-promo.jpg, A man’s scheme to get free Spirit flights landed him a jail sentence. Other measures. Frontier is cleaning aircraft before every flight, focusing on passenger seating, cabin walls, overhead bins, galleys and lavatories. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. The airline is also requiring customers to complete a health acknowledgement prior to boarding. But United’s Earnest told CNN (via Inc.) that “keeping the seat next to you open is not going to make a material difference.” How do travel bubbles work? While passengers may see almost entirely unreserved seat maps at booking — expecting to find those conditions onboard — airlines are canceling and consolidating flights. A more thorough disinfectant cleaning will take place when time allows between flights. American Airlines is no longer blocking seats, and all aircraft may be sold to capacity. All inter-island aircraft are also cleaned after every flight into Honolulu (HNL) and are disinfected each night. © 2021 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. Starting Dec. 1, JetBlue is no longer blocking seats for sale. The airline is also applying an antimicrobial solution every seven days. More recently, however, many U.S. states have eased restrictions, and an increasing number of travelers are taking to the skies once again. AA says it will instead alert passengers when their flights are getting full during the check-in process, giving them the chance to switch, free of charge, if their flight is eligible. In those cases, the airline will offer a free change to a flight with fewer seats occupied. See, firm requirements from the federal government, see this post for a closer look at the airline’s current procedures, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, Blocking seats to encourage social distancing (dates vary by airline; see below for your carrier), Compulsory face coverings for passengers and/or crew, Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Will psychedelic mushroom vacations come to the U. S.? The only U.S. airline of the Big Three that is still committed to distancing seat assignments on flights, Delta will continue to block seats through March 30. Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. (photo via Jetlinerimages/iStock Unreleased) Less than a week after announcing it would end its policy on blocking middle seats and return to flying at capacity, United Airlines defended its decision today. United Airlines pledged to block the middle seat on flights through May 30. These policies will all kick in as of late April, and as of now will be valid through May 31, 2020, though presumably have the potential to be extended based on how the situation unfolds. If a passenger cannot accept the health acknowledgment, they’ll be issued a credit for a future Frontier flight. JetBlue will no longer allow passengers to wear masks with exhaust valves, and if you forget your face covering at home, the airline will provide one at the gate. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. Masks with exhaust valves are not allowed. The airline is conducting “deep cleans” of aircraft, including electrostatic spraying, overnight, and tray tables and lavatories are disinfected before every flight. Delta is boarding flights from the rear of the aircraft to the front, to minimize opportunities for customers to come into contact onboard. Yes, you can get a refund if you bought Southwest tickets before Oct. 23 for flights in December and beyond. Delta will continue to block all middle seats through at least Mar. In addition to regular cleaning, Allegiant is applying an antimicrobial protectant that, according to the airline, “kills viruses, germs and bacteria on contact for 14 days.” Disinfectant wipes are available upon request on all aircraft. United Airlines is one airline company that plans to sell middle seats on its fight amid the coronavirus pandemic and calls for social distancing. United will make masks available to passengers upon request. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Delta is also limiting first-class cabins to half-capacity, and it is “blocking one aisle of seats on aircraft without middle seats.” For bookings of three or more people, middle seats will appear as available in an effort to allow families to select seats together on the seat map. Outside of increased cleaning protocols, waived flight change fees and other basic protocols that all airlines are utilizing, it looks like you’re in for a full flight. American and United adopted policies of keeping the middle seats vacant last spring but rescinded that policy over the last couple of months as demand for air travel has gradually increased. This equates to blocked middle seats, although they are maintaining their open seating policy. Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. American does not permit masks with valves or vents, and customers who refuse to wear a mask or face covering may be banned from flying the airline. Until Oct. 15, JetBlue was blocking all middle seats for purchase on its larger aircraft, and most aisle seats were “blocked for purchase" on smaller aircraft. United was the first big U.S. carrier to give up on blocking middle seats. Sun Country has increased the frequency at which it cleans high-touch areas, including arm rests, tray tables and lavatories. Alaska Airlines will have masks available for passengers who forget theirs at home. Masks are available upon request at ticket counters, gates and onboard flights. using a high-grade EPA disinfectant before every flight. Here are 6 things to know about Southwest Airlines middle seat policy change 1. Airport employees and flight attendants are required to wear masks, and all passengers are required to wear masks during boarding, during the entire flight and during deplaning as well. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Southwest Airlines has updated its COVID-19 policy limiting sales to ensure the middle seat stays open through at least Sept. 30, 2020. [New Zealand covid-19 flight outbreak linked to passenger who tested negative], Through Jan. 6, 2021, Alaska Airlines says it is “limiting the number of guests on our flights and blocking seats.” Gate agents may reassign groups or families to be seated together, although the airline notes that “there can be occasions where extra space cannot be guaranteed due to unforeseen changes such as re-accommodating guests from a previously canceled flight.”, After Dec. 15, Hawaiian Airlines says it will no longer limit capacity to prevent booking middle seats. 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