Now that all of her classes are taking place online, the Philadelphia resident has been flying to see family. “Everyone had their mask on, I had my face mask and my face shield, so I felt pretty protected that way,” she says, noting that flight attendants passed out a bag with refreshments and sanitizing wipes to passengers when they boarded the plane. Families who wish to be seated together despite blocked seats can speak with gate agents or flight attendants for assistance. “We flew first class, mainly due to the pandemic, so we felt a bit more secluded and the seats weren’t that much more expensive than the regular economy seats,” Turnbull said in an email. Alaska Airlines. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. For her first work trip of the pandemic, Amanda Burroughs flew from her home in D.C. to Houston on Southwest in July. Blocked Seats: Alaska is capping all flights at 65% capacity for flights through January 6, 2021. Mask Policy: Customers are required to wear a face covering for boarding and the duration of the flight. Now, mask requirements and space onboard may also impact your decision for flying for the holidays and beyond. Kyle Potter is the editor of the travel site Thrifty Traveler. Based in Minneapolis, Potter has been limiting air travel as much as possible during the pandemic, but he has recently flown to California to see family and has taken a few work trips to compare flying experiences. Mask Policy: Allegiant Airlines requires passengers and crew to wear face coverings onboard. On full flights, travelers can optionally request to move flights at no charge. You are required to bring your own mask, but masks are available if needed at check-in, in lounges, boarding gates, jet bridges and onboard the aircraft. Spirit Airlines. If she does fly again, Gorden says, she would probably do more research to see which airlines promised to keep the middle seat open, not only for her coronavirus comfort but because it is nice to have extra space. Passenger loads are capped at 67% in domestic first class cabins and 60% for main cabin (economy) and Comfort+. Blocked Seats: United has not instituted capacity restrictions for their flight and passengers should be prepared for the possibility of completely sold out flights. A pleasurable trip flying during the pandemic. Her flights have varied in capacity. For a little bit more, a Big Front Seat™ comes with extra legroom. Through Jan. 6, 2021, Alaska is blocking middle seats. Spirit Airlines is the leading Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. Another place Burroughs felt uncomfortable? Southwest Airlines will not extend its current policy of blocking the middle seat past Nov. 30 and both Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines policies of blocking seats will expire early next year. Date of travel: July 2020. Travel tips you can trust. [These are the airlines that are still blocking seats for social distancing], Potter says that while he has experienced full flights, airports have been emptier than he has ever seen before. Everyone assumes that there will be empty seats or even empty rows onboard, but there’s no government mandate for increased personal space on flights. On medium-haul flights, it automatically blocks middle seats in case of low load factor. “From my perspective, it seemed like everybody was following the rules and having a calm and peaceful flying experience,” Coy says. “Of all of my flights, was probably the most anxiety-ridden flight.". However, passengers may be reseated after boarding is complete to allow additional distancing if there are seats available. Southwest Airlines announced it will resume selling the middle seat starting Dec. 1 after stopping for months to help with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spirit Airlines passenger, 29, is charged with assault for 'repeatedly punching mom-of-two in the face because her kids, aged 3 and 7, were kicking her seat' And one more interesting element of pandemic flying? “It felt safe, it felt fine, and I’m still not eager to get on a plane again soon, which is very rare,” he says. Temperature Screenings: Notably, Frontier Airlines is the only airline requiring temperature screenings from all passengers before boarding. As of July 1, American Airlines is booking its cabins to full capacity . Air travel is in flux. To avoid some of those crowded hot spots, Potter recommends travelers stick to carry-on bags instead of checked luggage during the pandemic. Despite fewer people flying, some planes are still flying full. All flight capacity limited through Nov. … But most companies have been reluctant to guarantee that they will keep middle seats empty or otherwise limit passengers on all flights. Southwest Airlines plans to resume placing passengers in middle seats on planes in December, the company said Thursday. Social media shows photos of packed planes and complaints that it’s impossible to social distance. “I really appreciated that as well.”. (Bizzy Coy). By Polygraph. Grant said he enjoys flying Delta because every seat feels like First Class. Customers planning future travel should be prepared for the possibility that this policy could change before their trip. Airports are receiving only a fraction of the travelers compared to the same time last year and some eateries and other businesses are closed. Could they signal a return to travel? ### About Spirit Airlines: Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is committed to delivering the best value in the sky. Some airlines ban passengers from future flights if they refuse to wear a mask. If a flight is full, the airline claims it will give passengers the opportunity to book another flight without an extra fee. Some airlines will not fill the middle seat during this pandemic, though others are now booking all seats. From Georgia to North Carolina, King says, each passenger had rows to themselves. Prior to working for Forbes, she contributed to other leading publications in the credit cards and rewards space. At the beginning of the pandemic, photos of nearly empty planes circulated as the Transportation Security Administration hit record-low passenger numbers in the spring. Blocked Seats: Sun Country is not restricting access to middle seats or limiting capacity on board their flights. The study was conducted in response to the divide in US airlines’ policies when it comes to the middle seat during the coronavirus pandemic. Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Air New Zealand, and Korean Air have been experimenting with adding an extra inch to widen the middle seat on planes.
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