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Delta Eases Booking and Change Policies, Automatically Blocks Adjacent Seats

CEO says safety is more important than “the profits we forgo by filling up every seat”

August 2, 2020

Delta Air Lines says it is implementing new changes to “make it easier for customers to book, change or cancel their travel plans, and to fly comfortably with more space for safer travel.”

Effective July 30 the airline has

· Extended a change-fee waiver to new flights purchased through August 31.

· Offered the ability to rebook travel for up to two years for customers who purchased flights prior to April 17, 2020, that are pending travel through the end of year.

· Implemented automatic seat blocks through at least Sept. 30, which will keep seats open adjacent to those selected by a customer once a reservation is complete and allow parties of three or more to book seats together, including middle seats.

Also effective July 30, Delta has made an adjustment to its Contract of Carriage. Customers who purchase US domestic tickets issued on or after July 30, 2020, are eligible for refunds upon request if their flight is canceled or delayed for 120 minutes or more (including due to schedule changes), which is an increase of 30 minutes from the previous policy.

In an interview with National Public Radio’s ‘All Things Considered,’ Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian said, “the safety of customers as well as our people is more important than the profits we forgo by filling up every seat on a plane.” He also said on the airline’s second quarter investment conference call that blocking middle seats “won’t last forever.”