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Seat Blocking and Capacity Restrictions on Delta during COVID19 (Consolidated)

Seat Blocking and Capacity Restrictions on Delta during COVID19 (Consolidated)

Old Aug 20, 20, 2:23 pm
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Seat Blocking and Capacity Restrictions on Delta during COVID19 (Consolidated)

Middle seat blocking is now through Jan 6.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 2:35 pm
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Just saw the update email from Ed...This is going to make for a very interesting Holiday season...
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Old Aug 20, 20, 2:59 pm
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Some changes though. Groups of 3 can sit together and raise the overall cap as high as 75%. F on 2-1 regional aircraft will go up to 67%. Delta One 100%. No change fees extended through September 30th.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 3:05 pm
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Bravo Delta. I don't want to be flying at all but have made some limited trips and probably more of them to come and I will refuse to fly anyone else at this point.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 3:07 pm
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It would be better if groups in FC would also raise the capacity. It seems silly to have a couple sitting together and then an empty row on one side rather than giving one more elite upgrade.

Does anyone know how this will work in PS? Do they block *one* of the two center section middle seats in each row (before any groups sitting together are taken into consideration)? 75% capacity would mean blocking all middle seats, 2 in each row of 8 across, but I'm confused about how DL has been handling this.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 3:34 pm
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Was flying a bit this week, narrow-body flights so what you would expect middle seat open, or I should say one seat open as some couples were clearly snuggling and nobody cared. Seating charts suggested there were some parties flying 3 together but I didnít see them as the boarding is all rear to front in main cabin and every time they are further up front.

Have to admit seeing very little reason to upgrade with the middle seat open other than trying to earn my base status on Delta which the plan for that went horribly awry with COVID.

But the current flights appear to be filled to current capacity so far, I suspect the changes will probably be full up too.

Last edited by Revelate; Aug 20, 20 at 3:43 pm
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Old Aug 20, 20, 4:05 pm
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I have to say, this makes tempted to rebook our winter trip for a family event from UA to DL. 4 of us traveling from the same household; don't mind 3 together in one row but for the 4th I have no interest in some stranger sitting inches away in the middle seat. When we booked UA wasn't allowing reserving the middle, so we are currently in aisle/window pairs and I don't feel bad about holding those, but of course the plane could fill up.

Catch is that I'm currently using UA miles because they allow free redeposit 30 days ahead -- and there's a pretty good chance the family event will become "distant only", so I'm hesitant to fork over real money for tickets. But I do want to reward the airlines that seem to be doing the right thing -- both true middle seat blocking and as far as I know Delta never tried fraudulent refund avoidance scams like UA (25 hour rebook) or WN (early no refund if "mandated" to cancel policy).
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Old Aug 20, 20, 4:33 pm
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We fly to Vegas ( maybe) on Friday Jan 8..........we each have aisle seats behind the 2nd exit row

Odd they would choose to (possibly) end middle seat blocking on a Wednesday
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Old Aug 20, 20, 5:17 pm
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but what about my diet coke
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Old Aug 20, 20, 7:09 pm
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Originally Posted by MarkCron View Post
but what about my diet coke
That will remain blocked as well
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Old Aug 20, 20, 7:44 pm
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Honestly pretty surprised they're doing this. I feel like if UA and AA are able to fill their planes DL could also should they stop blocking seats. It's not as though there would be many other places to go at that point either.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 8:23 pm
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At this point, it might not cost DL much to add flights (or use larger aircraft) as travel increases. DL has excess pilots and FAs and excess aircraft, so the additional cost of increasing capacity with empty middle seats (versus filing every seat) is small. DL apparently thinks customers will pay more for flights that are guaranteed to be less full. It's another way to make DL's demand function relatively price inelastic, just like FF programs do.

It's an interesting experiment given that AA's more room throughout coach campaign failed many years ago.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
At this point, it might not cost DL much to add flights (or use larger aircraft) as travel increases. DL has excess pilots and FAs and excess aircraft, so the additional cost of increasing capacity with empty middle seats (versus filing every seat) is small. DL apparently thinks customers will pay more for flights that are guaranteed to be less full. It's another way to make DL's demand function relatively price inelastic, just like FF programs do.

It's an interesting experiment given that AA's more room throughout coach campaign failed many years ago.
The thing is though, I believe DL isn't at all profitable at ~66% capacity. I may be wrong, but it seems like for every flight they add the more money they lose with the middles blocked out.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
The thing is though, I believe DL isn't at all profitable at ~66% capacity. I may be wrong, but it seems like for every flight they add the more money they lose with the middles blocked out.
Most likely, some flights are, some are not.

One thing this extension does, is allow their management to plan fares around this capacity, and presumably find a way to make it profitable.
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Old Aug 20, 20, 10:25 pm
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It's possible that a flight is unprofitable but cancelling/suspending the flight would be more unprofitable. Consider also that DL can't (and shouldn't) pick and choose flights at the last minute to be cancelled. It's also very complicated (and there's no clear method or one right answer) to assess the profitability of a single flight in a network.
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