Delta to block middle seats through Jan. 6 but allow more people on flights

FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines DAL.N said on Thursday it will continue blocking middle seats through at least Jan. 6, covering the key holiday season, but will raise the cap on the number of passengers on its flights in October.

Delta had previously said it would block middle seats and limit overall seating capacity at 60% on each flight through September.

But during the month of October, Delta will start selling up to 75% of seats in the main cabin. It will review the policy again before Oct. 31.

Among other large U.S. carriers, Southwest Airlines LUV.N is blocking middle seats through October, while American Airlines AAL.O and United Airlines UAL.O have all of their seats up for sale but are letting passengers know ahead of time if their flights will be full.

Overall travel demand remains depressed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Atlanta-based Delta said it is also extending a waiver on change fees for new flights purchased through Sept. 30.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Diane Craft and Paul Simao