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Southwest to Keep Middle Seats Open Through November 30

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 9/16/2020 Patrick Clarke
a plane flying in the air: Southwest Airlines aircraft approaching San Jose International Airport © Andrei Stanescu/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus Southwest Airlines aircraft approaching San Jose International Airport

Southwest Airlines has announced that it will continue to limit the number of seats sold on every flight this fall to keep middle seats open to allow for physical distancing onboard through November 30.

Previously, the low-cost carrier had promised to keep middle seats open through October 31.

Southwest customers choose their own seats upon boarding so families and groups can still sit together and occupy the middle seat for their convenience.

"As we transition into autumn and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season, we want Southwest customers to have the confidence of knowing that middle seats will remain open through November 30 to accommodate their fall travel plans," Southwest's Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Green said in a statement accompanying Wednesday's announcement. "Southwest has been operating flights with middle seats open throughout the summer and has added thousands of flights to in-demand destinations to provide extra seats for on-board physical distancing and added comfort."

Southwest also continues to require face-coverings for all passengers over the age of two and is making masks available for travelers who need them. What's more, the airline will continue to board in smaller groups of 10 to limit crowding in the gate area.

In addition to its aircraft, Southwest is cleaning ticket counters, gates, kiosks and baggage claim areas multiple times per day as part of The Southwest Promise launched in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now through October 22, Southwest customers can score flight deals for as low as $49 one-way during the carrier's "Wanna Get Away" campaign for fall and winter travel.


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