DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — Southwest Airlines will no longer leave the middle seat open on flights and instead return to full plane capacity after Nov. 30, the airline announced Thursday.
Southwest first announced the social distancing measure in April as well as taking other safety precautions because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This practice of effectively keeping middle seats open bridged us from the early days of the pandemic, when we had little knowledge about the behavior of the virus, to now,” the airline said in a statement. “Today, aligned with science-based findings from trusted medical and aviation organizations, we will resume selling all available seats for travel beginning December 1, 2020.”
Southwest said in the release it plans to allow enhanced flight change flexibility for customers who do not want to fly on fuller flights. Southwest said they will continue to enforce other safety regulations
Southwest joins United Airlines and American Airlines who have filled their flights for months. Some of the U.S. airlines that limiting seats are Delta and Alaska Airlines. Both have extended their policy through the holiday season until Jan. 6.