Delta Now Offering “Dynamic’ Seat Maps That Automatically Block Rows Allowing Families Of 3 Or More To Sit Together

Credit: Delta Airlines


Throughout the pandemic, Delta was one of the major U.S. carriers to guarantee flyers extra space by blocking the middle seat for additional social distancing and passenger comfort.

While that policy is now history, the Atlanta-based carrier has implemented a new type of seat blocking. This one, however, is designed to make it easier for groups of travelers to sit together.

Specifically, the carrier is blocking a handful of rows in the main economy cabin for those traveling as part of a group. These seats are not assignable to solo travelers, nor to those traveling with just one additional person on the reservation.

They’ll instead be available for selection by those who have reservations with three or more travelers on a single reservation. (They’ll also be available to Medallion elite members traveling with one or two passengers.)

Delta’s “dynamic seat-map algorithm,” as the airline calls it, first started rolling out quietly in 2019 and now uses historical booking and seat assignment data to determine how many rows to hold back on a given flight. For instance, a search for flights between New York and Fort Lauderdale — a leisure-heavy route — shows that the airline is holding back five rows.

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