22 June, 2020

Southwest will keep the middle seat free until 30 September.

The U.S. budget carrier Southwest Airlines has announced plans to keep the middle seats free on all its flights all the way through to the end of September 30.  

In a statement, the 737 operator said "Employee and Customer Safety is, and always will be, the carrier's top priority from check-in to deplaning the aircraft. Today, Southwest announced that middle seats will remain open through at least September 30, 2020, to provide Customers more personal space onboard and promote physical-distancing."

Like the vast majority of commercial airlines, Southwest also requires passengers to wear a face mask or covering before, during and after the flight.  It is also requiring passengers to complete a Health Declaration form prior to travelling.

"The introduction of the Customer Health Declaration is an additional layer offered by our Southwest Promise. As part of this commitment, Southwest is performing enhanced cleanings and giving special attention to our airport locations and aircraft to support Customer and Employee well-being. Now, we ask that our customers join us in these efforts by acknowledging their personal wellness prior to flying with us," said Tony Roach, Managing Director, Southwest Customer Experience. "When Customers are ready to fly again, the Southwest Team is ready to welcome them with our ongoing commitment to safety and comfort, paired with our low fares."

In addition to the Customer Health Declaration, Customers will notice this Southwest Promise highlights the next time they fly:

Boarding in groups of 10 to allow for distancing and queuing only on one side of boarding poles
Airport signage and floor markers encouraging distance throughout gate areas
Plexiglas® at ticketing and gate counters, and baggage service offices
If Customers forget a face covering, a mask will be provided
Hand sanitizer will be available in airport locations

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