Delta Extends Middle-Seat Block, With Exceptions

Delta Air Lines DAL is generally extending its middle-seat block and limiting the number of customers per flight through at least Jan. 6.
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Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Report said Thursday it was generally extending its middle-seat block and limiting the number of customers per flight through at least Jan. 6.

“Medical experts, including our own partners at Emory Healthcare, agree – more distance on board makes a difference,” Bill Lentsch, Delta’s chief customer experience officer, said in a statement.

Delta will allow parties of three or more sitting together to book middle seats. 

Until Jan. 6, Delta will generally continue to fill only 60% of its main cabin, Dow Jones reports. But in the case of parties of three or more booking middle seats, it will allow the percentage of seats occupied to hit 75% beginning Oct. 1.

Delta also will begin to allow complete occupancy of its first-class cabin, where there’s already more space between seats, Dow Jones reports.

Delta is extending its change-fee waiver for new flights purchased through Sept. 30.

Morningstar analyst Burkett Huey last month offered a mixed take on Delta.

“We’ve adjusted our fair-value estimate for Delta to $42.50 per share from $43.50,” he wrote in a commentary. 

Delta shares recently traded at $27.75, up 0.3%. They have dropped 53% this year.

“We assign the firm a no-moat rating and a stable trend rating,” Huey said. “We think Delta deserves a very high uncertainty rating due to the substantial near-term uncertainty in passenger demand from the pandemic and the recovery.”

But, “while our near-term outlook is quite gloomy, … we think that current prices are gloomier, and we view the shares as undervalued,” he wrote.