The passenger cabin of a Delta Boeing 737-900ER is shown as it lands in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, on January 10, 2018.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Delta Air Lines announced on Wednesday that it will cease blocking seats on its aircraft from May 1st. This is the last U.S. airline to end Covid-19 era politics as more and more travelers return to heaven.

Delta began blocking center seats and limiting capacity on smaller planes in April just before the pandemic began. Other airlines had similar policies, including Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Alaska Airlines, but have since sold all seats again.

Physical distancing from other passengers is extremely difficult on an airplane. Delta and other airlines have repeatedly said that filtration systems and intensive cleaning make travelers unlikely to catch Covid-19 on an airplane. But Delta said many travelers choose Delta over other airlines because it has maintained its policies.

CEO Ed Bastian said in an announcement that 65% of customers who flew Delta in 2019 expect to receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by May 1 every seat on our plane while at the same time new services, products, and rewards are introduced to aid the journey. “

The change results from a better summer travel season than last year. The airlines have generally been the most lucrative time of the year with many potential customers staying at home over the past year.

However, with the introduction of vaccines nationwide, airline executives are optimistic that bookings for travel in late spring and summer will increase.

Delta announced a number of other changes to increase revenue. Customers with reservations that were valid until the end of 2021 or who bought tickets this year can use them until the end of 2022.

Delta also said its customers can earn up to 75% more to achieve medallion status. The airline’s and its competitors’ frequent flyer programs have grown in prominence during the pandemic. These programs make money by selling miles to banks that customers earn when they use award credit cards. Delta raised a record $ 9 billion in debt last year, backed by its SkyMiles program.

The airline also said it will offer hot meals in its Delta One or first class cabins on some transcontinental flights in early June. Boxed meals will be offered first class on some other domestic routes in July.