In recent months though, most airlines have abandoned this practice and have resumed booking all seats on flights. Currently, the last holdout is Delta Air Lines (DAL) — the company’s CEO has said that middle seats on Delta flights will remain blocked through in 2021.
However, new research suggests that keeping middle seats empty on flights doesn’t necessarily make them safer. The Harvard study found that because the rapid airflow is directed downward, there is little risk of breathing in airborne particles expelled by someone sitting next to you on a plane.
“You cannot see any measurable difference in the risk with the adjacent seat being vacant versus where some infectious person may be seated,” Jack McCarthy, president of Environmental Health and Engineering Inc, said during the Harvard study presentation.
Anyone who is worried about the possibility of sitting next to someone who is sick should contact their airline about