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Southwest extends limited seating on flights through September

FILE PHOTO: Social distancing sign is displayed at a check-in area for Southwest Airlines Co. at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on an unusually empty Memorial Day weekend during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles

(Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co <LUV.N> said on Tuesday it will continue to limit bookings on its flights until at least September to maintain space between passengers.

Social distancing on planes, along with other safety measures, are helping airlines to restore confidence in air travel after the coronavirus outbreak.

Southwest also said customers would be allowed to pick their seat, and the airline will not block or direct seating.


Other U.S. carriers have been following similar moves to maintain social distancing norms in the air.

Bigger rival Delta Air Lines Inc <DAL.N> earlier this month said it planned to limit seating capacity on its flights through September, block the selection of middle seats and put a cap on seating in every cabin.

JetBlue Airways Corp <JBLU.O> has also extended social distancing measures on its flight through early July.

While middle-seat policies differ for major U.S. airlines, they all require passengers to wear facial coverings. Passengers who refuse to wear masks could have their flying privileges revoked under tougher enforcement policies imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.


(Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)