The CDC says keeping the middle seats open on airplanes reduces exposure to coronavirus by more than half.
Delta is the last U.S. airline to resume filling the middle seat, which it will do next month. Researchers say spacing passengers out reduces the risk of exposure between 23-57% even if they aren't wearing masks. Most airlines reduced capacity on flights during the height of the pandemic.
Since the release of the new CDC report, multiple airlines including American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, deferred to the trade organization Airlines for America on the issue - saying that they are going to follow safety guidelines permitted for travel while still maintaining full cabin seating for flights going forward.