While I am saddened by the current surge of COVID infections – I am really not surprised. As I posted about back in May, when I was at last fully vaccinated, those who are refusing to get vaccinated are sending us back toward the tipping point where travel again shuts down.
Next, just look at the pathetic state of the vaccine rates in the USA vs. other parts of the world. I mean it is “safer” to be in Portugal, Denmark or Spain than over here.
But on to the topic of the day that is my question about seats. I have very limited travel booked the rest of 2021. Even being a Diamond Medallion elite Delta flyer, with good chances to score free first class upgrades for myself or myself and my wife (my wife gets Diamond status when with me regarding upgrades) I have chosen to either use upgrade certs to move up to first or simply purchased first on all but one of my flights remaining this year.
I just want the extra space to have a small extra measure of safety.
Since Delta is no longer blocking middle seats, the other option I will consider moving forward is buying an extra seat in coach or comfort plus. I have a very detailed post about doing this and all the crazy things that can and do happen if you go this route (and worth reviewing if you missed it). I mean if the price is right (think Delta flash sales or similar) it can be very cheap to simply buy 3 tickets for my wife and I vs. 2.
The other option I am considering is using my Delta Amex BOGO certs this way, that is, buy two seats for myself in coach for the extra space. I have resisted doing this because my certs are from my Delta Amex Reserve card so I can also use them to BOGO first class seats. Plus the fact that Delta keeps extending the expiration dates due to COVID makes me want to hold on to them a bit longer.
I have a feeling I am not the only one who is willing to take these kinds of rather drastic steps just to feel safer in the air (before someone comments, yes, I know the risk of COVID on a jet is low due to down draft air movement once we are up in the air).
This kind of thinking will / does have implications for Delta elites.
With Delta again pushing not just elite status but also (shockingly) ALL MQMs into next year we could see the greatest glut of elites EVER in the airlines history in 2022. This means even more “fighting” if you will for first class upgrades. Take this, along with fear of COVID, and “free” upgrade space could become a truly rare event next year. Then again, maybe the anti-vaxers will drive us back to total lock downs again and we will not have to worry about such things as space on jets.
What do you think? If you are flying at all right now, are you doing like me or? – René
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