Amtrak will no longer block the sales of middle seats and will sell to capacity beginning May 23, the railway said according to the travel blog The Points Guy (TPG).
It is yet another strong sign that transportation companies such as the railroads and airlines are starting to see the return of travel throughout the U.S.
In fact, Amtrak’s announcement comes just days after Delta Air Lines became the last U.S. carrier to announce it would no longer block the sales of middle seats.
According to TPG, Amtrak has limited bookings on reserved trains (like the Northeast Regional) to allow for more social distancing in seating areas. This new policy will apply to the Acela (business and first-class) and business class on Northeast Regional, Vermonter, Carolinian and Palmetto trains.
Amtrak says when customers are searching for travel, the percentage of seats sold displays next to each trip option and will adjust as customers make reservations. However, customers can book on a train that is less crowded, the company said.
Amtrak, like the airlines, made dramatic changes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic over the last year. It cleaned high-touch surfaces more frequently and changed how passengers board the trains at already-crowded stations like Union Station in Washington D.C. and Penn Station in New York City.