Delta is to reduce the amount of space that passengers in coach and business can recline their seats, it was reported.
The American airline will retrofit its fleet of 62 Airbus A320 jets to reduce the recline of the coach seats from 4 inches to 2 inches and the recline of first class seats from 5.5 inches to 3.5 inches.
And officials denied they are trying to fit additional seats on to the aircraft with the change. They claim the move will reduce disruption to other passengers, allow them to pass by for toilet breaks and to use laptops freely.
Delta is to reduce the amount of space that passengers in coach and business can recline their seats. Main Cabin seats inside a Boeing 737-900ER (739), which are smiliar seats on Air
Delta spokeswoman Savannah Huddleston told
‘Delta has no plans to add seats or reduce space between rows with this test. It’s all about protecting customers’ personal space and minimizing disruptions to multitasking in-flight.’
Delta typically flies the A320 on short- to medium-haul routes averaging one to two hours, which are frequented by business travelers, according to Huddleston.
It will take Delta about two months to get the entire A320 fleet retrofitted. Aviation security consultant Jeff Price told CNN Travel: ‘Being a frequent business flier, my productivity just dies when the person in front of me drops their seat into my lap.’
‘With the narrow room the airlines give you for your legs, I can’t even sit in the normal seats with my legs facing forward.
‘I have to turn them sideways, and it’s worse when the seat drops back.’
The retrofit is a test of how to preserve passengers’ personal space, according to
Delta told The Points Guy that too many laptops have been struck by the reclined seats, and the reclined seats make it difficult for passengers behind to watch video screens.
Delta deny they are trying to fit additional seats on to the aircraft or will save money. They claim the move will ‘minimize disruptions to multi-tasking passengers’
A Delta Airlines Airbus A320 passenger jet taxis seen at Salt Lake City international airport. It will take approximately two months to retrofit 62 planes in the airline’s fleet
‘There’s long been a debate among frequent travelers if flyers should have a right to recline or not,’ explained Scott Mayerowitz, executive editorial director of The Points Guy.
‘Delta appears to be trying to strike a balance between those who want a little space to work and those who want to take a short nap.’
It is understood Delta will rely on passenger feedback, The Points Guy reports, to determine whether the airline will expand the change to the rest of its domestic airplane fleet or go back to the original four inches of coach recline.
There are no plans to change the coach recline on international flights, according to The Points Guy.
Mayerowitz explained that less leg space could come as a welcome development for some passengers.
He added: ‘But, if you take Delta at its word, this might make for a more comfortable flight for some. Anybody who ever tried to work on a plane only to have a laptop screen slammed by the seat in front will rejoice at the change.’