Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has announced that it will be reducing the amount that some of their seats recline on some their planes. The move appears to be part of a plan to improve the comfort of the airline’s passengers. The changes are slated to begin immediately.
The reduction in the amount that the seats will recline will affect all classes of flights. For example, the Comfort Plus and coach seats will have the amount the seat can recline reduced from 4 inches to 2 in. In first class, the reduction will be from 5.4 inches to 3.5 in.
According to the statement from Delta, its Airbus A320s will be the first to get the modified seats. The A320s generally are used on flights of two hours or less that are frequented by business travelers. Altering the seats will take two months for all of Delta’s 62 A320s, with each aircraft able to be done overnight.
Delta says that this is a test to preserve passengers’ personal space. The airline said in a statement, “It’s all about protecting customers’ personal space and minimizing disruptions to multitasking in flight.” The change should make life easier for business travelers trying to work on laptops perched on tray tables. Feedback from travelers and employees will help determine whether Delta retrofits other aircraft.
The airline has taken some time to respond to criticisms of its idea. Delta says that the move is not intended to free up room to cram more seats onto its aircraft, as some critics have charged. It also says that it has no plans currently to reduce the space between rows on the jet.