After takeoff, passengers aboard domestic Delta Air Lines flights will notice something different onboard domestic flights from this weekend. They may be able to sit back and relax — but only so far.
Delta announced Friday it will cut down the amount of seat recline from four inches to two in economy class on its A320 aircraft, beginning Saturday. However, this isn’t because the airline is squeezing more seats into the cabin — and you might actually find it's a good thing. Delta says that this is a test to preserve passengers’ personal space.
Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta’s director of onboard product and customer experience, told The Points Guy that the reduced recline was an effort to protect the passengers seated behind. Anyone who has put their laptop on a tray while flying knows all too well the woes of a sudden recline.
The reduced recline won’t just affect economy passengers. Those in first class will also see two inches of recline taken away, with seats going from 5.5 inches of recline to 3.5.
“It’s hard to believe that any airline taking away something from passengers today could be a good thing,” The Points Guy Executive Editorial Director Scott Mayerowitz said in a statement. “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 their laptop screen slammed by the seat in front of them will rejoice at the change.”
The change will only take place on the A320 aircraft, which operate domestic flights around the country lasting only an hour or two. During this time, most passengers are upright and working rather than leaning back to sleep, so the reduced recline may not actually impact that many people’s flight routines. Only time will tell.