Delta has begun testing whether reducing seat recline will
increase customer comfort.
The carrier started the trial last weekend on some of its
Airbus A320s and will expand the trial to all 62 A320s over the next two
months, spokeswoman Savannah Huddleston wrote in an email.
"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," the carrier
said in a statement.
During the test, recline in first class has been adjusted
from a maximum of 5.4 inches to a maximum of 3.5 inches. Recline in Comfort
Plus and in standard economy seats has been reduced from a maximum of four
inches to a maximum of two inches.
Huddleston said the A320 is the ideal candidate for the
trial both because Delta uses it primarily on flights of less than two hours
and because it is popular with business travelers.
Allowing for less recline will preserve more space for working
on a laptop or watching videos.
Delta's A320 aircraft have 30 or 31 inches of space between
rows in economy class, 34 inches in Comfort Plus and 36 inches in first class.
In total, Delta has a mainline fleet of 885 aircraft.