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.


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