Delta Air Lines wants to make short-haul economy seats more comfortable by reducing how far back they recline. The pilot project will start on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft and could expand to the entire fleet based on feedback from regular flyers.
Delta Air Lines is beginning an experiment to make economy class seating feel more spacious. In an interview with Skift, the Atlanta-based carrier announced it would soon begin limiting seat recline on their Airbus A320 fleet.
According to SeatGuru, seat pitch in Delta’s economy section ranges from 30 to 34 inches, depending on the aircraft. For the pilot project, the airline will reduce seat recline on 62 aircraft flying select business travel routes under two hours. Economy seats – including those in Delta Comfort+ – will recline by only two inches, while first class seats will go back by 3.5 inches.
The goal is to allow travelers to feel like they have more room to work, eat, watch in-flight entertainment or relax. Delta’s first airframe with the new seat plan will take flight over the weekend of April 12, 2019, with the remainder of seats set to be adjusted over the next two months.
Ekrem Dimbiloglu, director of onboard product and customer experience at Delta, told Skift that the airline did not want to add seats by reducing seat recline. Instead, the airline wants to create “an optimal experience” for passengers.
FlyerTalkers are cautiously optimistic about the new plan. “Obviously the superior solution would be to increase pitch,” writes forum member ethernal. “But Delta is not going to do that, so I’ll take it.” While FlyerTalker lucycan says: “100% supportive. There is simply no reason to recline your seat on a flight less than a few hours long.”
Delta will monitor passengers’ feelings on the new seats through surveys after the flight. If the test is successful, it could be possible for the reduced recline to be expanded to additional aircraft.
Is this the right move to improve comfort aboard Delta flights? Make your voice heard on the FlyerTalk forums!
[Image Source: Wikimedia/ Aero Icarus]