DELTA passengers will find it harder to sleep next time they’re on a flight as the airline has announced they will no longer be able to recline all the way back.
The seats will instead recline just two inches, compared to four inches in economy.
First class passengers will also be affected, with the recline decreasing from 5.5 inches to 3.5 inches.
The Atlanta-based airline has announced a plan to retrofit its 62 Airbus A320 jets with seats that tilt back only in an effort to create more personal space for passengers.
The news was first reported by The Points Guy’s Scott Mayerowitz, who added that it should take two months for the airline to install the new seats.
The A320 jets affected mostly fly quick one to two-hour trips in North America. The refitted seats won’t be be rolled out for international flights.
The airline says these changes are a test; feedback from passengers will determine whether this change will affect other domestic jets or whether coach seats will return to their prior four inch tilt.
The alterations neither impact leg room per seat nor add extra seats to the cabins.
In essence, the move is about preventing a sudden deep recline of any passenger, which bothers the person seated right behind.
Travellers have previously shared some of their horror stories of their fellow passengers reclining their seats to an uncomfortable angle.
Passenger altercations have resulted in flight diversions, with a Hawaii-bound flight forced to turn back after a fight over the reclining seats.
Also, since the A320 planes have back-of-seat screens with entertainment that doesn’t tilt at an angle, the reduced recline means that passengers can still watch movies and shows with good visibility.
It also means that there’s more space for folks in the middle and window seats to wriggle out of their spots to get to the aisle and, say, head to the restroom.
Airline industry consultant Robert Mann told The Points Guy: “I’m sure it will reduce some friction between passengers.
“Every one of those incidents creates at least one irate customer and one who wonders what all the fuss is about.”
New plane designs which could one day be introduced to cabins which would stop passengers needing to recline.
One design by Hong Kong seat manufacturer Butterfly revealed plans to stop seats from reclining in economy but instead to create a bed from two seats instead.
However, reclining your seat all the way back isn’t the best way to sleep, according to experts, as a slight recline is better for you back.
This article was originally published by The New York Post and was reproduced with permission.