The Reason Your Next Delta Flight Might Be Uncomfortable

You'll want to take note of this before booking your next short haul Delta flight.

Interior of commercial airplane with unrecognizable passengers on their seats during flight shot from the rear of airplane.Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

If fully reclining your seat is one of your guilty pleasures when flying, you may want to think twice before booking a ticket on Delta Air Lines’ A320 aircraft. Last month the airline reduced the bandwidth of seat recline by two inches. You may love the reclining seats, but there are more great airplane features we bet you never even knew existed.

Passengers aboard Delta’s A320 aircraft have been part of the airline’s test for the last month to see if cutting the seat’s reclining capacity by two inches will improve personal space and overall satisfaction for the passenger experience. Seat recline for passengers in economy was decreased from four to two inches. Passengers flying in first class also experienced a two-inch decline and are only able to recline 3.5 inches.

“Delta has no plans to add seats or reduce space between rows with this test,” Delta spokeswoman Savannah Huddleston told CNN Travel. “It’s all about protecting customers’ personal space and minimizing disruptions to multitasking in-flight. As part of Delta’s continued efforts to make the in-flight experience more enjoyable, Delta is testing a small change to its A320 aircraft—adjusting the recline throughout to make multitasking easier.” Despite this, the Atlanta-based carrier was a big winner in The Points Guy’s best airlines of 2019 survey.

Travelers can all agree that having the person in front of you abruptly recline a seat while you are working on a laptop, enjoying that complimentary soda, or watching a movie is more than a little annoying. It is equally unpleasant for long-legged travelers to have to assume impossible yoga positions when the person in front of them fully reclines.

Delta’s A320 is an ideal aircraft to perform this test as flights are typically between one to two hours so most people on the plane are upright and awake. “It’s really not at all a gateway to reducing your legroom. That is not the intent here. If we were adding seats, or something else, the cynics would be correct. But this is really about more personal space,” Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta’s director of onboard product and customer experience, shared with The Points Guy.

Delta Air Lines was the first U.S. global carrier to offer free mobile texting, so that’s a reason to take Huddleston at her word that the company is trying to elevate the customer experience. And you can make your own flight experience better by avoiding these things you should never do on an airplane.

Stacey Marcus
Stacey Marcus is a lifestyle writer and regular contributor to where she covers subjects ranging from zodiac insight and penguin secrets to trivia and trends. She earned a BA in Communications from Simmons University. When not pitching story ideas and cherry picking words, she can be found capturing sweet moments with her fluffy dog and office mate Theo.