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Delta To Reduce How Much Your Seat Can Recline On Some Flights

By Victoria M. Walker

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Delta is limiting how much passengers can recline on some domestic flights, according to a report from The Points Guy.

According to the report, all Airbus A320 jets — 62 of them— will be retrofitted. Economy seats will lose two inches, anywhere from four inches to two. First-class seats will be reduced from 5.5 inches to 3.5 inches, the report states.

Delta says the reduction is for a good reason and not because it wants to put more seats on its planes.

“It’s really not at all a gateway to reducing your legroom. That is not the intent here,” Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta’s director of onboard product and customer experience, told TPG. “If we were adding seats, or something else, the cynics would be correct. But this is really about more personal space.”

Reclining is a significant point of contention in air travel, which sometimes leads to arguments or even fights.

In 2014, a Delta flight from New York to West Palm Beach, Florida, was rerouted to Jacksonville, Florida, after a woman became angry when person in front of her reclined her seat.


“The woman behind her started screaming and swearing and then a flight attendant came over and that just exacerbated what was going on and then she demanded that the flight land,” a passenger on that flight told WPTV.

An argument over a “Knee Defender,” a contraption that that attaches to the tray table and restricts reclining, led to a United flight from Newark to Denver being diverted to Chicago in 2014. According to the Guardian, the flight continued to Denver without the two passengers involved, but no arrests were made. The Knee Defender has been banned on many U.S. and international flights.

Even Mitt Romney has had troubles with seat recliners.
The former presidential candidate was on an Air Canada flight to Los Angeles in 2010 when a passenger became “physically violent” after Romney asked him to move his seat upright prior to takeoff, according to New York Daily News. Romney declined to press charges.

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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