Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Things are going quite well at Delta Air Lines.
You might think, then, that it might be busy patting itself on the back, rather than disrupting the flying experience.
Yet this weekend sees the introduction of something that at least some passengers will find controversial.
As Skift reports, Delta is going to stop its seats reclining as far as they used to. Passengers Economy Class will only be able to recline their seats half the previous distance.
In Business Class, the 5-inch seat pitch will be reduced to three-and-a-half.
Wait, I hear you cry, won’t this annoy all those who recline their Economy Class seats all the way the minute the plane has taken off?
But won’t that be a good thing? Do you need to recline your seat on a flight of less than two hours? (These are the flights initially affected by Delta’s change.)
The airline is at pains to insist this isn’t about stuffing more seats into its planes.
Instead, as Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta’s director of onboard product and customer experience, explained:
It’s about ensuring an optimal experience.
It seems that Delta is calculating that most passengers will appreciate having the (tiny bit of) extra space to work. Or merely breathe.
This isn’t the first time the airline has stopped to think about the customer experience.
Last year, it actually declared it wouldn’t follow its competitors’ notion of placing 10 seats across its Boeing 777-200ER planes.
At the time, Delta uttered these radical words:
Customer comfort was the driving factor in our decision to remain at nine-abreast seating, versus the new norm of 10 across.
It’s possible, then, that Delta is — with this latest decision that affects its Airbus A320 planes — genuinely considering the comfort of the majority.
That’s a considerable departure from that of other airlines that see seats as merely opportunities for monetization.
I wonder how many complaints will roll in.