US airlines drop the distance that seats recline from 13cm to 9cm in first class, and to 5cm from 10cm in business & economy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Delta Air Lines will reduce the amount that seats recline on some planes by about 5cm, aiming to preserve the workspace of multitasking business travellers.

The first Airbus A320s to get the modified seats will debut this weekend, the carrier said Friday. The distance that seats recline will drop 13cm to 9cm in first class, and to 5cm from 10 in business & economy

The A320s generally are used on flights of two hours or less.

The change -- made in response to customer complaints -- should make life easier for business travellers trying to work on laptops perched on tray tables, often while viewing mobile phones and seat-back video screens, Delta said.

"It's all about protecting customers' personal space and minimizing disruptions to multitasking in flight," the Atlanta-based airline said by email.

Altering the seats can be done overnight and will take two months for all of Delta's 62 A320s. Delta isn't reducing the space between rows on the single-aisle jet, which seats 157 passengers. Feedback from travellers and employees will help determine whether Delta retrofits other aircraft.