Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Reclining one's airline seat too far is a problem?  I don't think I have ever had a seat that could recline more than a few inches.

There is a code of etiquette that frequent fliers know about how much one can politely recline?  I don't fly much, but I have flown for decades and I never heard of this. When the seat belt light is on I don't recline.  When it goes off I may or may not recline, but when I do, it is always the full amount. Where does the rule come from that this is incorrect? Does the person behind me have a real right of protest?  On what basis?  Is this an unstated convention? When someone in front of me reclines I simply accept the inconvenience.  It's uncomfortable for everyone and we're all just doing the best we can.


james said...

I suppose it partly depends on the seat height. The very tall seats, when reclined, get in my face. And I've been in un-reclinables many times (bulkhead or defective seat)--the university prefers the cheap seats.

I generally don't recline much--partly because it doesn't really do a lot of good. I'm not going to be able to sleep much anyhow. Although I've been assigned seats that had only 2 reclining positions (they wouldn't "take" anywhere in between upright and all-the-way).

I figure if you recline, you take the accompanying risks--that if the guy behind you has to get up he's going to bump you awake, and if he sneezes he's going to muss your hair.

Donna B. said...

It was circa 2003 that my husband and I were in the cheapest seats available on British Airways from Dallas to Heathrow. We couldn't recline because we were in the last row of seats against a bulkhead. However, the seats in front of us could recline. I was in the aisle seat, my husband in the middle seat of three. When the people in front of us chose to recline their seatback actually touched our noses. We spent the entire flight with our arms extended to prevent reclining so we could breathe.

I fondly remember the BA stewardess responding to the person in front of my husband who complained because the seat wouldn't recline. She said that she would notify maintenance of the problem. It's not the passengers' problem. The airlines and manufacturers are at fault for several reasons.

Jonathan said...

What about seat back kickers? Surely they are to be punished as well. The new really cheap seats, as on Spirit's Airbuses, don't recline and become torturous after a couple of hours, but have the virtue of hard plastic shells that don't transmit kicks.