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Do you have the right to recline your plane seat?

Do you have the right to recline your plane seat?

  • Yes

    Votes: 104 82.5%
  • No

    Votes: 22 17.5%

  • Total voters
    126
  • Poll closed .

mayerling

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Mar 4, 2010
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I'm surprised by how many people have said that it's rude and inconsiderate to recline seats. I've never even given it a thought. The seat reclines, it's extremely uncomfortable to be upright for long periods of time (and that includes short flights, e.g. 2-hour flights; it's unfathomable to be upright when I fly Heathrow-LAX for 11 hours straight), therefore I recline. I avoid exit rows like the plague for that very reason (I don't remember who gave the seatguru.com idea but whoever you are, thanks; I fully intend to use that site from now on). DH is very tall but I've never heard him complain when people recline. For those who mind others reclining, why don't you recline as well?
 

orbaya

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They think they're so much more important than any other paying customer and that their comfort is of the utmost attention.[/quote]

Ame - you sound exactly like this kind of person, IMO. People who recline are not doing so intentionally to make your flight hell, like you claim you would purposefully do to others.

As for me, I think flying is about expectations, whether they are pleasant or not. I expect that the person in front of me may recline their seat. I expect the person on the in the inside seat might need to use the bathroom, even if it means waking me up to do so, etc. It's just part of flying.
 

chemgirl

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When the problem is your knees, reclining your own seat does nothing. You're still getting slammed by the seat in front of you. I wear a 36 inch inseam so I realize I'm not the norm.

I did retaliate once against the guy who was repeatedly slamming his seat in to my legs AFTER I asked him to please stop because he was hurting me. He made a rude comment about how airlines should ban children (I was 18 or 19 at the time) and continued to slam away. So yes, I did jam my knees in to his back, pull on the top of his chair during my repeated washroom breaks, kick his chair whenever I shifted position (ever 5 minutes) and repeatedly bent over to retrieve items from my purse. He never got the hint. I had to straddle his seat for the entire 4 hours so it was extremely uncomfortable for me. I don't feel like I'm better than him. I actually feel that I was being just as rude as he was.

Reclining your seat is fine, but never touch somebody else!
 

Porridge

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3,267
Wow I never thought this was even an issue, and I can't believe some people's extreme reactions to it! I fly a lot. I'll always glance back to make sure the person isn't eating, and will recline slowly, so as not to slam into any knees, but you bet I'm going to recline to a comfortable position, just like everyone else. I only ever had one problem where the guy behind me repeatedly kicked my chair when I tried to recline. He wasn't tall, he just had issues. The air hostess noticed, and asked him to stop. He did it again. She told him (very politely) that this was unacceptable behaviour, and upgraded me to the world traveler plus section so I could recline in peace! I hadn't even complained. That was BA, I was so impressed with their service.

I realise I'm lucky because I'm not tall, but airplane seats recline. It's to be expected. Therefore if you know that that - or any other routine flying procedures for that matter - are going to be a problem for you, it's up to you to work around it. Don't blame other passengers for simply using the facilities.
 

MissStepcut

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chemgirl|1319292562|3045372 said:
When the problem is your knees, reclining your own seat does nothing. You're still getting slammed by the seat in front of you. I wear a 36 inch inseam so I realize I'm not the norm.

I did retaliate once against the guy who was repeatedly slamming his seat in to my legs AFTER I asked him to please stop because he was hurting me. He made a rude comment about how airlines should ban children (I was 18 or 19 at the time) and continued to slam away. So yes, I did jam my knees in to his back, pull on the top of his chair during my repeated washroom breaks, kick his chair whenever I shifted position (ever 5 minutes) and repeatedly bent over to retrieve items from my purse. He never got the hint. I had to straddle his seat for the entire 4 hours so it was extremely uncomfortable for me. I don't feel like I'm better than him. I actually feel that I was being just as rude as he was.

Reclining your seat is fine, but never touch somebody else!
As noted above, I share your problem, and usually just hold my knees still when someone tries to recline. If they are trying to recline without slamming, it will let them recline as far as would not prevent me from moving my legs (otherwise I'd be stuck with my knees straight, feel pushed out into their foot space).

I personally think seats can recline for flights during sleeping hours, and that it's pretty rude to recline when you're awake and just reading or whatever. But I also agree that I should just fly first class, and upgrade when it's a reasonable price or can afford it.
 

April20

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MissStepcut|1319297394|3045426 said:
I personally think seats can recline for flights during sleeping hours, and that it's pretty rude to recline when you're awake and just reading or whatever. But I also agree that I should just fly first class, and upgrade when it's a reasonable price or can afford it.

The angle of the seats unreclined kill my upper back and neck. I really cant sit with the chair completely upright for an entire flight without regretting it later. There are lots of reasons to recline other than sleeping and I do not think it is rude to do so unless it is at meal time which is nearly non-existent on domestic flights anyhow (at least in the US).
 

Nomsdeplume

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I will never recline on a short flight, but I definitely will recline a bit on longer flights. I always make sure that I'm not touching the person behind me and that they do not have food or a drink but you bet I will recline, especially to sleep.
I try to avoid flying whenever possible. I have CKD so I'm pretty uncomfortable anyway, let alone sitting in such a rigid position for a long period of time. So yes, I do think I'm allowed to recline. And if someone ever intentionally throws up on me for doing so, I will Kick. Their. Ass.
 

sillyberry

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Whenever anyone says "just recline too!" I wonder - what if I don't want to recline? What if I need to work those hours I'm sitting on a plane, but I can't easily use my laptop because your seat is reclined? Didn't I pay for ALL the use and functionality of my seat, too, and you're depriving me of that? If I'm just reading or listening I don't mind too much if you've reclined (although I don't prefer it since it does make the seat feel more cramped), but it makes it incredibly difficult to get work done.

If I politely ask you to unrecline so I can use my laptop, would you consent?

Also, when people say "why would seats be able to recline if it wasn't appropriate to recline?" I think it is important to note time and place appropriateness. I think it is completely appropriate to recline on an overnight flight. Just not at 10am. I mean, cars can go 100mph, but we all agree that it isn't always (or usually) appropriate to actually use all that horsepower. My stereo can reach a very high decibel level, but my neighbors would appreciate if I didn't do so at midnight. It isn't like we always use all the functionality of every item at all times.

I'm not militant about this issue, and I'm not going to be passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) if you do recline in front of me, but I do think courtesy is on the side of not reclining.
 

ame

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kribbie|1319300653|3045461 said:
I will never recline on a short flight, but I definitely will recline a bit on longer flights. I always make sure that I'm not touching the person behind me and that they do not have food or a drink but you bet I will recline, especially to sleep.
I try to avoid flying whenever possible. I have CKD so I'm pretty uncomfortable anyway, let alone sitting in such a rigid position for a long period of time. So yes, I do think I'm allowed to recline. And if someone ever intentionally throws up on me for doing so, I will Kick. Their. a$$.

WHERE did I say I would intentionally vomit on you? I barf. I cannot **please watch your language** control it, no matter how much I would like to. It will go places I cannot control either, being that it's mostly liquid. What I believe I said was, and you can back and look for yourself, "I WILL NOT FEEL AS BAD" when it hits you, if you are being an **please watch your language**on the flight.

Of course I do not behave this way on flights all the time.**please watch your language** I get my *** through security quickly, I come prepared, I get the *** out of everyone's way and generally keep to myself. But I will be damned if I paid top dollar for a seat I cannot move in, get out of to use the restroom, or in any way am prohibited for doing anything on because some *** in front of me decides his beauty sleep or his reading time needs to have him fully reclined for however long the flight is. I fly and have flown on many airlines and the only one that has seats that don't go all the way back into our laps that I have been on in the last 5 years is Southwest. Those barely recline, so I do tend to fly them whenever possible, simply because I know that the person in front of me that decides they need to lay as far back as the seat will allow for the entire flight won't be coming that far back. I have flown business and first class whenever possible or feasable so that I am NOT a burden to someone else. But telling me I have to suck it up and get help because other people don't think beyond themselves is crap. Millions of people are claustrophobic. **please watch your language. last warning**
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
10,835
sillyberry|1319301321|3045464 said:
Whenever anyone says "just recline too!" I wonder - what if I don't want to recline? What if I need to work those hours I'm sitting on a plane, but I can't easily use my laptop because your seat is reclined? Didn't I pay for ALL the use and functionality of my seat, too, and you're depriving me of that? If I'm just reading or listening I don't mind too much if you've reclined (although I don't prefer it since it does make the seat feel more cramped), but it makes it incredibly difficult to get work done.

If I politely ask you to unrecline so I can use my laptop, would you consent?

Also, when people say "why would seats be able to recline if it wasn't appropriate to recline?" I think it is important to note time and place appropriateness. I think it is completely appropriate to recline on an overnight flight. Just not at 10am. I mean, cars can go 100mph, but we all agree that it isn't always (or usually) appropriate to actually use all that horsepower. My stereo can reach a very high decibel level, but my neighbors would appreciate if I didn't do so at midnight. It isn't like we always use all the functionality of every item at all times.
This is VERY well said. I may be "militant" and I am absolutely passive agressive about it, but I paid for my seat too, and telling me I am rude and overstepping because I am not willing to accommodate around someone else who is at the very least equally rude is seriously ridiculous.
 

Aoife

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Joined
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Messages
1,779
Short answer: yes, absolutely.

When you purchase a plane ticket, you are entitled to all the functionality of the seat, and implicit in that is the understanding that you will be sharing the space on the airplane with dozens (or hundreds) of other individuals who also have the same right to rest, recline, use their reading lights, use the restrooms even if it involves shuffling past their seat mates, watch movies on their personal media players, etc. If you can't handle the idea that you are only one among many, and that your rights and comfort are no more important than anyone else's on the flight, you shouldn't be flying. All these self-imposed rules about what constitutes good manners (On flights under 2 hours--or 2.25555 hours, or 3 hours or never--no one should be reclining his seat. Because I say so.) are bizarre. If you are someone who chooses not to recline your seat, that's fine. I doubt the flight attendants are going to be handing out any gold stars at the end of the flight, but if you are upheld by a feeling of virtue, more power to you.

I fly fairly often, and have done so since the days when jet engines were not standard on every flight. Sometimes I recline my seat, sometimes I don't.
 

Mara

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Messages
31,003
Of course people have a right to recline, the seats are made that way. But the seats were also meant to recline way back when there was more leg room and people weren't crushed in there like sardines.

I hardly ever recline my seat, simply because I don't find it comfortable at all when it's reclined. I feel better sitting straight up. On international flights I will recline and usually you get more leg room anyway then so I never have an issue with someone reclining their seat then or me reclining mine. But for domestic, I typically won't.

I personally have more issue with sitting next to people on the plane--usually with at least one person who doesn't quite fit into their seat so that I am way too close to the person on my left or right than I feel comfortable being--than the reclined seat in front of me. On my last flight, a very large guy who was almost taking up the entire 2 seats on one side of a small plane just outright took my seat, probably hoping I wouldn't show up... and thankfully the guy in front of him said I could sit next to him instead, it was much more comfortable for me.

Seats are too narrow on planes.
Seats are too closely set on planes.
We have to deal with lots of different people on planes.
People know this and if they choose to fly then I think everyone just needs to deal with it. Or else stay home and/or take a bus or train. Don't be pissed off at someone else for 'daring' to do whateveryouthinktheyjustdidtoyoupersonally in the same space.
 

kenny

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While I voted yes I completely agree with using courtesy first.
I do recline slowly.
If I reclined and the person behind me asked politely to not recline I would almost certainly comply, unless it's a long flight or a red eye.
Then I'd probably call the steward and politely ask for one of us to be moved if possible.
. . . but if they are being a jerk about it, kicking, vomiting, cutting braiding or licking my hair, breathing bad breath onto me, all bets are off.
THEY started it by their immature, entitled, how dare you inconvenience ME, the queen/king of the universe, attitude.

I'll bet if we took this poll 20 years ago the approx 20% who voted no would be closer to 2%.

On every flight I have been on my table does not change position or angle when the person in front of me reclines, so I can still use my laptop and eat and drink.
Again I can regain the lost space by reclining myself; if I don't want to then I have chosen to have less space than I could have.

Perhaps there are other jets where, when the person in front of you reclines, your table also moves back and changes angle so it is no longer level and everything on the table slides off into your lap.
If so, what a horrible design.
I doubt this is the case.

I only used the term "right" in the poll question because clearly, and astonishingly, in the linked article and in this thread some segment of society IS thinking on the level of THEY have a right to the person in front of them NOT reclining.

Personally I feel guilt-free reclining any time of the day, no matter how short the flight is.
I do not think it is rude of me or rude of the person in front of me to use this comfort convenience we have been provided.
The seat is designed to do that and I paid for those few inches behind me, as did the person behind me and the person in front of me.

If the airline instructed us on reclining rules/protocol/suggestions during their speech at the flight's beginning, or installed locks on the seat's reclining ability and unlocked them only during red-eyes or flights longer than 3 hours, it would be different.
They haven't.

But, again yes, courtesy first when dealing with our flight companions (fellow prisoners) on these terribly cramped jets.
 

junebug17

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sillyberry|1319301321|3045464 said:
Whenever anyone says "just recline too!" I wonder - what if I don't want to recline? What if I need to work those hours I'm sitting on a plane, but I can't easily use my laptop because your seat is reclined? Didn't I pay for ALL the use and functionality of my seat, too, and you're depriving me of that? If I'm just reading or listening I don't mind too much if you've reclined (although I don't prefer it since it does make the seat feel more cramped), but it makes it incredibly difficult to get work done.

If I politely ask you to unrecline so I can use my laptop, would you consent?

Also, when people say "why would seats be able to recline if it wasn't appropriate to recline?" I think it is important to note time and place appropriateness. I think it is completely appropriate to recline on an overnight flight. Just not at 10am. I mean, cars can go 100mph, but we all agree that it isn't always (or usually) appropriate to actually use all that horsepower. My stereo can reach a very high decibel level, but my neighbors would appreciate if I didn't do so at midnight. It isn't like we always use all the functionality of every item at all times.

I'm not militant about this issue, and I'm not going to be passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) if you do recline in front of me, but I do think courtesy is on the side of not reclining.

The situations aren't comparable. There are laws that prohibit driving over a certain speed, and most municipalities have noise ordinances that have time limits on noise. There are no regulations against reclining your seat on an airplane. The bottom line is the seats recline, and a person can do it if he/she wants to. I'm short, so reclining has never been an issue. I've honestly not thought about it much until this thread. Apparently it's uncomfortable for tall people, and in that case the only resolution is to ask the person not to recline. Your only option is to rely on the kindness of strangers. There's no way to force someone to adhere to your concept of what is polite. You would hope a person would not recline, but unfortunately you can't count on that. ! do sympathize with tall people in that they do look awfully smushed in those seats. I've never noticed tall people's knees being smushed by the seat though, but then again I've never really looked.

Ame, your retaliation to people who recline their seats sounds inappropriate to me. I don't really see what can be accomplished by it, other than making yourself feel better. If it hasn't already, someone will eventually complain about it, and you'll be in the wrong because there is no regulation that says a person can't recline his/her seat. Flight attendants don't put up with any crap these days.

The seats on an airplane recline, so if you fly you have to have a reasonable expectation that some people are going to put their seats back. If this is a major problem, then maybe flying isn't the mode of transportation for you. Or, as others have said, try to get a bulkhead or emergency exit seat.
 

MissStepcut

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junebug17|1319304613|3045482 said:
sillyberry|1319301321|3045464 said:
Whenever anyone says "just recline too!" I wonder - what if I don't want to recline? What if I need to work those hours I'm sitting on a plane, but I can't easily use my laptop because your seat is reclined? Didn't I pay for ALL the use and functionality of my seat, too, and you're depriving me of that? If I'm just reading or listening I don't mind too much if you've reclined (although I don't prefer it since it does make the seat feel more cramped), but it makes it incredibly difficult to get work done.

If I politely ask you to unrecline so I can use my laptop, would you consent?

Also, when people say "why would seats be able to recline if it wasn't appropriate to recline?" I think it is important to note time and place appropriateness. I think it is completely appropriate to recline on an overnight flight. Just not at 10am. I mean, cars can go 100mph, but we all agree that it isn't always (or usually) appropriate to actually use all that horsepower. My stereo can reach a very high decibel level, but my neighbors would appreciate if I didn't do so at midnight. It isn't like we always use all the functionality of every item at all times.

I'm not militant about this issue, and I'm not going to be passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) if you do recline in front of me, but I do think courtesy is on the side of not reclining.

The situations aren't comparable. There are laws that prohibit driving over a certain speed, and most municipalities have noise ordinances that have time limits on noise. There are no regulations against reclining your seat on an airplane. The bottom line is the seats recline, and a person can do it if he/she wants to. I'm short, so reclining has never been an issue. I've honestly not thought about it much until this thread. Apparently it's uncomfortable for tall people, and in that case the only resolution is to ask the person not to recline. Your only option is to rely on the kindness of strangers. There's no way to force someone to adhere to your concept of what is polite. You would hope a person would not recline, but unfortunately you can't count on that. ! do sympathize with tall people in that they do look awfully smushed in those seats. I've never noticed tall people's knees being smushed by the seat though, but then again I've never really looked.

Ame, your retaliation to people who recline their seats sounds inappropriate to me. I don't really see what can be accomplished by it, other than making yourself feel better. If it hasn't already, someone will eventually complain about it, and you'll be in the wrong because there is no regulation that says a person can't recline his/her seat. Flight attendants don't put up with any crap these days.

The seats on an airplane recline, so if you fly you have to have a reasonable expectation that some people are going to put their seats back. If this is a major problem, then maybe flying isn't the mode of transportation for you. Or, as others have said, try to get a bulkhead or emergency exit seat.
There's not a law against reclining, but we do have a legal right to be free from being touched or hurt by others, which is what happens when you recline your seat onto my knees. I have never heard of anyone bringing a tort suit for someone reclining onto them resulting in them being touched by the seat, but I don't agree that it's clearly legal.

Sorry for going law student on you. Our resident lawyers may well think I'm totally off here.

ETA: to flesh this out a little, we all have a right to be free of being touched by others. The defense is usually consent or implied consent, which of course the recliner may argue, you've implied the consent to be touched when you board an airplane by someone who wants to use the lav, or whatever. It seems to me that if the person asks you not to recline and you do anyway and you end up touching them, they could sue you since they have a legal right to be free of that touching. So there's at least, in my mind, an exception to the "right" that the recliner has (if any such right exists, which I am skeptical of).
 

Aoife

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Messages
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sillyberry|1319301321|3045464 said:
Whenever anyone says "just recline too!" I wonder - what if I don't want to recline? What if I need to work those hours I'm sitting on a plane, but I can't easily use my laptop because your seat is reclined? Didn't I pay for ALL the use and functionality of my seat, too, and you're depriving me of that? If I'm just reading or listening I don't mind too much if you've reclined (although I don't prefer it since it does make the seat feel more cramped), but it makes it incredibly difficult to get work done.

If I politely ask you to unrecline so I can use my laptop, would you consent?

Also, when people say "why would seats be able to recline if it wasn't appropriate to recline?" I think it is important to note time and place appropriateness. I think it is completely appropriate to recline on an overnight flight. Just not at 10am. I mean, cars can go 100mph, but we all agree that it isn't always (or usually) appropriate to actually use all that horsepower. My stereo can reach a very high decibel level, but my neighbors would appreciate if I didn't do so at midnight. It isn't like we always use all the functionality of every item at all times.

I'm not militant about this issue, and I'm not going to be passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) if you do recline in front of me, but I do think courtesy is on the side of not reclining.

So your desire to work is more important than someone else's desire to sleep? Why?

Perhaps that guy who reclined his seat and is napping at 10:00 AM had to get up at 2 in the morning to drive 100 miles to the closest airport. Perhaps he's on the last leg of a series of flights that began the previous day. Perhaps he was up all night taking care of a sick child and this is his only chance to sleep before an interview for a new job. Who knows? In any case, I'm not sure why one individual's expectation that everyone else should be awake (and productive!) at the same time s/he is should trump someone else's desire to snooze.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
32,301
lulu|1319305198|3045484 said:
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/32804/
This thread needs a laugh.
Thanks Lulu.
Miss. Swan is hilarious, and this thread DID need some humor. :lol:

Hahaha
"Come on lady, you only believe what you see?"
Hahaha
 

Autumnovember

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Messages
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ame|1319301328|3045465 said:
kribbie|1319300653|3045461 said:
I will never recline on a short flight, but I definitely will recline a bit on longer flights. I always make sure that I'm not touching the person behind me and that they do not have food or a drink but you bet I will recline, especially to sleep.
I try to avoid flying whenever possible. I have CKD so I'm pretty uncomfortable anyway, let alone sitting in such a rigid position for a long period of time. So yes, I do think I'm allowed to recline. And if someone ever intentionally throws up on me for doing so, I will Kick. Their. a$$.

WHERE did I say I would intentionally vomit on you? I barf. I cannot **please watch your language** control it, no matter how much I would like to. It will go places I cannot control either, being that it's mostly liquid. What I believe I said was, and you can back and look for yourself, "I WILL NOT FEEL AS BAD" when it hits you, if you are being an **please watch your language**on the flight.

Of course I do not behave this way on flights all the time.**please watch your language** I get my *** through security quickly, I come prepared, I get the *** out of everyone's way and generally keep to myself. But I will be damned if I paid top dollar for a seat I cannot move in, get out of to use the restroom, or in any way am prohibited for doing anything on because some *** in front of me decides his beauty sleep or his reading time needs to have him fully reclined for however long the flight is. I fly and have flown on many airlines and the only one that has seats that don't go all the way back into our laps that I have been on in the last 5 years is Southwest. Those barely recline, so I do tend to fly them whenever possible, simply because I know that the person in front of me that decides they need to lay as far back as the seat will allow for the entire flight won't be coming that far back. I have flown business and first class whenever possible or feasable so that I am NOT a burden to someone else. But telling me I have to suck it up and get help because other people don't think beyond themselves is crap. Millions of people are claustrophobic. **please watch your language. last warning**



Ame, I truly enjoy reading your posts and I didn't really take it personally but I just thought you went over the top over such a stupid issue. I suppose its not stupid to you but I think we all can agree that the kind of anger your expressed should be used on topics that actually matter.
 

iheartscience

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Messages
12,111
MissStepcut|1319306032|3045485 said:
junebug17|1319304613|3045482 said:
sillyberry|1319301321|3045464 said:
Whenever anyone says "just recline too!" I wonder - what if I don't want to recline? What if I need to work those hours I'm sitting on a plane, but I can't easily use my laptop because your seat is reclined? Didn't I pay for ALL the use and functionality of my seat, too, and you're depriving me of that? If I'm just reading or listening I don't mind too much if you've reclined (although I don't prefer it since it does make the seat feel more cramped), but it makes it incredibly difficult to get work done.

If I politely ask you to unrecline so I can use my laptop, would you consent?

Also, when people say "why would seats be able to recline if it wasn't appropriate to recline?" I think it is important to note time and place appropriateness. I think it is completely appropriate to recline on an overnight flight. Just not at 10am. I mean, cars can go 100mph, but we all agree that it isn't always (or usually) appropriate to actually use all that horsepower. My stereo can reach a very high decibel level, but my neighbors would appreciate if I didn't do so at midnight. It isn't like we always use all the functionality of every item at all times.

I'm not militant about this issue, and I'm not going to be passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) if you do recline in front of me, but I do think courtesy is on the side of not reclining.

The situations aren't comparable. There are laws that prohibit driving over a certain speed, and most municipalities have noise ordinances that have time limits on noise. There are no regulations against reclining your seat on an airplane. The bottom line is the seats recline, and a person can do it if he/she wants to. I'm short, so reclining has never been an issue. I've honestly not thought about it much until this thread. Apparently it's uncomfortable for tall people, and in that case the only resolution is to ask the person not to recline. Your only option is to rely on the kindness of strangers. There's no way to force someone to adhere to your concept of what is polite. You would hope a person would not recline, but unfortunately you can't count on that. ! do sympathize with tall people in that they do look awfully smushed in those seats. I've never noticed tall people's knees being smushed by the seat though, but then again I've never really looked.

Ame, your retaliation to people who recline their seats sounds inappropriate to me. I don't really see what can be accomplished by it, other than making yourself feel better. If it hasn't already, someone will eventually complain about it, and you'll be in the wrong because there is no regulation that says a person can't recline his/her seat. Flight attendants don't put up with any crap these days.

The seats on an airplane recline, so if you fly you have to have a reasonable expectation that some people are going to put their seats back. If this is a major problem, then maybe flying isn't the mode of transportation for you. Or, as others have said, try to get a bulkhead or emergency exit seat.
There's not a law against reclining, but we do have a legal right to be free from being touched or hurt by others, which is what happens when you recline your seat onto my knees. I have never heard of anyone bringing a tort suit for someone reclining onto them resulting in them being touched by the seat, but I don't agree that it's clearly legal.

Sorry for going law student on you. Our resident lawyers may well think I'm totally off here.

ETA: to flesh this out a little, we all have a right to be free of being touched by others. The defense is usually consent or implied consent, which of course the recliner may argue, you've implied the consent to be touched when you board an airplane by someone who wants to use the lav, or whatever. It seems to me that if the person asks you not to recline and you do anyway and you end up touching them, they could sue you since they have a legal right to be free of that touching. So there's at least, in my mind, an exception to the "right" that the recliner has (if any such right exists, which I am skeptical of).

Once you graduate, perhaps you can specialize in personal injury claims for people who are harmed by reclining seats in coach! You could also branch out and be a defense lawyer for the passive aggressive people who give the passengers in front of them whip lash by kicking and slamming their seats! :lol:
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,328
kenny|1319303877|3045479 said:
While I voted yes I completely agree with using courtesy first.
I do recline slowly.
If I reclined and the person behind me asked politely to not recline I would almost certainly comply, unless it's a long flight or a red eye.
Then I'd probably call the steward and politely ask for one of us to be moved if possible.
. . . but if they are being a jerk about it, kicking, vomiting, cutting braiding or licking my hair, breathing bad breath onto me, all bets are off.
THEY started it by their immature, entitled, how dare you inconvenience ME, the queen/king of the universe, attitude.

I'll bet if we took this poll 20 years ago the approx 20% who voted no would be closer to 2%.

On every flight I have been on my table does not change position or angle when the person in front of me reclines, so I can still use my laptop and eat and drink.
Again I can regain the lost space by reclining myself; if I don't want to then I have chosen to have less space than I could have.

Perhaps there are other jets where, when the person in front of you reclines, your table also moves back and changes angle so it is no longer level and everything on the table slides off into your lap.
If so, what a horrible design.
I doubt this is the case.

I only used the term "right" in the poll question because clearly, and astonishingly, in the linked article and in this thread some segment of society IS thinking on the level of THEY have a right to the person in front of them NOT reclining.

Personally I feel guilt-free reclining any time of the day, no matter how short the flight is.
I do not think it is rude of me or rude of the person in front of me to use this comfort convenience we have been provided.
The seat is designed to do that and I paid for those few inches behind me, as did the person behind me and the person in front of me.

If the airline instructed us on reclining rules/protocol/suggestions during their speech at the flight's beginning, or installed locks on the seat's reclining ability and unlocked them only during red-eyes or flights longer than 3 hours, it would be different.
They haven't.

But, again yes, courtesy first when dealing with our flight companions (fellow prisoners) on these terribly cramped jets.

I am generally agreeing with you Kenny, but here's my problem with reclining during meals: the usable space on the table is greatly reduced when somebody reclines all the way. Although the table stays pretty well level, the angle it creates with the seat back gets pretty small. It does make it harder to keep all of the food packets on the table and I appreciate it when the crew asks everyone to put theirs seats up during meals.

Its also nearly impossible to keep a laptop open on the tray table when the person in front of you is reclined all the way. This is why I try not to leave work to complete during a flight. There are too many variables.

My main point is that reclining is fine, but look behind you and see if you'll be disrupting anyone first. If they have a laptop open, or are trying to eat, then I would say recline, but not to the point that they have to stop what they're doing.

If everyone used common sense and treated others how they would want to be treated things would go so much better.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,328
I think a lot of this issue has to do with anonymity while travelling.

I mean, if I were to go on a road trip with friends I would ask before moving back the seat. I would look back, say "hey I'm going to move my seat, let me know if you have enough space" and I wouldn't go back so far that they'd be squished.

I don't see how airplanes are different.
 

SC86

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
195
Aoife|1319301637|3045468 said:
Short answer: yes, absolutely.

When you purchase a plane ticket, you are entitled to all the functionality of the seat, and implicit in that is the understanding that you will be sharing the space on the airplane with dozens (or hundreds) of other individuals who also have the same right to rest, recline, use their reading lights, use the restrooms even if it involves shuffling past their seat mates, watch movies on their personal media players, etc. If you can't handle the idea that you are only one among many, and that your rights and comfort are no more important than anyone else's on the flight, you shouldn't be flying. All these self-imposed rules about what constitutes good manners (On flights under 2 hours--or 2.25555 hours, or 3 hours or never--no one should be reclining his seat. Because I say so.) are bizarre. If you are someone who chooses not to recline your seat, that's fine. I doubt the flight attendants are going to be handing out any gold stars at the end of the flight, but if you are upheld by a feeling of virtue, more power to you.

I fly fairly often, and have done so since the days when jet engines were not standard on every flight. Sometimes I recline my seat, sometimes I don't.

I think this sums it up perfectly. I don't think it's rude if I or the person in front of me reclines. If I happen to get smooshed in the process, I think that it just a part of travel these days and I take it in stride. As many others that travel for work, I fly at least twice a week, every week, for the past few years. Sometimes I recline, sometimes I don't. Fortunately if you fly often enough they automatically upgrade you to first class, which is much roomier.

On another note, I find it much more annoying to be left waiting forever for your flight to take off. I've been in every conceivable travel horror story...being left on the runway for 7 hours only to be told that the flight was now cancelled, being stuck in New Delhi for 5 days due to "killer fog", being stuck somewhere for 3 weeks because the airline workers went on strike! Ah, the joys of travel!
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
32,301
chemgirl|1319308143|3045504 said:
kenny|1319303877|3045479 said:
While I voted yes I completely agree with using courtesy first.
I do recline slowly.
If I reclined and the person behind me asked politely to not recline I would almost certainly comply, unless it's a long flight or a red eye.
Then I'd probably call the steward and politely ask for one of us to be moved if possible.
. . . but if they are being a jerk about it, kicking, vomiting, cutting braiding or licking my hair, breathing bad breath onto me, all bets are off.
THEY started it by their immature, entitled, how dare you inconvenience ME, the queen/king of the universe, attitude.

I'll bet if we took this poll 20 years ago the approx 20% who voted no would be closer to 2%.

On every flight I have been on my table does not change position or angle when the person in front of me reclines, so I can still use my laptop and eat and drink.
Again I can regain the lost space by reclining myself; if I don't want to then I have chosen to have less space than I could have.

Perhaps there are other jets where, when the person in front of you reclines, your table also moves back and changes angle so it is no longer level and everything on the table slides off into your lap.
If so, what a horrible design.
I doubt this is the case.

I only used the term "right" in the poll question because clearly, and astonishingly, in the linked article and in this thread some segment of society IS thinking on the level of THEY have a right to the person in front of them NOT reclining.

Personally I feel guilt-free reclining any time of the day, no matter how short the flight is.
I do not think it is rude of me or rude of the person in front of me to use this comfort convenience we have been provided.
The seat is designed to do that and I paid for those few inches behind me, as did the person behind me and the person in front of me.

If the airline instructed us on reclining rules/protocol/suggestions during their speech at the flight's beginning, or installed locks on the seat's reclining ability and unlocked them only during red-eyes or flights longer than 3 hours, it would be different.
They haven't.

But, again yes, courtesy first when dealing with our flight companions (fellow prisoners) on these terribly cramped jets.

I am generally agreeing with you Kenny, but here's my problem with reclining during meals: the usable space on the table is greatly reduced when somebody reclines all the way. Although the table stays pretty well level, the angle it creates with the seat back gets pretty small. It does make it harder to keep all of the food packets on the table and I appreciate it when the crew asks everyone to put theirs seats up during meals.

Its also nearly impossible to keep a laptop open on the tray table when the person in front of you is reclined all the way. This is why I try not to leave work to complete during a flight. There are too many variables.

My main point is that reclining is fine, but look behind you and see if you'll be disrupting anyone first. If they have a laptop open, or are trying to eat, then I would say recline, but not to the point that they have to stop what they're doing.

If everyone used common sense and treated others how they would want to be treated things would go so much better.

Agreed. 8-)
 

rosetta

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
3,417
I recline to sleep. I'm only 5 feet tall so I can sleep very comfortably on a plane. I've never had anyone ask me to put my seat back up. I make sure no ones drink goes flying when I put my seat back.

If someone wanted to make an issue of it, I would not stand for it. I haven't really had an issue with rude passengers though. I tend to fly the airlines that don't pack you in like sardines.

I'm flying to bali on Singapore airlines and they have been pretty good before.
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
I only recline if I want to try and sleep. I generally don't do it on shorter flights. On those flights I try to get a window seat so I can lean on the fuselage and not recline if I am feeling particuarly drowsy.

I actually had someone PUSH MY SEAT BACK UP when I tried to recline on a super early morning flight. She wanted to work on her laptop and yelled at me for reclining. I hadn't gotten any sleep the night before and had to go to work once I landed. I was so taken aback by the shove. Completely floored.

Since then I've been very gun-shy about reclining. If I'm going to do it I go verrrry slowly. Every international flight I've been on where a meal has been served people were asked to straighten up for meal time. I expect the same thing to happen on Tuesday when I fly from London back to San Francisco.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,676
sillyberry|1319301321|3045464 said:
Whenever anyone says "just recline too!" I wonder - what if I don't want to recline? What if I need to work those hours I'm sitting on a plane, but I can't easily use my laptop because your seat is reclined? Didn't I pay for ALL the use and functionality of my seat, too, and you're depriving me of that? If I'm just reading or listening I don't mind too much if you've reclined (although I don't prefer it since it does make the seat feel more cramped), but it makes it incredibly difficult to get work done.

If I politely ask you to unrecline so I can use my laptop, would you consent?

Also, when people say "why would seats be able to recline if it wasn't appropriate to recline?" I think it is important to note time and place appropriateness. I think it is completely appropriate to recline on an overnight flight. Just not at 10am. I mean, cars can go 100mph, but we all agree that it isn't always (or usually) appropriate to actually use all that horsepower. My stereo can reach a very high decibel level, but my neighbors would appreciate if I didn't do so at midnight. It isn't like we always use all the functionality of every item at all times.

I'm not militant about this issue, and I'm not going to be passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) if you do recline in front of me, but I do think courtesy is on the side of not reclining.

Fantastic post, sillyberry!
 

Harriet

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
12,823
I curl up in the window seat and try to sleep the flight away. As such, I don't recline much. When I do, I just exercise common courtesy, which I also expect of my fellow passengers.

MissStepCut,
You never know. This thread may show up as a hypo on a tort final!
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,835
Autumnovember|1319306588|3045492 said:
ame|1319301328|3045465 said:
kribbie|1319300653|3045461 said:
I will never recline on a short flight, but I definitely will recline a bit on longer flights. I always make sure that I'm not touching the person behind me and that they do not have food or a drink but you bet I will recline, especially to sleep.
I try to avoid flying whenever possible. I have CKD so I'm pretty uncomfortable anyway, let alone sitting in such a rigid position for a long period of time. So yes, I do think I'm allowed to recline. And if someone ever intentionally throws up on me for doing so, I will Kick. Their. a$$.

WHERE did I say I would intentionally vomit on you? I barf. I cannot **please watch your language** control it, no matter how much I would like to. It will go places I cannot control either, being that it's mostly liquid. What I believe I said was, and you can back and look for yourself, "I WILL NOT FEEL AS BAD" when it hits you, if you are being an **please watch your language**on the flight.

Of course I do not behave this way on flights all the time.**please watch your language** I get my *** through security quickly, I come prepared, I get the *** out of everyone's way and generally keep to myself. But I will be damned if I paid top dollar for a seat I cannot move in, get out of to use the restroom, or in any way am prohibited for doing anything on because some *** in front of me decides his beauty sleep or his reading time needs to have him fully reclined for however long the flight is. I fly and have flown on many airlines and the only one that has seats that don't go all the way back into our laps that I have been on in the last 5 years is Southwest. Those barely recline, so I do tend to fly them whenever possible, simply because I know that the person in front of me that decides they need to lay as far back as the seat will allow for the entire flight won't be coming that far back. I have flown business and first class whenever possible or feasable so that I am NOT a burden to someone else. But telling me I have to suck it up and get help because other people don't think beyond themselves is crap. Millions of people are claustrophobic. **please watch your language. last warning**



Ame, I truly enjoy reading your posts and I didn't really take it personally but I just thought you went over the top over such a stupid issue. I suppose its not stupid to you but I think we all can agree that the kind of anger your expressed should be used on topics that actually matter.

Everyone's opinion on what really matters varies. This board, IMO, is not one of those places where discussing what "really matters" is something I am interested in. Unless it would relate to the diamond and luxury trades. It's also impossible to read into someone's tone of voice through words on a screen for the most part. I don't want to get involved in discussions about the things that "really matter" on here, because this is intended to be a board about luxury goods and related. There are other places for where I like to have that kind of discussion, and that's generally in person where tone of voice is more readily interpreted.

As for the subject:
I have to pay for my seat like everyone else, my opinion on what happens in my tiny 18inch by 18inch space is just as important as anyone else's. I think it's funny that people tell me I am rude for not wanting that space encroached upon and that I just should let it go, for whatever reason. No one's money is any more important than mine, as mine is no more important to theirs, I never said I was more important. The difference is that I actually DO have the common courtesy to NOT recline into someone else's space which they paid for and I expect others to behave the same way, which is WHY I consider reclining more than about 2" to be extremely rude.

I think it's HILARIOUS how bent out of shape discussions like this leave people.
 
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