Post # 1
Last weekend, I was on an over-night flight (8+ hours). When the captain turned the cabin lights “low” most people on the plane reclined their seats to attempt to get some sleep. My husband and I did the same, only the lady behind us, who had her grade-school aged son flying with her, told us that she preferred that we not recline our seats because she wanted more space. Her son was chattering loudly and doing activites, and she was working on her laptop. I asked if she might consider leaning her seat back a bit, as most people were, so that she could have more space and we could still lean ours back some and get some sleep, but she didn’t want to do that. In the end, my husband (who hates conflict) told me he thought we should just let it go. We did let it go, and due to her chattering son and the fact that our seats were mainly “up”, we did not really get any sleep during the overnight “lights out” section of the flight.
After returning home, my friend posted this article on FB http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28943131 – Apparently this is a hot button issue, and a number of people are against reclining seats at all. However, even by this article’s standards, there is a “tacit understanding” that people will recline when the lights go out.
So what do you think? What do you do and/or think is appropriate on a plane? Does it make a difference to you whether you are on a long, overnight flight versus a daytime flight?
Post # 2
I’m fine with people reclining on a long-hauk overnight flight, and will sometimes do so myself (though very slightly, and not when food or drinks are being served). I tend to find it a bit rude otherwise though. We once had a young couple in front fully recline their seats right at the start of a 10 hour day-time flight and it was really irritating. We also had to ask them to put them upright when the food came round as it didn’t actually fit on the tray otherwise because of the angle. I think they were inexperienced fliers though; people who fly more frequently tend to be more clued-up and more courteous IME.
Post # 3
I’m a tall girl and always recline my seat on any flight that is longer than two hours. There just isn’t enough space to be even remotely comfortable otherwise. You guys are far nicer than I am—I would have reclined my seat anyhow.
Post # 4
It seems like every flight I go on, including the hour long domestic ones, I get stuck behind the one person who always reclines. It annoys the heck out of me! I only recline on overnight flights and even then, I check behind to make sure the person is not eating or drinking or does not have their knees in the way.
Post # 5
I recline on any flight that’s more than a couple hours. I have bad joints and I get super sore on flights but it’s better if I can recline. I absolutely recline on overnight flights and think it’s ludicrous to ask someone not to recline when they turn down the lights. I don’t know what I would have done in your situation but I very well might have said that I’d keep my seat up for a bit while reading, but that I was hoping to sleep so would recline at that point. Her preference is no more important than yours. She was just more brazen to ask for what she wanted. If the seats recline, it is well within your right to do so. I do try to check behind me and ease back slowly when I do recline, but I don’t feel quilty about reclining one bit.
Of note, I just did a trip to Europe and Air France wanted to upgrade me to Economy Plus, which is basically like regular economy but the seats don’t recline – they just kind of scrunch down. I stuck with regular economy so that I could recline. If other airlines adopt this I hope that people like the lady that sat behind you will take advantage so that those that like to recline can do it without being hassled.
ETA: I do always sit up if food or drink is being served.
Post # 6
The actual solution would be for airlines to make seats that aren’t extremely uncomfortable no matter what you do, but that’ll never happen. I recline my seat so my back will hate me less when I can finally get off the flying metal death trap.
Post # 7
I recline my seat as I wish, with no regard to the person behind me. If someone said something, I would say “I am sorry, I hate how we are packed in here like sardines! But I really need it to be reclined so I can sleep. ” Then recline and sleep.
I have also been the person on the laptop with someone trying to recline their seat. It sucks. But they paid for a seat that could recline and I have to deal.
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
I have a bad neck, so I always recline mine even if the flight is during the day and only a few hours. I don’t care if a few strangers think I’m an asshole 🙂
Post # 9
I usually only recline my seat if the person in front of me did so their chair isn’t in my face. I don’t think the 2 inches it goes really helps me. Lol. I wouldn’t be diverting flights over Someone who did. People are crazy.
Post # 10
If the people behind me recline, I’ll recline too. However, most of the time I find reclining seats very annoying since there isn’t enough room to uncross one’s legs easily if the person in front is reclined and you are not.
I think a lot of PP are right; most frequent and experienced flyers are sensitive to what’s going on the plane, flight time, etc.
Post # 11
I don’t recline my seat often. I don’t care if the person in front of me does and I definitely wouldn’t ask them not to recline their seat. If you wanted to recline you should have especially given the flight was overnight. You were overly nice in accommodating. If I wanted to recline I would have. You paid for your flight you should be comfy.
Post # 12
I recline my seat when I feel the need to – day, night, short flight, long flight. Honestly, it’s not like I’m in the person’s lap, the seats only recline a few inches. And their seat reclines, too.
Post # 13
+1. I fly often and I recline my seat because it makes me comfortable. Its not because I’m a huge jerk but I am not concerned with someone’s annoyance versus my own comfort and making sure I’m not in any pain or discomfort at the end of the flight.
Post # 14
It doesn’t matter to me if the flight is 2 hours or 10 hours, if I feel like closing my eyes to take a little nap, I recline. I was working as a consultant for a while and was flying mutliple times a week on many of the short commuter flights. I have never once been bothered by someone in front of me reclining their seat and never realized that someone may be bothered by me doing so. This is sort of an eye opener for me though as I never really saw it as an issue. The seats recline a whole 2 inches so I never found it affected my space all too much. Welp, things I’ll be more cautious of in the future.
Post # 15
The only time I take issue with a reclined seat is during meal service. There just isn’t enough room. Any other time recline away.
I take more issue with the people who decide to have long loud chats with their friends/family when the lights are dimmed on long haul flights and seat back grabbers. You know the ones that have to grab your seat back when they get up from the seat behind you (use the freaking arm rest to haul yourself up and not my hair/scalp especially when I am asleep) or on all the aisle seats as they stroll along to the toilet. There are people in those seats and you are annoying them when you do this.
Also people that like to chat with others around the toilet area when the lights are dimmed. You are not in some special bubble area and there are people in the seats in that area that are trying to sleep.