How to Stop the Passenger in Front of You from Reclining
How to Stop the Passenger in Front of You from Reclining

On a recent American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Toronto, I chose to sit in row 16 of the 737-800MCE series aircraft because (like in row 17, as well) the middle seat is blocked on each side. The airline has made a habit of blocking out four seats like this so they can pay one less flight attendant (here’s a deeper explanation). I usually choose one of the exit rows—which are directly in front—but because these planes have been flying 100% full recently and the seats are so tight (or I’m just getting bigger), I decided that having more space next to me was more important than having it in front of me. And so I booked row 16 to check things out.

Little did I know that these seats come with pretty much no legroom, and so I knew that when the passenger in front of me reclined I wouldn’t be able to do work on my laptop. So I offered the passenger in front of me a free Gogo session (I work with them a lot and they give me a handful of free Gogo passes that I usually give to friends and flight attendants).

Gogo PassAll I did was tap him on his shoulder and said, “Excuse me, but is there anyway you can let me know when you recline since I’ll be working on my computer?” He said it was no problem. I then said I’d even make him a deal: “If you don’t recline, I’ll give you a free Gogo inflight Wi-Fi pass”—and he said, “done deal.” And since he was so nice about it, I gave one to his girlfriend as well. It was a win-win for everyone and made row 16 a great choice.

Would you take that deal? I posted the question on my personal Facebook page (here’s my work Facebook page) and most said they would. But there a few who said, “No way, Jose!” as well, so I want to hear even more thoughts. Let me know what you would do, and what it would take for you to agree not to recline your seat in the comments below.

UPDATED on September 2, 2014: In the past eight days there’ve been three U.S. flights that had to make unscheduled landings after passengers got into fights over the ability to recline their seats. The first one was started by a passenger using Knee Defender but I don’t recommend getting this contraption.


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156 Comments On "How to Stop the Passenger in Front of You from Reclining Without Using the Knee Defender"
  1. Shannon|

    It would depend on the length of the flight for me. Couple of hours, I’d consider it. I usually make sure I bring enough to occupy me without needing Wi-Fi, so I wouldn’t be too motivated by that coupon. Food/drink coupons would probably be more persuasive for me. :)

    1. Bruiser|

      I just turn the air up full blast…adjust the nozzle at their head , and let it rip. The last time I did this the guy in front of me asked me to adjust the air and I told him if his head wasn’t in my lap it wouldn’t be blowing on him…he moved it some and so did I……… is called give and take new america…get used to it.

      1. catwomanbyday|

        lol That’s excellent, I’ll have to remember that one.

        1. Kendal|

          Oh freaking auto-fill….

      2. FlygrilFL|

        Wow, I can see where you get the name Bruiser…..

      3. Kendal|

        Oh I just found something awesome! lol

        And also some stats:

        Results of a poll of 1000 fliers for Skyscanner, a flight search website, found that nine in ten travellers wanted reclining seats banned or at least restricted to set times on short-haul flights.

        “It’s partly because there are two general personality types while travelling,” said Dr Becky Spelman, a psychologist from the Private Therapy Clinic in London, examining the psychology of so-called reclining seat rage.
        “There’s the ‘altruistic soul’, who is considerate of others, and the ‘selfish ego’, who will look to increase their own comfort at the expense of others.”

        The most likely passengers to be “altruistic souls” – those you should ideally aim to sit behind – were women aged between 18 and 24. Men over the age of 35 were the most selfish.

        1. Johnny Jet|

          Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I rarely recline my seat unless the person in front me reclines. And if I do, I always let the person behind me know so I don’t smash their laptop

          1. Kendal|

            You are a considerate traveler. :-)
            I wanted to quote something from that Knee Defender page, for all of the people who care more about their reclining power than those behind them (or their own health):

            ….Foot lifts and knee lifts are recommended to promote healthy blood flow to help protect against deep vein thrombosis. Sometimes called “economy class syndrome”, DVT involves a potentially dangerous blood clot that can develop in the leg.

            Having enough leg room to move around while still seated is important because in-seat exercising is often the only in-flight exercise option available to promote healthy circulation. This is especially true now that security agencies are imposing new limits on passenger access to the aisles, even during extended international flights.

            If the airlines will not protect people from being battered, crunched, and immobilized – very real problems according to healthcare professionals, medical studies, government agencies, and even some airlines – then people need options to protect themselves.

            Until there is something better – or even just something else – there is Knee Defender™.

            So you see… it’s not just people whining about a seat in their face, or you spilling their drinks or food all over them, or having their knees bashed against your seat, or being trapped from escaping…. taking away that room can cause serious health risks, blood clots, etc. Have some consideration for those behind you.

            I know from experience that as planes give you less and less room, it’s impossible to get one’s head between one’s legs if you’re about to faint. One time, I passed out on a plane because I couldn’t get into a position to prevent it. Airlines may not care about our health, but we can do our part to make it a little more bearable and safe for those around us.

            Everyone should also watch the documentary “I Am” to see how we are literally part of the whole, scientifically connected and affecting the world around us… I found it online:


      4. sally|

        I see now that the seat must have been broken, but the worse I have had is where the guy in front of me threw his seat back and it landed on my knees and stayed there. I could not move and was astounded when, after my surprised yelp he wouldn’t adjust it up a notch. He did acknowledge me by giving a disgruntled snort. No moving, crossing my legs. and certainly not getting anything at my feet.
        I am extremely claustrophobic and my only satisfaction was to cut on my light and readjust the air. An attendant did ask him to let me out later to use the loo.
        It seems to me the space above my knees should be mine.

      5. Tyler|

        I’d say, “Thanks for the breeze!” If you’re too tall for economy, buy business class or first class. If you’re too fat for one seat, buy two. The world doesn’t revolve around your needs. You must adapt to the world, not the other way around.

        1. Upurazz|

          I’d say, “If you are a self-entitled piece of s***, you can buy a business class or first class ticket where you can keep your narcissistic thoughts to yourself”.

          The world does not revolve around your needs either. You are the reason why this world is messed up: no courtesy, respect or class. WOW.

          I refuse to recline my seat on principal of being a decent human being. Period.

          I wonder if you would still have that same stance if the passenger behind you was your mother who just had a knee replacement and can’t afford business/first class.

    2. [email protected]|

      Did you see where a person put their seat back and the man sitting there got into a fight?
      I am small and so a seat pushed back does not bother me. If you are nice and kind I doubt a fight would ensue BUT some people are just “nasty.”

      1. Johnny Jet|

        I sure did and I wrote about that contraption back in 2003.

  2. geo|

    How’s about a couple of mixed drinks and a “C note”?

  3. Anonymous|

    The worst part about flying is when the person in front of me reclines their seat and i have no room in front of me. I just want to start picking through their hair. I pay for my space and that includes my lap!

    1. Sher|

      I also pay for a seat that reclines. You agreed to give up your personal sace when you purchased a flight in coach. You can recline and i can recline and we can all be miserable still. Or you can choose not to recline and i can recline and yet we are all still miserable.

      1. Anonymous|

        My knee would be so far in the small of your back

    2. Anonymous|

      And the person in front paid for his seat and has the right to recline. The right to recline supersedes the right of another to deny him his right.righting righting

  4. Nancy|

    I don’t recline my seat. I think it is rude to do to the person behind. There is little room between seats as it is and reclining your sets is just wrong!

    1. Randi Axelsson|

      I totally agree with Nancy. I never recline-no reason to. I can not sleep on a plane so I won’t recline and make the person behind me uncomfortable. I have had people recline their seats and then sit up the whole time away from the back of their reclined seats. RUDE!

  5. Paul S|

    I try not to recline when seat pitches are short but many of AA’s older seats are uncomfortable for me if I don’t recline so I usually recline part way. I guess it would depend on the length of the flight.

  6. Robert Johnston|

    I like that idea much better than those devices people use to prevent you from reclining. But honestly I would like to see Airline seat configurations regulated ( along with everything else).

  7. Trevor|

    Unless it was a very long flight, I wouldn’t recline my seat just because you asked.

  8. Marlene Schmidt (@aeroportpwd)|

    I’d take the pass if you offered it but then again I’m way too considerate (or Canadian). I’d bring my seat back up in the days when full meal services were offered. And still do on international flights during the meal service.

  9. VC|

    I never recline my own seat and will slam my legs into the seatback of those who do until they are no longer unnecessarily laying on me and my legs. There’s no need to recline on a plane and the airlines should make it so seats don’t recline at all.

    1. madge|

      I totally agree

    2. wen|

      Well said.

  10. Steve|

    I’d take your offer and pass it along to the person on front of me! With any luck, all of column B would refrain from reclining!

    1. Lisa|

      Steve – great idea! Love it!

  11. tripswithtykes|

    I almost never recline (and certainly not in coach), so I would have come out on the better end of the deal here – getting a bonus for something I would have done anyway! I think this and/or drink coupons is a great strategy.

  12. Sharon Smith Knerr|

    Unless the flight was over 6 hours, I’d be fine with that – and would greatly appreciate the free wi-fi! I don’t sleep well on planes and prefer sitting straight due to back problems. I’d love to be on any flight where you were behind me, lol.

  13. Paul|

    I think that’s one of the most diplomatic solutions I’ve heard in a very long time. Kudos!

  14. MAY Garcia|

    I don’t recline my seat when I fly unless the person behind me is a jerk. In which case, I recline my seat as far back as I can for as long as I can.

  15. Mary|

    I recline because sitting straight is hard on my back and I stiffen up. I would be considerate and recline slowly and would, if asked recline only enough to take the pressure off my lower back. Unless, it is a red eye or long flight when I plan to sleep. Then I am going to use the space allotted to me and my seat and fully recline to snooze.

  16. Anonymous|

    i am so the recline queen i need to sleep and relax- i figure if i recline you recline, giving you just the same amount of space- i dont think it is rude as relaxing and going to sleep during a flight is how you fly well for me it is-!!! no offer would make me not recline. i would think it was weird and uncomfortable for anyone to asked me not to.

    1. Kendal|

      That logic doesn’t really work, since the emergency exit seats can’t recline, and nor can the last seat in the plane. So no, everyone can’t just recline and get the same amount of space. And these days, with the shrinking leg room…. reclining is rude. It takes options and comfort away from someone behind you. Now they can’t use their laptop. Now they can’t reach the things under the seat. Now it’s harder for them to get out of their row. Now they can’t rest on their tray table. Unless they in turn want to be rude to someone else, and some of us don’t think our own comfort should come at the cost of another’s.

  17. Dian|

    My idea of planes is that it is just a big aluminum sleeping tube to relax in. So depending on the time of day, length of flight or how I feel I recline. But I am polite about it, let the person behind me know that I am reclining and put my seat up when asked by the flight attendants.

  18. Sue|

    I recline. For sure. You could offer me lots of things and it wouldn’t make me not recline. Sorry.

  19. Shay Tressa DeSimone (@escriteur)|

    I generally don’t recline on planes to begin with; I’m 5’1″ and I know that I feel cramped when people recline, so I can only imagine how uncomfortable it is for taller people sitting behind me. I don’t think that little bit of extra “comfort” from the seat’s minimal recline is worth making someone else uncomfortable. That said, if we’re on a red-eye flight and the person behind me is already reclining and sleeping (and if I can see I’m not going to bash their knees), I might recline if I feel drowsy — though I find I can rarely sleep on planes. So, I’d accept the free WiFi card in a heartbeat for something I’d be doing anyway! ;-)

  20. Eva|

    I’m surprised to hear so many people are intensely opposed to reclining and some are even passive aggressive about it. That’s just crazy to me. We all paid for our spot which includes the reclining option. And let’s be honest, it’s only a few inches. I would totally take a Gogo pass in exchange, but for me, I always bring my pillow and try to catch up on much needed sleep on almost every flight I take, so I almost always recline. And if one of you guys kicks my seat in protest, now I’ll know why.

    1. Kendal|

      When you only get about 12 inches in front of your face, that 6 that your forward neighbour steals is a big deal. I responded to someone else’s comment about my recent overnight flight from NYC to Paris… once they reclined into my face, I couldn’t even reach my things under the chair. My food, my water, my books… I practically strained a neck muscle trying to get them, because this person couldn’t figure out how to sleep without reclining. When the airlines invented the reclining seat, I’m sure we all had much more room. They’ve been cramming them closer and closer together and at this point, I think it’s just rude to take someone else’s breathing room. It’s a long flight. Maybe I want to use my computer, or try to sleep on my tray table, or if there’s a tv screen watch a film. But I CAN’T when there’s a seat back in my face. I also traveled with my brother, who is tall and needs a lot of leg room. The person in front of him tried to recline and hit his knees. My brother certainly wasn’t going to curl up and lose his legroom, so his knees were smashed into the seat until this person gave up. Yeah, some people are passionate about this. It’s one of the worst parts about flying for me, because usually I’m on a 9 hour flight and I don’t want a chair in my face the whole time.

      1. Sam|


        I agree totally. When the seat ahead is reclined and aisle arm rests cannot move, this means there are only about 3-4 inches of room to exit your seat to use restroom on stretch legs in the aisle. Travelers with titanium knee joints have an awful time exiting even if they are short.

        Airlines should end the controversy by banning reclining seats t/o the plane. Those who insist on reclining should purchase the $$$ seats up front.

  21. madge|

    All it would take is for you to ask me nicely. I do not recline my seat as I try to think of the person in back of me.

  22. Holly C.|

    I always look who is sitting behind me, if it is someone who is not teeny weenie I won’t recline. I think it is rude.

    1. Barbara|

      I also check the status of the person behind me…. If they are already reclining, I feel free to recline as well.

  23. ReeceB|

    Since my flights are mostly a red eye flying in or out of Honolulu…I always recline. I try to be courteous of the person behind me and not fully recline if they are still awake…but once the lights are off and everyone is snoozing…I’m reclined and trying to sleep as much as possible. A free wi-if card wouldn’t do me much good on a red eye…a nice blanket would be better!!

  24. Stefanie|

    you know that whole do unto others and you would do? I dont recline my seat as I wouldnt like the person in front of me reclining. Hoping for good Karma :)

  25. Anonymous|

    Hi Johnny….lucky for you that you have such nice things to offer….what about those of us who do not have passes to give away? How do we get folks not to recline?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      You can either offer to buy them food on the plane, a drink or tell cold cash!

      1. Kendal|

        Why do we have to bribe people to get back our personal space? :-/ I don’t even buy drinks or food or wifi for myself…. kind of frustrating to think I may have to buy it for someone else to keep them out of my face… people could start taking advantage of that. lol oh wait, why not bring some snacks on board, with a note, and place it in their seat when you get on the plane. The note can say “My sincere thanks for not reclining your seat! May your kindness return to you in the same beautiful way it was given….” or something.

        1. [email protected]|

          good for you Kendal,
          I agree 100% I will remember that tip next time i’m on a 13 hour flight !

  26. Anonymous|

    Decline that seat and I will annoy you with knee pushes.

    1. anonymous|

      Amen. I find that works best for me because if you recline it WILL be into my knees as I have long legs. Though I have to admit I really liked the idea someone suggested of using the air vent on their head. I plan on trying that in 2 weeks on my next flight if I have to!

      1. Bruiser|

        We now live in a self serving society….you know me me me….put your head in my lap and tell me its time to sleep and find out what happens.

  27. Tom|

    If it were really rude to recline, the airlines shouldn’t provide reclining seats. Given that they do, I see nothing wrong with using that feature–that you paid dearly for.

    I can’t sleep sitting upright on a plane, but with my seat reclined, I’m out like a light. I’ve never had anyone complain to me about my reclining, and I’ve never complained to the guy in front of me who reclines either. Flying is unpleasant enough without people getting all upset when others take advantage of one of the few comfort features still available.

    1. Kendal|

      Well I’m sure they created them when people actually had more legroom. These days, you don’t. I hate it when people recline on me. I then can’t use my computer, or watch a movie on the seatback screen (unless I wanted to do so cross-eyed). The last flight I was on, the seat reclined so far back that all I had to do was tip my head forward a bit and I could rest my forehead on it. It’s insane. I couldn’t reach any of my things under the seat. I practically pulled a muscle trying to get my water bottle. Because of this, I never recline my seat, unless the person behind me is sleeping. I find it absolutely rude. Flying is uncomfortable enough as it is, without having a seat 6 inches in front of your face preventing you from trying to sleep on your tray table, reaching your belongings, watching movies, working on your laptop…. shall I go on? People may not complain to you, but be sure they’re burning holes in the back of your seat with their eyes.

    2. alice|

      Amen! Nothing anyone can offer will be enough to stop me from reclining…. unless they move me to Business Class. I don’t see anything wrong with reclining the seat you paid for. I also don’t mind at all when people in front of me recline, that’s what they paid for! And if someone attempts to push their knees onto me, just try! You will get tired of it especially if it’s a long flight. I can barely sleep on the plane WITH my seat reclined, I can’t afford to get off a flight I paid a small fortune for, exhausted and then work. Anyway, those who say reclining a seat is rude, spend your lifetime complaining to airlines… don’t spill it on the rest of us, we are just trying to get from point A to point B. And if it upsets you that much, buy a Business Class ticket. Or try bribing people in front of you, it clearly works for Johnny.

  28. maginnisone|

    I actually thought you were going to give us a real tip. Since I have nothing to give away this was no help at all. Everyone reclines on me and often wack my knees painfully. All I can do is really rattle their seat when I get up to go to the WC.

  29. Anonymous|

    I had a terrible seat where the side of the plane sloped & the person in front of me started to recline & seemed to be in my lap. I felt so claustrophobic, so I tried asking the guy in front of me & was ignored. I then asked the flight attendant & she told me that he paid for his seat & has the right to recline, even though he was in my space. I was not happy & to top it, he left his seat reclined when he got up!

  30. Lisa|

    Maybe the airlines should set up non-reclining sections for people who want to get work done, vs. those who want to sleep the entire flight.

    1. Anonymous|

      That’s an excellent idea and offers win-win

  31. md kennedy|

    The only time a “recliner” bugs me is during meal service. Otherwise it doesn’t bug me, as frankly, they don’t recline that much anymore anyway! When I want to recline (eg when my back is bothering me or I want to try to sleep) I pay for the upgrade.

  32. E Harris|

    I’m 6 feet tall. I usually get an exit row, but won’t recline even with a normal seat. I think it is discourteous to the person behind me. Leaning back 6 inches doesn’t really help anyway.

    1. Mark Spicer|

      I ABSOLUTELY agree!

  33. Anonymous|

    If I were flying from LAX to YYZ, I would be on Air Canada, not American.

  34. Della Wuertz|

    Della says: I’ve flown in many airplanes- usually going from CA. to TX and back- a 2-1/2 hr flight. I usually just doze off, and maybe I recline my seat just a little bit. But on a flight to Australia in 2005, a group of High Schoolers and parents (20 or more people) came on this plane. A big husky senior sat by the door of the airplane, and because he had no chair in front of him, stretched out his feet and sawed logs. Well that was fine with me, but when I had to use the restroom, he had me “locked in” my seat, and I didn’t have the heart to wake him, but I had to. He (because of his height) pushed his seat and pinned me to my seat- most uncomfortable. So when he woke up to visit the restroom, I then asked him if he could please bring his seat up because he was jamming my knees. I flew Qantas, and we were allowed to walk around, stretch standing up, and the stewardesses were cordial, since it was an 18 hr. trip from CA. to Sydney. I entertained myself watching the TV screen, watching the areas on the map in front of me, and talking to the woman beside me. I will speak up if some has reclined so far as to cut off my circulation or is rude. The airlines need more research in their reclining business, especially when rude people are concerned. It would make for a more comfortable flight. July 2, 2014 (don’t know if I would take your free pass or not)

  35. JazzSinger|

    I think it’s sad that the world is such that you have to bribe people to be considerate.

  36. Phil S|

    I am 6’1 and 280 lbs with back trouble from a crushed spinal disk. I do not recline, because it is rude and selfish to the people behind you. When people recline, they are stealing the room I need for my tray-table if I want to get some work done or watch a video. I figure that if I can stand it for a couple of hours, then everyone should be able to do the same. If you can’t, then buy business / First like I do now on all long-haul flights (sometimes they even let you upgrade at the gate for very little extra money) so that I can recline without affecting anyone else. The thinking that it is your right to recline in coach is all part of a “me-me-me”/ “Greed is good” society, which has ruined our economy and destroyed our nation….

  37. Kitty|

    Reclining in my my lap is as bad as kicking my seat from behind throughout the flight. People are BORN RUDE.

    1. Anonymous|

      No it absolutely isn’t the same thing. The airlines create seats that recline – although it’s just an inch or two. Therefore when I partake of an airline I can recline my seat. The airline does not create bratty kids that kick the back of seats – rude parents create those kind of kids.

      1. Kendal|

        An inch or two? Sure feels like a lot more! Like I said in another reply. When a seat isn’t reclined into my lap, I can’t use their headrest as a pillow, but when they do, I just need to tilt forward slightly and suddenly I have a front headrest AND can’t reach my items under the seat. It’s much more than an inch or two. When you are making it difficult for someone behind you to eat, work, move… jeez, I’d rather have my seat kicked. They made reclining seats when people had ROOM to recline. We don’t now. If you had a reclining chair in your studio apartment and then put in more furniture, do you really think you can recline in the same way? Well, airplanes are worse than that. Stuff blankets behind your back, get up for a walk… do what other people do, instead of only thinking of yourself.

        1. Anonymous|

          you need something else to do all day

          1. Kendal|

            Don’t worry about me, I’m enjoying Paris between the few minutes I spend sharing the aggravation of the flight here (and half the flights I take). The rest of my days consist of stretching, meditation, playing piano, doing online work, taking walks with friends, etc…. I see no need to cram a day full of activity, and I find this topic an important one, one that I occasionally do write to an airline about, because I do fly frequently.

            This last flight… I swear it’s gotten worse. I honestly could not bend forward to grab any of my things under the seat. I keep them there for the sole purpose of having easy access, and the oblivious passenger in front of me made it impossible. Something really does need to be done before airlines just have you all sit in each other’s laps like it’s a tro-tro.

          2. Bruiser|

            Notice the people who have no problem with putting their head in your lap always start their comments with I, me, me..

          3. Bruiser|

            What’s a tro tro?

          4. Kendal|

            It’s an African mode of transportation. If you Google tro-tro van you’ll find photos. They’ll pack them until it looks like a clown car inside.

          5. Bruiser|

            I agree with most everything you say. We live in unfortunate times when it comes to consideration of others.. Selfishness and self-centeredness is the root of our problems. What do you think the solution is?

          6. Kendal|

            Sigh. I think for real, lasting change in the world on every front, there needs to be a change in consciousness. People need to see us as one family, and live by the golden rule. This would solve a lot of things. Airlines wouldn’t think of only the bottom line – they would consider the people on their planes. Passengers wouldn’t think only of their own comfort – they would be considerate of the comfort of the person behind them. But too many people it seems don’t want to raise their consciousness….

          7. Bruiser|

            Class has to be learned. We are becoming a society where there are few examples of “the golden rule” being taught. There are too many people here who have little respect for others or for that matter life itself. We cater to the minority in this country..i.e…dogs in restaurants and hotel rooms, animals (called pets)bred for fighting walking the streets, loud music or parrots going on at all hours squawking . The last flight I was on a passenger had a dog on the seat next to her(first class) that barked incessantly through out the first 30 minutes of the flight . The woman was adamant about putting the dog under the seat in its cage, she said “I didn’t have to do that on my prior flight” . I am asking what the hell is a dog doing in the passenger section of an airplane at all? Beaches for animals “Dog Beach”, do you like to swim in feces and urine….I say what Mike Tyson says…”you might not like me but you will respect me when I am there”..I believe the airlines are responsible not only for your safety but for your comfort as well. Take out a couple of rows of seats and give everyone the right to be comfortable or get your ass sued for encroachment or invasion of privacy or some other concocted violation.There must be some lawyer out there who feels he is getting screwed too…..lets go get em.

          8. Kendal|

            Well, I agree about people not being aware of others, but I have to disagree about the pets. ;-) I really enjoy going to dog beaches, when I can find them. Even if I don’t bring my dog. I enjoy watching the joy with which they chase balls out into the ocean, chase seagulls, play with the other dogs… it’s their world too and they should enjoy it. Instead, we think we own the beaches and can tell one species or another that no, they aren’t allowed to go there. I think humans piss in the ocean way more than dogs do, and there is all sorts of nasty stuff in there already (plastics, oil, microorganisms, feces of sea creatures, bits of decaying dead sea creatures, etc….), so that’s never been something I worried about.

            I’m living between Los Angeles and Paris right now and it’s a little tough with pets (cat and a dog). In L.A., it was always hard to find a place to live with them, and I can’t bring my dog with me to run errands (we got kicked out of Target… I was got used to bringing my dog everywhere in France….) when it would make my life easier. In Paris, finding a place to live with them wasn’t a problem, bringing the dog with me during the day whether it was shopping or meeting someone for lunch was rarely a problem… but cramped city living for us was too much to handle and I wanted my cat to have more freedom. I actually really enjoyed it when I would go to a restaurant and they would have a cat wandering around… I would entice it to sit next to me, or on my lap. The other stressor I have with pets is the ridiculousness of airlines when dealing with them. I mean compared to my own airfare perhaps it’s cheap (although when flying to somewhere within the US, like visiting family, it usually meant my dog’s ticket was more than mine) but $200-300 one way…. sigh. And if you have her under the seat in front of you rather than below the plane, you give up a carry-on bag. And yet you’re paying $200! It’s stressful for animals under the plane as well – my cat didn’t poop for a week after his first flight. Why do we do this to them, like they’re simply another piece of luggage? But what choices do we have when we want to travel with them? And forget about taking Amtrak in the US – they aren’t allowed! So I had to stop bringing my dog to visit my family, because we couldn’t take the train from the airport when my dad couldn’t drive the 2 hours to pick us up. It’s ridiculous.

            So yeah, my love and care extends to non-humans, and I think we need more contact with them. I think it’s instinctive, really, but we allow others with less connection to the natural world to restrict us. I’m always glad to see cats and dogs being welcomed. If a certain animal is being a nuisance, that’s one thing, but we can’t take it out on all of them. We are quite a nuisance to nature, ourselves….

            I agree with you about taking out a row or two of seats though. I think that every time I’m on a flight…. Or figure out a way to reconfigure the seating arrangement so that we have more space. Something. They just know they’ve got us…. how many choices do we have to cross an ocean?

          9. Bruiser|

            First of all let me state that I love animals, I also hunt and fish. I thought for awhile that your take on the masses lack of consideration was valid but now I see you are just opinionated and not really concerned about the majority. Let me start by saying I am allergic to cats. Put your cat next to me in a public place and you are going to have a problem. Animals don’t belong where food is being handled. What do you do if your dog decides to take a leak on the table leg of the person sitting next to you? Animals carry a lot of diseases ….they defecate when and where they feel like it….I am not interested in being friends with someones pet(s). I don’t think their barking is cute. If you want to have a pet that is fine but pets don’t pay taxes or have the ability to reason so i am going to hold the owner of the animal responsible. I think you suffer from contempt prior to investigation.Do you cry when things don’t go your way?

            PS because the waters already are or are becoming more polluted is it then okay to add additional contamination…..or is it too bad because that’s the way IIII meme like it?

          10. Kendal|

            Well, hunting isn’t exactly loving animals…

            A very large portion of the population in the US are pet-owners, you know. Most of the people I know have or had pets.

            Animals near food…. they aren’t where it’s being prepared, and even so – I live with a cat and a dog, I make my food every day, and I’m not sick or dying (haven’t been sick in over 2 years), I don’t find cat hair in my food or anything.

            My dog is a female, she doesn’t pee on chair legs, and I’ve never witnessed it happening with someone else’s dog either. I see them quietly laying under tables. If you’ve trained your pet, and are aware of the signals of when they need to go, you don’t have problems. Walk your dog before heading into a restaurant. I’ve also never heard barking dogs in a restaurant (I’m speaking of Paris, not the US of course!). Have you? What experience do you have in countries where they are more pet-friendly?

            Contamination – anything alive is going to continue to defecate, and no matter what it’s going to go into the earth. At least what animals and humans naturally um…. well, poop out, is natural. Unless we’re on medication. That would be contamination. We see that showing up in our water systems. That’s not the fault of animals, I’d bet. We are the ones hurting the earth with our gas, our smog, our plastics, our non-biodegradable waste… I am much more concerned about the microscopic plastic pieces that are now in every inch of our oceans, being eaten by fish and being eaten by us, than biodegradable poop.

            And what is IIII meme?

          11. Bruiser|

            Well, I eat what I hunt . I never kill anything just for the sake of killing it. Have you never eaten any animals? Maybe some living species have a higher priority of existing in your reasoning?
            Animals (pets) have fleas, fleas carry disease. Cats have feline leukemia, feline pneumonitis,and many others. Dogs may have parvovirus, and many other diseases. Dogs lick themselves and each other, they put their noses in each others anuses then lick their owners.I think you get the idea. I would not eat where someones little kitty was on their counter or food processing area or in bed with the owner..You like your pets it is fine with me just keep them on a leash (short)and out of my food consumption areas and where I pay to sleep. I was in Paris along the Seine (near where Princess Di died) and I can remember the amount of animal waste on the sidewalks. It seemed as though everyone brought their dog down to crap on the sidewalk. I will agree though on their policy barring certain breeds of killer dogs( don’t start with its the owners that make them mean). I had to put a dog down in Edinburgh (near the castle)because I was pinned by the high wall on the street and had no where to go, and the dog attacked me. I had an issue once in Eleuthera with a pitbull but the owner showed up in time and sincerely apologized or I would have killed it as well. I don’t recall………….oh! I was waiting for the casino to open and I was having lunch at the Cafe du Mond. I left the restaurant and headed towards the park (where the police station is) and a very nicely dressed woman with a small dog let it crap on the sidewalk In an instant a worker with a (red jumpsuit for animal waste and waste paper) was there to dispose of it. I think you get the gist of my stand on this. Most European countries don’t have much paper and plastic waste..paper and plastic is expensive. The most disgusting people and their selfish habits come from the good old USA….the III and the MEME was without commas. Think about others as well as your own wants and needs and try and determine if your way of thinking benefits all concerned. Try and be part of the solution, remember selfishness and self-centeredness is the root of our problems…I have to go now , it was nice

          12. Kendal|

            Well that’s good, at least it’s not just for sport. My granddad hunted, so we always had venison in our freezer… at some point I quit eating it though. Now I’m mostly fruits and veggies, plant-based diet with occasional cheese and fish. I’m not sure how you would decide what living species have a higher priority of living… we kind of share this planet. I know animals kill other animals, but not the way humans do.

            Not all pets have fleas…. mine haven’t had fleas in years. Cats don’t all have leukemia. lol. Jeez…. I haven’t known one cat with that. There are reasons cats and dogs get shots, just like humans….

            Humans use the bathroom and don’t wash their hands, humans pick/wipe their noses, lick their fingers (not necessarily right after wiping their noses, though I did see a waiter wipe his nose with his hand before serving the table next to me once), etc….

            Paris and animal waste, yes, I see that too, but it’s not just our 4 legged friends… I also see men pissing in alleys and on buildings, and leaving a lovely stench and puddle for me to track into my home… reasons I take my shoes off at the door now…. back to the dog waste, I’ve taken to carrying around tiny poo flags saying in french “my owner is a jerk” and sticking them in dog poo. Dog owners usually travel the same route… and besides, it’s not the dog who decided to live in the city and have to crap on the sidewalk, it was the owner who was being irresponsible. I see many people picking up after their dogs as well, and if they don’t and I’m out with my dog, sometimes I will pick it up myself. So you’re welcome.

            Killer dogs? I know some sweet pitbulls. I’m not afraid of “killer dogs”, and I was bitten in the face by our family’s German Shepherd when I was 3. I still have the scars.

            Oh there is paper and plastic waste here… just go into a supermarket and you’ll see. I know one apartment building that doesn’t even have a recycle bin (apparently just the trash bin was a fight to attain, because it’s next to a restaurant), so people have to throw away their recyclables. When I’m down by the river, I see trash bins filled with waste… so full that people start stacking it next to the can.

            And no offense to the French, but when my American friends and I talk, we compare horror stories and are amazed ad the disgusting and yet commonplace practices here. They don’t really care about recycling, they toss cigarettes in the street, pissing in the street is OK, they cut in line (if they can even make one), they’ll run straight into you on the sidewalk like you’re invisible…. my French friends tell me Americans are so friendly, and more concerned about the environment and healthy living – I’m the ONLY person that ever hugs my one French friend hello and good-bye. They bisous, they don’t hug.

            I still don’t know what III or MEME means.

            And I’m confused… because I thought by trying to make the world a better place I was doing it for everyone, not just me. I’m not the only one who hates dog crap and man pee, so I do something about it. I’m not the only one who hates injustice, so I do something about it. I’m always there when a friend needs help, I’ve prevented people from getting pickpocketed (it’s not my purse, so I wouldn’t say I was being selfish), I volunteer, I reduce/reuse/recycle….. this isn’t all for me. I could go about my life blind to the consequences of my actions and the actions of others, but I try not to. So I’m a bit confused as to what you’re talking about…. I’m the one who debates with friends on whether or not having children is a wise decision when we have as many people already trashing the planet as we do. I used to want kids, until I realized what I would be contributing to. I know how to set aside my own desires for the good of others….. Which is why I don’t recline my seat.

          13. geo|

            What a bunch of BS to say almost nothing.

          14. Kendal|

            Are you French? Have you lived in France? When you’ve spent a couple of years here, then you can tell me what’s BS….. :-)

          15. Bruiser|

            I think you like to argue or debate ,if you will have it? You would be a good lawyer ,teacher or anything that likes to argue, it is just my opinion. I also see you get upset with people not doing things YOUR way or the YOU see it. Life will become a long and arduous task unless you decide how much energy you feel you need to put into these mundane tasks. Money will not buy you peace. Peace has to come from within. Do you believe in God, I think not? I don’t have the time or inclination to try and change your perspective but having contempt prior to investigation will keep you in everlasting ignorance.
            The issue with passengers reclining their seats on the airplane; Instead of trying to persuade every passenger on an airplane that it is selfish, self-centered, and just plain rude to crush the person behind you, lets look at it from a different perspective. WHO caused the problem? The airline caused the problem. NOW ,what is the solution? More room is the solution.HOW can it be resolved? The airline can very easily remove and reconfigure the seating pattern. The airline could remove (I don’t know without doing the math)hypothetically , say two rows of seats and give everyone else 7 more inches to be comfortable(the math thing again)…my point is ONLY the airline can resolve the issue peacefully. My take on why they don’t is …GREED. If enough passengers complained of not enough room on an airline then ……don’t waste your time telling the steward(ess) they don’t make the decisions. Go to the top with you complaint and your solution.
            I admire your stand on whether you are going to have children. I had children when I was a child myself (this is not good for society or most of all the children).
            Pitbulls and other dangerous breeds of dogs, I never read about the golden retriever that mauled an innocent child.The famous last words of owners after the event ” he never did that before” ..the only reasons to own that kind of animal is you want to try and intimidate someone or your scared….get a gun if your scared , this is the 21st century….(less mess too).

          16. catwomanbyday|

            I do like in-depth conversation. I spend a lot of time learning about the world, and people, and wondering why things are the way they are and why people just follow each other’s examples so blindly. I like to break things down and say “wouldn’t it be better for everyone or most of us if we did _____?” But usually people are just confused and say “people just don’t do that, we can’t do that, we’ve behaved this way for so long…” eh. Someday it’ll either click and I’ll find a way to make a difference, or I’ll just leave everyone to their mess. lol Anyway a lot of the ideas I have are not original, and were not always what I believed… until I put thought into it. There’s a lot to think about.

            I do believe in God, very much so. God and the universe is one of the things I spend a lot of time reading about, meditating on, learning more about….

            Yes, I definitely want to try to make a difference with the airlines. I’ve written to them when their legroom is extremely horrible to let them know, and when I get a moment, and someone who is better at writing petitions than I am, I’d like to create petitions to the airlines. But in the meantime, people CAN be more considerate. We’re in a crappy situation together. It’s like being in a crowded subway… Don’t sit in the fold down seat during rush hour. It’s bad enough as it is without you taking up more space. You just do your part to make it more bearable for all involved.

            I used to want to be a young mom, so I could keep up with my kids. lol. But I’m glad I didn’t… it really is amazing how many young adults have children… just looking back on my 20’s…. I was still learning about the world…. how would I teach another person about something I was still only discovering? But that’s what so many do. I think in societies where the grandparents or other older family members helped to raise the kids, they had it right. Not to let the children raise the children.

            Oh, you didn’t hear about that?

            Now you have. ;-)

            I admit, I hadn’t heard of it either, I just Googled to see if it’s happened. I also found some info on why certain dogs may attack:

            “Several factors interact with the dog to enhance the possibility of a human being attacked by a dog besides the breed of the dog. These factors include heredity, sex, early experience, socialization, training, health, reproductive status, quality of ownership and victim behavior. Additionally, this study did not look at intervening variable such as was the dog protecting his owner from serious harm or death or was the dog actually protecting himself from serious harm or death.”

            They ARE animals. Any animal can attack or kill….

            I’d still rather have a dog than a gun. When I have my little house on the beach, I’d get a big dog (my Yorkie is not too intimidating). I’d feel safer with a dog than a gun.

  38. Geri J.|

    Because of the reduced pitch in airplanes these days, reclining is pretty much a hostile act. I have had my ribs bruised by my tray table during a flight when the guy in front of me jammed his seat into a recline. It is now at the point where it is difficult to even read a book when the person in front of you reclines.

    So, as a former dancer who has fairly strong legs, I make sure the person in front of me cannot recline by crossing my legs and propping the crossed leg against the seat in front of me. They usually give up after a couple of tries. I have also been known to do the air-conditioning blast, when available.

    And, of course I would fly business or first if I could, but like the majority of people, I can’t afford it.

  39. Geri J.|

    I like Lisa’s idea. Separate sections. I always want to work or read when flying, but others wish to sleep. Would be nice to have a choice.

  40. Barbara|

    I agree with nancy and a few of the others there is hardly any room in the first place so why be rude and recline in the first place to the ones who are doing it they know they would not like it if it was the other way around!!!!

  41. Lindley|

    I never ever recline unless there’s an empty seat behind me. Never. Do unto others….As a former flight attendant, I recognize that there are so many more rows on a/c now, less room and we’re all in this together. Period.

  42. E. Smith|

    I hate recliners. My solution is when they recline, I recline. On an international flight the guy behind me complained to the flight attendant that he couldn’t eat his meal because I had reclined. When asked if I would return my seat to the upright position I replied “as soon as the person in front of me does. And so it went. Give me a break, its a flight not your living room.

  43. Anonymous|

    I always check behind me first before I recline and if I decide to do so I do just a little – never all the way. If the person in front me reclines all the way, and especially if they do it fast, jarring and abruptly in my face, then I make sure that I do lots of bathroom breaks and utilize their seat to help hoist myself out of my cramped, confined space. Passive aggressive? Probably but I think they deserve it:)

    1. Bruiser|

      Me too.

  44. John Redford (@johnredford)|

    People who recline make my flight miserable. I NEVER recline because is is rude and inconsiderate. The seats shouldn’t even be allowed to recline. But people are selfish, self absorbed a-holes with no regard or respect for anyone. This is the single most disturbing thing about flying.

    1. Bruiser|

      Thank you….

  45. Ms. Boice|

    One guy was such a jerk to me when I asked him to not recline his seat–or at least bring it up a bit (after nearly breaking my laptop). He groused about it and made quite a scene, but I just pretended not to hear him through my headphones. He did put his seat up but then kept complaining about it. Next thing I know the flight attendant came to me and said, “He’s going to recline his seat.”

    HEY! When did the flight attendants start getting involved? Ugh.

    He was so unkind. No reason to recline on a 3-hour flight. Really.

    It was the one time I didn’t get an upgrade and didn’t get the exit row (which means row in front of me can’t recline.)

  46. Anonymous|

    On a recent flight I was on, a young teen tried to recline in front of me. Being 6’4″ and 210, there is not much room for my legs. A trick I learned was to jam my legs against his seat, preventing any recline. Several tries later and the teen gave up.

  47. Mike|

    Of course I recline. Time to sleep people. If you are over 6 foot tall how can you NOT recline??? Grow up people, the seats recline. We pay for the seat, of course I am going to be comfortable. If you want more space stay out if coach. You all sound like children.

    1. Jana|

      100% agree

      1. Eva|

        Totally agree! Gees! I had no idea people were so heated about reclining. It’s a bit much. Flights aren’t supposed to be comfortable… they’re supposed to get you from A to B: just suck it up like everyone else. Or PAY for a seat that includes plenty of personal space!

    2. Kendal|

      I think the only people who recline are those who need more space for their egos. Screw everyone else, *I* must be comfortable because I’m so much better than everyone else in coach.

      And you act as if everyone actually has the choice between coach and first class. Um, yeah, if we fly once every few years and decide rent isn’t worth paying. You want space to recline? Take a train. Otherwise, stop making my 9 hours in the sky miserable so you can “get comfy” – which you CAN do without slamming your seat into my face. I do it every single time I fly. I pay for the space between my chair and your chair. If your intention is to just close your eyes anyway, maybe you don’t care if there’s a chair in your face. But when I want to work on my computer, or eat my food, or do something with my eyes open, I DON’T appreciate a chair preventing me from doing so.

      It’s my flight too. We’re in the plane together. So be a grown up and think of the greater good. Think of someone other than yourself. You basically have the power to make a person (or more than one, if you’re an aisle seat) either (as) comfortable (as you can get in coach) or miserable, and you are choosing to spread a negative energy around you. To me, THAT is the childish choice.

  48. Bruiser|

    Because this is such a controversial subject , I am going to sue the airlines for encouraging someone to trespass on my space . I believe if I have a contract for the rental of a certain space and time that I have all the rights of an owner of that space , included in that given area the space it encompasses…ie. mineral rights ….or for some clarity on the subject , what area are you actually renting…I mean you are renting it, don’t I have rights for the air above my knees for instance? If you are interested in joining me in a class action law suit??

  49. Philip|

    Some airlines actually feature their larger recline as part of their comfort travel feature. So, those of us who value such a thing should be a shamed to value such a thing?

  50. Jana|

    Oh brother, since when is reclining an airline seat with a recline feature, rude? I like to be as comfortable as possible and that means reclining in my airline seat. The person in front of me is more than welcome to recline as well or not.

    1. Barbara Palmer|

      You must be a short person.

  51. Lin|

    The last time someone in front of me decided they needed to recline to the point of being in my lap, I decided it was time to eat. The peanuts/crackers or whatever served me well.

  52. Mike4Math|

    I saw an ad for “Knee Defenders” in a United flight magazine a year or so ago. Google shows the product on, where it says FAA says legal if not used during takeoffs or landings. So I assume you’d have to be quick and stick it on as soon as the legal time to lower your tray table occurred. I have not used the device myself. This guy has a YouTube video showing them:

    My friend says she wouldn’t buy them. Instead, she would just ask the person in front of her to please not put their seat all the way back. That’s a novel idea!

  53. Carol P|

    i travel quite frequently and can’t think of a time when within 10 minutes of take-off the seat in front of me has NOT reclined back! When this happens I just recline mine so I can eat, work, and just have some space. If everyone just reclined their seats, we’d all be doing the same thing and voila! No problemo!

    1. Anonymous|

      There is a problem if you have long legs. Please read all of the discomfort people have described above.

    2. Bruiser|

      When the person in front of you reclines, you pretty much have to recline…I really don’t care that much either way. If I am tired I try and move the seat back about half way…it is comfortable for me and not quite so bad for the person behind me. If the person behind me has reclined it doesn’t much matter what I do.

    3. Kendal|

      Except that people in exit rows and the last row of the plane can’t recline….

      1. Johnny Jet|

        Exit rows do recline. Just (usually) not the first exit row if there are two back to back

        1. Carol P|

          Yes, and if you ARE in the exit row you have more space to begin with…

  54. Stacey Mitchell|

    I usually don’t recline because I can’t sleep well on planes anyway and the reclining is really not that helpful. I usually try to work on my laptop and even if the person in front of me is reclined, I can still work right out of my FlipCase. These cases save me on flight travel. And the tablet cases can strap around the headrest of the seat in front of you so that you can watch the content on your tablet without having to hold your tablet the whole time, or try to put it on your tray table.
    Anything to make traveling a bit easier…

  55. Robert|

    I seem to recline on accident a lot. I guess because I am big and fat, my leg hits the recline button and I find myself reclined when I didn’t intend to be.

    I’ve also had my seat “recline” on takeoff before, when I KNOW I was no where near the recline button. But I wasn’t going to tell the flight attendant, we would have had to debark and wait for them to fix the chair.

  56. Anise Leinen|

    I have had ten knee operations (all before age 20), and I’ve literally begged the person in front of me to not shove their seat back– and they did it anyway. ​(Maybe they didn’t take the request seriously because I’m not a senior??) Once, I screamed, which actually worked. But I don’t really recommend it. If this ever happens again, I will say, “I hope you wanted to hear every detail of those ten knee operations, because YOU WILL hear all about them for the next three hours.” And then I’ll start describing them in great detail…

    I’m an extreme case. But the truth is that airline seats should not recline. Period. There is not enough room on today’s airplanes to do it anymore.

    1. Kendal|

      Oh gosh. That’s just really inconsiderate of them if you told them you had knee surgery. :-(

  57. CD|

    I always recline my seat slightly. Not the full way. But I cannot sit up as straight as they make them for a long flight. I also have circulation issues. But I recline slowly and again, not the full amount unless someone isn’t behind me. Sure it’s annoying if someone fully reclines their seat into you, but unless you’re on an airplane that doesn’t have the reclining seats, my view is people can do what they want and you just have to suck it up. If you’re unhappy with people reclining into you, then choose a bulkhead seat or the 2nd exit row (since the first can’t recline into you). It’s just what happens when people fly…they want to be comfortable.

  58. Anonymous|

    When flying economy, I can generally perceive when the person in front of me is about to try to recline the seat. Then I press really hard on the seat back and after a while, the passenger thinks his/her seat is broken and doesn’t try again. It’s worked quite a few times.
    I think economy seats should be locked so as not to recline.

  59. Greer|

    I think there is nothing like direct communication. I recommend speaking to the person in front of you and seeing what you can work out. Passengers have different needs. It might also be useful as part of a flight’s protocol for flight attendants to ask everyone to bring their seats to a upright position during meal or snack service. And it wouldn’t hurt to write your airline and complain.

  60. BP|

    I agree and kind request to not recline or to recline only slightly is the best approach but I have to admit using the air vent to ward off recliners, especially when they drop their seat back in one nanosecond with what seems a desire to crush anything in their path. IMHO I shouldn’t have to bribe someone with Go-Go or drink coupon unless it’s >2 hour flight.

    For me the only reason of reclining is to relax my posture into a more comfortable position and not to gain extra “personal space” and I don’t have to fully recline to make my back feel better on my 6’4″ frame.

    One real problem is those that work on their laptops on the fold down tray. If they would just move their laptop back a couple inches into their own laps then a reclining seat in front of them can’t catch the laptop lid and cause a problem. Then again, have you noticed how airplane laptop users usually adjust their elbows back into their neighbors arm space even if their arm isn’t on the rest they often stick their elbows into your ribs/personal space?

  61. MG|

    Why should we have to pay extortion to protect the space that is already ours? Serial recliners,are only interested in self gratification. I can live with the person in front of me reclining a notch or two. Any more then that is a declaration of war. I’ll try the redirected cold air strategy. Hmm. I feel a sneeze coming on.

  62. mike|

    Your solutions are band aid suggestions. The problem is greed and more concern for money than people who are now treated as sardines. And the greed/money factors are not just the fault of airlines but of people. We have lost respect for ourselves and others. Oh! yes we talk a good story but our actions tell the opposite.

    1. frank|

      I doubt the airlines are making some astronomical profit. the margin is usually 5 to 10%. Now that may well be because of their marketting/sales strategy, as well as pricing, but they aren’t making so much profit. I’m not saying they aren’t stupid though, and over pricing because their stupidity. But a lot more thought has to go into this. I agree its all about the general greed of people, but part of it is stupidity too. Also, most people are dicks.

  63. admixer|

    There will never be a correct answer for this. The airlines take more and more legroom away in the name of profits… There will always be people who put their own comfort ahead of others… There will always be people considerate of others. At some point, after a few more flight diversions caused by fights, the airlines will either limit or render the reclining ability inoperable. It costs airlines way more to divert a flight than have it continue on its destined route. As ever, when it comes to money, you can always count on the airlines to make the profitable choice. For them. Enjoy your reclining while you can, egoists!

    Btw, 6’2″, and NEVER recline unless there’s empty seat behind.

  64. Flo|

    In my opinion, more than a recliner being annoying is the person in the rear of my seat who grabs and pulls my seat back to get up especially during overnight flights when I may be asleep. If that doesn’t ‘t awaken me, pulling my hair during the “grab” in an effort to pull him/ herself up really will. Also talking really loud during “sleep” time is also offensive. Both things have happened to us during overnight flights and by the same man.

  65. Sandyman|

    I hope the incidents continue and more flights get diverted. Oh, you don’t agree?? How else do you plan to get the greedy airlines’ attention to make changes?

  66. Anonymous|

    I am 6’0 tall. When the person in front of me reclines, I was able to do everything I could before the person reclined.

    When a seat reclines in front of a person 6’3″ or 6’4″ and the person stretches their legs does the seat still hit their legs?

  67. Anon|

    So, first of all sorry if this was addressed above–since there’s been 3 incidents recently I’ve read many back and forth comment sections and I just didn’t want to read all the way through this one as well. But to my point–

    Isn’t it a bit spurious to offer this as an example to all in how to ‘solve’ this clearly divisive issue? Firstly you didn’t give up anything of value to you (in fact it was given to you as a freebie). Secondly you are in a special position that you have these coupons (almost nobody does). And thirdly, sometimes the person in front is amenable to a trade, but probably more of the time (given polling/surveys I’ve read) the person isn’t.

    To summarize, you seem like the guy who says, ‘Middle East peace is easy, they just need to talk to each other!’

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks for the feedback. The point of the story was that you could offer to buy their WiFi, drink(s) or meal. I guess I should’ve made that more clear.

  68. Mark Spicer|

    In an email to CNN, ‘Johnny Jet’ says, “Beach should feel terrible. That diversion cost United Airlines about $6,000 per hour, he says.” I don’t think he should feel bad at all! If the airlines want to save money by decreasing leg room to the point that someone is actually laying in my lap, I have NO sympathy for the airline!!!

  69. Anonymous|

    That woman is lucky she didn’t get a fist in her face in response to her throwing a drink, like a spoiled two year old. I would have struck her if she dowsed me and my laptop and I would have acquitted anyone who hit that woman in the exact same circumstances if i were on that jury. The airline acted moronically by diverting the flight. That was almost as stupid a move as the idiot at the gate for SouthWest who tried to hide her incredibly bad customer service by intimidating the father with his children in Denver a couple of months ago. Every passenger on that diverted flight should sue the airline for delaying and inconveniencing them through the pilot’s asinine decision.

  70. Carl|

    That woman who threw the drink is lucky that she didn’t receive a fist in the face. If she had dowsed me and my laptop I would have hit her and I would acquit anyone who hit her in the same circumstances if I were on that jury. The pilot made an asinine decision to divert the flight and every other passenger on that flight should sue the airline for the inconvenience caused them by the pilot’s poor decision making skills. Your concept of charging the assaulted passenger for the airline’s time is also asinine. The pilot’s decision to divert is almost as stupid and heinous as the SouthWest gate agent in Denver who tried to hide her shitty customer service skills by intimidating a father in front of his children to delete his tweet about her stupidity.. She should have been publicly reprimanded for her actions and I will never fly SouthWest again, who used to be my regular airline, unless that happens. Although I’m sure the Union would never let it happen. The idiot gate agent didn’t need to be fired but she did need to be reprimanded publicly.

  71. frank|

    I never knew that it affected people with laptops. I see that now. They should include something in their announcements in the beginning of the flight on how seat reclining should be handled, and educate everyone that its disturbing to tall people and people with laptops if you recline. I wonder if anyone ever thought to consider that the people who recline just simply don’t know they are bothering anyone. You normally can’t see behind you, and you don’t see who sits behind you when you are sitting down initially, unless they are already there and you can see they are a giant.

  72. woody|

    Hey Kendal. How is it that everything you agree to is the right thing to do and viva versa. And you harp on about others with a me me me attitude.

    1. Kendal|

      Why wouldn’t I agree on the right thing to do?

      1. Rich|

        if I pay for a seat that reclines and you deny me that function then you are the selfish person. and I suspect you would also be in breach of the airlines t&c for interfering with aircraft normal operation .

        you ask everyone else to be considerate but you fail to be considerate to them

        1. Kendal|

          Who has the most need for the space, is what I’d like to ask you? Many many people are able to survive their flight by stuffing pillows behind their back, or doing nothing at all, while still allowing the person behind them to keep their kneecaps/work on their computer/watch a movie that’s not 5 inches in front of their face/reach their belongings stored under your seat/exit their row when necessary. By just doing something because you CAN, and not because it’s absolutely necessary and there’s no alternative… that’s being selfish. Of course I can be more comfortable by reclining my seat. But I choose, in the spirit of community, to stick pillows, blankets, and my clothing (I lost 3 sweaters this way by forgetting them once…) in the small of my back to create a more comfortable seating position for myself, while respecting the space of the person behind me. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should, especially if you are able to be kind to someone by NOT doing it.

          1. frank|

            I agree with you. That Rich is just yet another dick head who only thinks of himself, but that’s how it is in this society, most people are dick heads like Rich, thinking of themselves. Its such an obvious argument that isn’t about who deserves the space, both people obviously deserve it given that it’s the nature of the beast, but Rich is just inclined to say me me me.

  73. The Guy|

    I’ve never heard of knee defenders before and they look like scary stuff. A clear way to cause conflict in what can already be a stressful situation for many.

    Let’s face it, if you are flying economy/coach then space is going to be limited. Nobody likes the seat in front of them reclining into your face and I accept that it is difficult to work on a computer. What if the person in front of you faces a similar scenario and the seat in front ot them reclines? Sometimes I feel the only way I can get breathing space from the reclined seat in front is reclining mine!

    I do hate it though when the person in front immediately reclines their seat as soon as they board and leaves it like that for the duration of the flight. 100% selfish.

    Not sure I could be bribed in this way, but what you propose sounds interesting. I wonder how many of us flyers would have these complimentary wifi cards on hand to call upon.

    I think the length of the flight is also a factor. If it is a 1 hour flight then no problem. A 3-4 hour flight then people may well want to “relax”.

    Shocking to hear of the 3 flights being stopped because of arguments over reclining seats. It just shows how little room we really have in the cabin.

    1. woody|

      No it just shows how little tolerance some people have.

      I’m 6ft 3. Try this thought process.

      I flying cattle because it’s cheap.

      I buy the cheap ticket knowing before hand that I WILL be uncomfortable and I have the expectation that the person in front WILL recline.

      I know that I may not be able to use my laptop because that is not an entitlement of the cheap fare.

      If/when the person in front reclines I am uncomfortable but UNDERSTAND that this is how it is because the seat features a recline mechanism.

      I would only ask them or ask the attendant to ask them to sit up if they were still reclined at meal times.

      That is called tolerance.

      If you want to guarantee that you can work or be comfortable PAY for the privilege.

      If something like a person in front of you reclining causes you to become angry or aggressive you need help.

  74. Kathy Sue|

    I always need to recline because of my back on any flight longer than an hour, otherwise I’ll be in a lot of pain by the end of the flight due to a problem with my back. Of course, I always look back and check with the passenger behind me first. If someone objects, I explain and offer to switch seats with them. It’s hard to understand why it is such a problem for people to simply recline if the person in front of them does. It’s not like economy class seats go back so far that it would make it difficult to read or use a computer. Well, using a laptop is a little challenging in economy in any circumstances, but I don’t find that reclining makes it any worse. I can manage either activity with the seats reclined. I have, incidentally, seen several polls where the majority of passengers want to be able to recline. And, of course, almost everyone does on long-haul flights with the possible exception of a few souls who are stuck in the belief that reclining the seat is rude under all circumstances. I think it would be a good idea for airlines to keep a section aside for the non-recliners, filling it up from front to back. Then people could ask specifically for those seats, and it would be their own fault if they failed to do so.

    1. frank|

      Theyre gonna stop the seats from reclining pretty soon. Two things, one, 90% of our society is selfish pigs, so no one thinks of others, and therefore, since people can’t figure it out, the airlines will simply do what needs to be done. They won’t give us more space, cause more space is too expensive and people don’t want to pay for it. They want cheap seats, yet expect the luxuries (recline their seat or have space remaining if the person in front reclines theirs). As far as the laptops go, the people complaining about their laptops, well, they have business section with extra room, buy that if you want to use your laptop. But there are people six foot four and over with long legs aand they cant even fit in their seats to begin with, you wouldn’t want your knees crushed would you. One person had it right, he didn’t have all these expectations of comfort, and expected “you get what you pay for” which in this case, the cattle class, you get discomfort, so expect it, and stop whining. But people need to think about each other, and they don’t, so we’re all basically screwed, blame ourselves

      1. woody|

        I keep reading about how people used to have manners or how is you have manners you wouldn’t recline. People have always reclined from the day reclining seats were introduced on planes and in those days (which even the anti recline lobby bring up) people used to have manners. So it is a fact as far as I am concerned that it is only lately that there are people who now complain about people reclining. Pretty sure that proves who the self entitled tools are.

        1. frank|

          People may have reclined from day one. People have been pigs since day one. That hasn’t changed. The fact people are complaining more now is that they have a forum to complain on. They didn’t before the internet allowed them to do so, so others like you can become more “aware” since you are obviously yet another pig. Nobody’s entitled to jack shit, but you , being the pig you are, think you are entitled to anything you want. It’s the basic “me, me. me attitude”. The “I don’t care about you” attitude you obviously have. Like, you get in your car, and you recline the seat back because you want to sleep, even though your mom is behind you and you crush her knees, and you just say, “screw you, mom, my seat reclines, I can do what I want”. Naw you don’t do that to your mom, do you? But you’ll do it to a stranger. Because you are a pig.

  75. C. Manlius|

    I rarely travel on a plane for less that a 12-18 hour flight. The seats are extremely uncomfortable to begin with and the idea of not reclining to some small degree is horrific. I never recline completely, only enough to straighten out my spine and not have my chin on my chest. I am also fully aware of the person behind me. At the same time I find it completely appropriate and expected that the person in front should do the same. Using common sense is the key, not overreaction to every single nitpicking thing one becomes aware of.

  76. frank|

    It’s all case by case. Sometimes, there is a need to recline, and on a long flight, people should have expectations that the person in front is going to recline. That’s just the way it is. People shouldn’t have expectations that they should get luxury flying in coach. That would make it more expensive, so people would complain about that. They want cheap airfare, and this is how to get it, its called sacrificing luxury of being able to stretch out, or have additonal space including that of being leaned into from in front. If you want such luxury, you have to pay for it, straight out, and pay for business or first class. You have to “expect” that sitting in coach is not going to be comfortable. You get what you pay for. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be more considerate. Also, its the airline’s fault, in that they should have special sections for taller people. Just because someone is taller isn’t his fault, and that person might not be able to afford first class/business. So the airlines should figure it out and make it comfortable for those people also. That being said, since the airline is at fault, once we understand that the airline has chosen to NOT take care of their taller flyers, sometimes it is merely something people can try to help alleviate the anguish faced by the taller person being shoved into tight quarters, where their legs are already cramped, and they are in pain already. It’s not the fault or the problem of the person in front, but they could give a little extra consideration in light that the airline didn’t do what they should have done by giving the taller people larger space. Like did they think of that, like, hey, airlines, maybe you should think of these types of things

    1. Carol P|

      Excellent response.Thank you!

      1. MG|

        It is just as true that the recliner shouldn’t have expectations of getting luxury flying in coach by maximizing his own comfort at the expense of the person behind him. Bottom line is don’t impede a fellow passenger’s access to the aisle no matter how long the flight may be. In case of an emergency or simply a need to use the bathroom, you should NEVER be required to crawl over your seat mate to get to the aisle. Those who insist on reclining to that extent are selfish and not to be indulged.

        1. frank|

          great reply! That’s what the airlines will do and make it their rationalle to restrict reclining altogether!

        2. Kendal|

          Exactly! It’s not only a comfort issue, but a safety one. With so little space, you make it extra difficult for someone to get out of their seat. I was on a flight once where I didn’t feel well, and I passed out in my seat. It’s not the first time in my life that it’s happened, and I knew that if I could put my head to my knees, I could avoid it. But with or without someone reclining in my face, I couldn’t do it. So I fainted. Airline design is already unsafe… let’s not make it worse. How would you feel if there was an emergency, and the person behind you died because they couldn’t get out of their seat fast enough? Maybe it’s extreme, but really, in an emergency when a few seconds could mean the difference between escaping or not…. are you going to remember to put your seatback forward?

    2. woody|

      I am 60 years old and 6ft 3in tall. I don’t “expect” any consideration other than the person in front to recline slowly. Sure I am cramped. I knew that when I booked my ticktet because the plane is fitted with recline seats that I expect many people would like to use. Discomfort even on long flights is the price I have made a conscious decision to pay is to put up with in order to save the most money. If extra room is made for the taller person the airline would need to recoup the lost seat revenue by either charging me more (which I don’t want) or charging everyone a little extra (which isn’t fair and I’m sure others don’t want). I also don’t buy into the no room crap, I can place my knees in a position to make it difficult for the person in front to recline but I can also sit with them in a way where they can. I choose the second option because they are entitled to recline. Never had an issue in many many (uncomfortable) flights.

      1. frank|

        those are some valid comments, woody, but really, if you’re 6’8″ or taller, which may seem like only half a dozen inches, it’s so insanely uncomfortable, in fact, almost inhumane, and sometimes, almost impossible There simply has to be a good solution, but I agree, you shouldn’t be made to charge more to give the taller people more room, but then again, maybe you should. Maybe they should even out the playing table and give less room to the short people to make up for the tall people’s extra room. Shouldn’t everyone be as comfortable as “manageable” while trying to accomodate each and every human being?

  77. Velma|

    That’s a nice way to do it.

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