Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Airline Seat Rant - I don't recline and neither should you

Graphic: Empower Network
The topic of personal space, leg comfort and reclining seats has come up more than once this week

Over dinner, my friend recounted her recent horrific flying experience. Included in that experience was the person who reclined his seat into her lap (well, it felt like it). She was in a non-reclinable seat. But that wasn't the issue. This fellow reclined fully placing his less than well-coiffed hair in my friend's face.

She saw that he wasn't the type of person you could negotiate with or, safely speak with, so she employed another tactic. She breathed rather loudly, which we would assume he could hear. Did he become annoyed and move? No. He didn't have a clue.

Others at dinner came up with ideas. How about tapping him on the shoulder and talking with him? No, she said, she didn't feel comfortable (I envisioned that he had gang tattoos and was already on his 5th drink, teardrop tattoo under his eye, etc.). I trust my friend's judgement.

We then recalled that there was some sort of device you could place on the back of the offender's seat so that they could not recline.  After a brief Internet search I came upon the "Knee Defender." Apparently its use is controversial and some airlines have banned it. I'd say reclining into someone's lap should be banned as well!

Today, I found the following on Huffington Post in an excellent article entitled: 10 Ways to Avoid Being That Annoying Airline Passenger

Be thoughtful when you recline your seat. Sorry, but reclining your wafer-thin seat by a few dinky inches à la Archie Bunker will not make the difference between comfy and not. What it will do is annoy the person seated behind you. Especially if that person is watching the seatback TV screen, trying to use a laptop, or -- worse -- trying to enjoy a snack. Sure, it's your seat, you paid for it, and so on. But so did the guy behind you. If you absolutely won't be happy unless you go whole-hog backward, at least try to wait until the cabin lights have been dimmed for sleepy time.
Read more: http://www.frommers.com/articles/7494.html#ixzz2hA475NH9

Between you and me, I don't recall this type of discomfort when I first started flying. Everyone had ample leg room and we didn't invade each other's space. So shall we blame this on the airlines, the companies who are trying to squeeze more and more passengers on each flight so to maximize their income?