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Old 08-29-2014, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,473 posts, read 2,368,936 times
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The problem with reclining seats (at least in coach) is that even if you recline your own seat back the whole way, you get very little benefit in terms of extra space. It doesn't increase your leg room, or the amount of space between you and your seatmates. But it does have a much larger negative effect on the space of the person behind you. I can only assume that people who like to recline are doing it for psychological reasons (they may perceive a benefit that isn't actually there). Or to put it another way, if everyone reclinines then we are all sardines sitting at a 75 degree angle rather than a 90 degree angle. If it were up to me, I'd eliminate reclining seats altogether in coach.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
2,295 posts, read 2,148,938 times
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The bottom line for most people in 2014 is, flying sucks.

It used to be so much better, and I'm not talking about in 1950 when seats were huge and good meals and drinks were free. I'm talking about 10-20 years ago. There were more airlines and more flights so everyone had more choices. Security wasn't as big a pain in the ass (before 9/11), and flights weren't packed to capacity like they are now. It was not uncommon to be able to leave your seat and move to an entire row that was empty and had an empty row in front of it.

I do think it's funny that people who are 6'1" talk about how much leg room they need. I'm 6'6" and I really do need a lot of legroom. Fortunately, I haven't had to fly economy in a while so I have plenty of room to stretch out and even lay down in a bed and sleep on some airlines.

At the end of the day, please be considerate of your fellow passengers. We are all in the same miserable boat and nobody's comfort is more important than anyone else's, regardless of the cost of the ticket.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:28 AM
 
1,161 posts, read 1,980,875 times
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These various threads on reclining seats have stirred a lot of passion. It's odd to me because I fly all the time, including multiple 14 hour long haul trips a year. By far most of my flights are on major carriers and mostly in economy. I cannot think of a single time when I've ever seen a fight or loud argument over reclining seats. I'm above average height and most of the time when I fly the seat in front of me is reclined into my space. Annoying? I shrug it off because I recline mine too. And it's really not that much space that's involved here. The seat tips a few inches back, but the tray moves out too and you are usually able to tilt the tv screen as well.

When the issue of reclining seats first came up a few years ago I started looking around the cabin once in the air and the majority are reclining their seats. So it seems to me that the status quo is in favor of being able to recline their seats.

I don't doubt that for tall people or people with unusually higher hips that have their knees higher than usual, it can be difficult and discomforting when someone in front of you reclines their seat. But that just one of many annoyances that comes with flying. As someone who always books aisle seats, what I find irritating are passengers next to me who can't settle down and constantly move around, young children constantly fiddling with the tv screen or flipping open and closing the windows, and worse of all, the passengers who can't walk up and down the aisle without grabbing the headrests of each seat for support. Talk about trying to sleep!

The point is, flying is uncomfortable. It will always be uncomfortable, even for people who recline their seats! We all just have to put up with it.

The big battle of wills here seems to be over the so called rights of reclining seats versus the space in front of you. But this is the situation we currently have:

1. All major non-discount airlines, especially for the bigger planes, have reclining seats and they give passengers the ability to recline their seats.
2. The anti-reclining clamps are banned by all major US carriers.

The two points above clearly tells me that the airlines side with the passengers' ability to recline their seats. Airlines are not stupid and I'm sure they've decided that the majority of the market sides with reclining seats. So, majority wins.

Another point to consider when talking about "rights" is that you don't own the seat. Buying an airline ticket doesn't buy you a seat and room space that's entirely yours. It rents you a seat on the plane for the duration of a flight. Just as when you rent something, it comes with plenty of terms and conditions and expectations. The flight can be overbooked and you're kicked off the plane. Nothing you can do about it. The flight can be cancelled at your inconvenience. Nothing you can do about it. At the same time airlines are generous in allowing passengers to switch seats on the plane, so you're not tied to a specific seat. Nor does the ticket guarantees you a functional seat with a fully operating tv (I was once on a 14 hour Emirates flight where my screen was broken but there was nothing the airline could do nor could they move me as the plane was solidly booked! I was once on a US Airways flight from London to Charlotte and the AC vent directly above me was broken and could not be switched off, so cold air poured on me for the duration of the December flight and I got sick the next day. Nothing could be done as the plane was solidly booked).

I'm not unsympathetic to those who feel great discomfort when a seat reclines. But when you elect to fly and buy a ticket, you must be aware of what you're getting into, so complaining about it is a redundant action.
Before you buy your ticket you can look around at the various flight options and see if there are other airlines with more space. Some airlines, like Emirates or Thai or Singapore Airways have more room space. Are they more expensive? Probably, but if you decide to go for the cheapest ticket even it means less room space, that's entirely your choice and your decision, and it's not the airline's problem or other passengers' problem either.

Last but not least: yes, it's true that airlines are cramming more and more passengers into a plane, but on the other hand, ticket prices have declined substantially in the last few decades. We can yearn for 20 years ago when seats were bigger and we had more leg rooms, but we also paid a lot more for those tickets than we currently do, adjusting for inflation.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:38 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
I've never had an airline seat that reclined more than about 3 inches from the original position, except in first class, and there's plenty of room up there.
Exactly. The people complaining about seats reclining into their laps have probably never even been on a plane.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:40 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebbe View Post
Instead of being rude, why not try to get a seat assignment in back of one of the non reclining seats. Also you could try first class.
They don't even need to go to first, almost every carrier offers seats in economy with 3-6 more inches of legroom for $5-100, depending on the distance. They'd just rather whine then spend a few bucks.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:41 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ameriscot View Post
Uh huh. Glasgow to Koh Samui, Thailand 740 cattle class. 3,600 first class.
You don't need to go first, and you know it. Book premium economy, which will be an extra 100 or so.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,018 posts, read 1,419,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John7777 View Post
Anyone who has a reclining seat should be allowed to recline that seat. If the person behind doesn't like it, tough. Maybe they should buy a business class seat next time
So if your reclining rights mash into some poor persons knees, that would be ok? I have the right to do a lot of things that would annoy or hurt those around me. What happened to showing consideration for others? I usually gets seats with more legroom, but its not always an option. I'm sure there are things that annoy you that wouldn't bother me at all. The difference is, I would care. Reclining seats don't bother short people. Maybe when you can't reach the overhead compartment, tall people should say "tough" , check your bag.
When this world isn't all about "me", it will be a better place.
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Old 08-30-2014, 05:26 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harpoonalt View Post
So if your reclining rights mash into some poor persons knees, that would be ok? I have the right to do a lot of things that would annoy or hurt those around me. What happened to showing consideration for others? I usually gets seats with more legroom, but its not always an option. I'm sure there are things that annoy you that wouldn't bother me at all. The difference is, I would care. Reclining seats don't bother short people. Maybe when you can't reach the overhead compartment, tall people should say "tough" , check your bag.
When this world isn't all about "me", it will be a better place.
If I couldn't reach into the overhead, I would do exactly that--check any bag that wouldn't fit under the seat. In fact I did that earlier this year as I had an injury that prevented me from lifting my arms over my head.

You see, I put my money where my mouth is instead of expecting others to take responsibility for my comfort, abilities, or lack of.
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Old 08-30-2014, 06:51 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,954,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I won't "ask" but I do glance back and if they are using a laptop or have a drink on the tray table I'll warn them and go slowly. Of course if they are an ass about it I slam the seat back as hard as I can.
So funny, if someone slammed a seat back into me and ruined my laptop (say knocking a drink onto it when the plane is not in motion), I'd have their luggage before they knew what happened. They'd probably miss the connecting flight if they had one because they'd be stuck going to the ATM or having their things repossessed. As a tall person, I regularly block the seat from reclining just by sitting in my seat. The seats are not designed for the length of my thigh bones. It isn't being fat, it is simply being tall. When I can get seats with more leg room, I do. When I can't, I don't, but reclining in a seat isn't a right when the reclining moves through another persons space. Anyone who thinks it is will find out that I have decided my fist has a right to the space their head was occupying.

This is ironic, because when you couldn't reach the overhead bin, I would've been the first person to volunteer to load and unload your things for you.
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Old 08-30-2014, 06:57 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
So funny, if someone slammed a seat back into me and ruined my laptop (say knocking a drink onto it when the plane is not in motion), I'd have their luggage before they knew what happened. They'd probably miss the connecting flight if they had one because they'd be stuck going to the ATM or having their things repossessed. As a tall person, I regularly block the seat from reclining just by sitting in my seat. The seats are not designed for the length of my thigh bones. It isn't being fat, it is simply being tall. When I can get seats with more leg room, I do. When I can't, I don't, but reclining in a seat isn't a right when the reclining moves through another persons space. Anyone who thinks it is will find out that I have decided my fist has a right to the space their head was occupying.

This is ironic, because when you couldn't reach the overhead bin, I would've been the first person to volunteer to load and unload your things for you.
I wouldn't ask for or expect that from anyone, and would rather check than think I am entitled to assistance or any special treatment, including extra space I didn't pay for.
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