Kenneth M. Walsh
Inspired opinion piece, and very apt. If only airlines would follow his recommendations.
Seriously? I'm supposed to pay an exorbitant fee to sit upright at a 90 angle for 4 or 5 hours so as not to inconvenience the stranger sitting behind me? get real.
What a case of misplaced anger! The passenger in front did not specify or design the reclining seat and everyone is free to adjust their seat. To claim the are asses or evil or deserving of hatred is self-centered arrogant bs. What a frikkin' baby!
Anonymous 2 and Tom: Think you're both missing the point entirely. OF COURSE you konw you're inconveniencing the person behind you by putting your seat back. (Your hair getting wet by being partially in my mouth is only the first clue.) It's an all-or-nothing proposition, otherwise one person is taking up considerably more room than everyone else, and I'd like to think we're all mature enough to realize that. (Ha!)The author (and I) are being somewhat facetious in our anger -- who better to hate than the directly person responsible for the act? -- but it's the makers of the planes that need to be shot.
Kenneth, I am not missing the point, and yes, you should blame the airlines, not the person in front. I hope you can sit in bulkhead seats whenever you fly, otherwise I pity the poor soul who innocently, yes, innocently uses their reclining seat in front of you. I have had people behind me politely ask to unrecline my seat for meal service on a transatlantic flight, and I politely obliged. I have also had a business class (old Northwest, crappy non-flat seats) passenger behind me kick on my reclined seatback repeatedly and then complain to the flight attendant that he "needed the space I took" for his giant laptop use for the duration of a domestic flight. When I later found him fully reclined and asleep I reclined fully with zero guilt. It is a two way street, with the person behind equally capable of asking nicely for some consideration (and they can recline their seat also, with the only loss being angle between their seatback and tray table, but not distance). I have designed airline seats, and it is the airlines who set the seat pitch (distance between seats). The "fixed living space" seat designs seen mostly in European airplanes solve this problem by sliding the bottom seat cushion forward to recline the back, within a backshell that doesn't move to the passenger behind, btw. But how futile and misdirected is it to fight someone for using the recline adjustment, especially when most everyone does and it makes hellish economy seating slightly more comfortable for most (do you fly long distances sitting bolt upright?)?
I agree with Tom. It's all in your attitude and approach. Flying is awful, I expect it to be, and I try to travel with a head of compassion if possible.My 6'6" husband and I fly trans atlantic twice a year. I'm 5'10" and stout. Last time, the bitch in front of him reclined just after takeoff, and stayed that way throughout the flight, including during meal service. This wound me up. I asked him if he was uncomfortable, and if he wanted me to ask her to move her seat to upright while he was eating. He looked at me as if I was crazy, and said 'no, I'm fine!'The moral is, if it's at all possible to travel in a less agitated state, if one can try not to get wound up by the people all around you and who are too close, if we can focus on where we're going and why, flying wouldn't be so hard. Be kind. The person in front of you might be in bereavement. Be cool. The situation sucks and the space is crap. Why make it harder for yourself by making yourself angry?Be considerate. Even if others aren't. That is the essence of manners.Forget about what other people do with their fucking little seat. If you can do the above, you will fly.
Again: If NO ONE put their chair back, we would all be in the same (miserable) situation. Simple as that.I actually HAVE tried to politely ask people to put their seat upright. It has NEVER gone well.Glad to hear others have had better luck.
Kenneth, you will continue to be frustrated because you will never get a majority, let alone 100% of people, across the entire flight, to agree to NOT put their seat back. Do you never recline your seat, even on long haul economy? I am skeptical, since you did not answer. Crowd phenomena will cause more to emulate those who do -- can you imagine a couple in front of you where one agrees to not recline and the other has a passenger behind who has no problem if they do? They will recline, and their partner will be more likely to do so as well.
Tom: No, I do not. And neither do the majority of people, just a few selfish assholes.
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