Seat Reclines and Diversions

I’ve weighed in on this subject several times but in light of the news circulating of multiple airliners diverting over conflicts among passengers having to do with seat reclining, it’s time to do it again.

It’s fascinating to me how vocal people are on this subject.

There are the highly vocal minority frequent fliers who think that seat recline is owned by the flier and he can do whatever he wants.

There are the other highly vocal “always economy class” fliers who think that it’s time to end seat recline.

Absolutely seat recline needs to be ended.  With seat pitch averages down to 30 – 31 inches on most legacy airlines, there is simply no space for people to be reclining their chairs.  At the minimum, airlines should disable recline on all seats that are economy class.  I would include Economy Plus seats in this.

As a 6′ 2″ big man, when you recline your seat, the top of the seat is literally just a few inches (less than a foot) from my chest.  Putting a seat back into my personal space on a multi-hour flight is not your right.  Sorry, it just isn’t.

Furthermore, if airlines are going to constrain seat pitch, the consequence is having to disable recline and let people get over themselves.  Or give economy seats more seat pitch.  Or get used to the very high cost of a diversion.  And if you airlines think you aren’t a party to that cost, you are.  And courts will find you are.

For those of you who are about to shout, stamp your feet and declare your rights to a seat decline, you’re behaving childish at this point.  Like a 5 year old and I include the numerous bloggers out there who like to declare this right as well.

The high price of the seat doesn’t entitle you to recline.  It entitles you to safe transport from point A to point B.  Unfortunately, you fliers made it about that years ago.  Let’s accept the conditions that defines reality today and create a more “win win” situation for fliers in the back of the bus.

4 Responses to “Seat Reclines and Diversions”

  1. I’m sorry that you’re 6’2″ and inconvenienced by the seat recliners. I’m 5’8″ and have back problems that don’t fit an upright seat. I try to recline as slowly and as little as possible to not inconvenience the passenger behind me and think this is a compromise that can usually be worked out without damage to either passenger. I find that when someone in front of me reclines, I can lower my knees and put my feet below the seat in front. Either/or is not a solution, but compromise usually works unless one or the other is a jerk.

  2. Your childish I have back problems as well. If your 6’2″ and the recline bothers you buy a first class seat. Since you love airplanes with seats that don’t recline
    fly Spirit airlines problem solved

  3. You’re *

  4. I think Southwest gets it right. They offer recline on the new seat but limit it to I think 1″ or 1.5″. Enough to vary one’s seat position on long flights or if the plane isn’t full, but not enough to really ruin your trip if you’re behind a reclining pax.

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