Stop complaining about airplane passengers reclining their seats

On a recent flight from Dallas Fort Worth to Sydney, in Qantas’s relatively spacious premium economy class, I saw a man repeatedly admonish the woman in front of him for reclining her seat.

Here we go again, I thought. Sound the sirens, we have a serving member of the Reclining Police on board.

He wasn’t sitting close enough to catch the exact conversation, but he was clearly nervous about something. And I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what.

It can’t have been a problem with the TV screen on the back of your seat, as Qantas has found a clever way to tilt them in Premium Economy so you can move them to suit your view, regardless of the angle of your seat or the angle of your seat. person in front of you.

It may have had something to do with the tray table, but again, the seats are designed so that the tables remain perfectly functional wherever the seat is placed in front.

Yes, the lady’s seat had slightly invaded this man’s personal space, but it’s breaking news for everyone. We are on a plane. A night flight, no less. This lady has paid for a seat that is designed to recline so she can sleep. She didn’t pay to sit in front of a Recliner Whiner.

The Great Recumbent Debate has baffled regular travelers forever, probably since Orville and Wilbur Wright launched the first wooden biplane into the air (or maybe not, most photos I’ve seen of the famous aviation brothers show them sitting side by side on their inventions, possibly to avoid disputes on this precise issue).

Survey after survey shows that passengers think reclining their seat on an airplane is some kind of serious etiquette mistake. A fivethirtyeight poll showed that four out of ten people think it’s ‘rude’.

This woman was shocked when she was told to move her seat back to an upright position so the person behind her could use her laptop (surely that’s what she has a ‘lap’ for, the clue’s in the name?)

And that cheepwhich documents two passengers locked in a battle to the death on the back of a sky-high seat over whether or not a seat should recline, split the internet when it was released in February 2020 (perhaps if these two had known at the time that neither of us I wouldn’t even do it). being lucky enough to get back on a plane for about two years, they may have sweated less over the little things).

As recently as April of this year, the editors of the travel site Matador spoke out in favor of #TeamNoRecline. They published an article titled ‘Airlines Should Get Rid of the Seat Recline Button’.

His flimsy argument is that “planes are not made to be comfortable.” His main purpose is to get us from A to B, and we should be thankful for that service. Then, instead, we were urged to think of the greater good when it came to the comfort of our fellow passengers by leaving only the recline button. And he ended up blaming the airlines for having the buttons, urging them to do away with them altogether.


I travel once a month for work and have never, ever been seriously offended by someone reclining their seat in front of me. In the worst case, if you’re in a clunky old plane, the recline can occur with a mismatch. thud that can give you a little scare when it appears in your personal space. Surprising, but not something to discuss with the manager.

Best of all, if you really feel like you’ve been violated by someone else’s seatback, you have a really obvious solution right at your fingertips. Reestablish the balance of the universe and reclineyour seat too.

You get back every inch of space you lost. Easy.

We are very lucky to travel again. This time, two years ago, it seemed that air travel was a distant memory, one that we would not be able to experience for years, even decades. How fabulous to be back in heaven once again.

It’s time to stop complaining about reclining, or any other nuisance from Karen’s cabin, and remember how lucky we are.

Read related topics:QantasSydney

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