Reclining Airplane Seats {In Economy Class}

Post Last Modified – April 13, 2021

Those Annoying Reclining Economy Airplane Seats

I recently came across a great article written in one of my favorite travel websites about Reclining Airplane Seats and how annoying this can be. In fact, it’s a very hot topic of discussion.

Having just recently returned from a very long flight from the Canada to Australia in economy class, the article really hit home with me.  It reminded me of my previous blog post on 📰 airplane travel tips & etiquette  and why this topic really should be addressed further with the airlines.

When I travel more than 2 hours in a plane, I always try to book an aisle seat.  It allows for a little more open space and your free to stand up and sit down at your leisure.  Like most seats in economy, even an aisle seat has its pros and cons.

First, let’s get started by checking out this interesting video from famous talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in the United States. Grab a cup of coffee as she Weighs In On This Reclined Airplane Seat Debate.

Ellen DeGeneres Debate Over Reclining Seats – YouTube Video



Squished By Those Reclining Airplane Seats

Reclining Airplane Seats

On this particular flight and airline, as soon as we were airborne, the person in the seat in front of me immediately reclined his seat as far as it could go.  I felt completely locked in my seat with no escape possible!

If I tried to move, I had to recline my seat, having a domino effect on the passenger behind me. It was almost impossible to try and watch a movie on the tiny screen embedded in the reclined seat in front of me!

Oh to travel business or first class!! 🙁

Comfort or Inconvenience

Cramped Airline Seat

After experiencing almost 14 hours of suffocating, cramped seating during this flight and reading this excellent article, it made me wonder just how people really feel about seats in economy that are allowed to recline.

I know from experience, as soon as I recline my seat even the slightest, the first thing people do behind me to get in and out of their seat, is grab the top of mine like it’s a slingshot!

As luck has it, this usually happens when I have just closed my eyes for a cat nap and about to nod off.

Fisticuffs At 35,000 Feet

ramped airplane seat cartoon

After about 8 hours into our flight, I looked over to the two rows of seats in front of me where two grown adult men were having a vocal argument over their seats.  The man in front of the other was complaining about the other man constantly grabbing, moving, pushing and kicking his seat as it was reclined.

The male flight attendant was called and immediately one of the men became defensive and started arguing even louder.  The senior flight attendant was summoned and the man that was least offensive was moved to another seat further forward.

This altercation was all as a result of reclining seats and with little to no room left for the passenger behind that seat to move without bumping or touching the seat in front of him.

Survey Conducted On Lounging Seats

Airplane Seat Cartoon

What I found most interesting about the article on this topic was that most people traveling in economy class do prefer seats to be locked in their position and not able to recline back.  A survey conducted by Skyscanner revealed that;

Ninety percent of those surveyed would like to see a ban placed on reclining seats or more strict rules in place for longer flights.

I totally agree and would be happy to have my seat stay in the upright position for the entire flight.  I would gladly give up a few more inches in the recline position to have more breathing space and comfort in front of me.

Why couldn’t airlines put the seats in a comfortable locked position?  It seems like it could be such an easy fix, but I haven’t seen an airline implement this yet.  Have you?

Common Sense & Courtesy

Airplane Reclining Seat Cartoon

To me, as with most issues concerning etiquette and like my post on 💺 Pool Chair Etiquette on cruise ships and all-inclusive resorts, it just boils down to simple common courtesy.  In this case, with airlines now squishing  you in like sardines to begin with, wouldn’t it be nice if the person in front asked if it would be alright to recline the seat for a short while to nap?

Is that person really that selfish of others?

Do these people really not know or care that the seats are close together, and by reclining it would cause even more tight conditions?

If this is the case, then yes, I think more strict rules should come into play for seats on airlines that are so close together, you can barely get out of them without grabbing and holding on to the seat in front.

Premium Economy Class

Premium Economy Airplane Seats

It appears, airlines are trying to fix the problem by adding Premium Economy Class. By adding an additional section on the aircraft, they can now have consumers pay more to get more on a limited basis!

Final Thoughts Banner

For me, it is nice to know that I am not the only one that gets annoyed by such things as this, and that even major travel websites and companies are taking notice of such things.

As years go by, airlines keep cutting back and charging more and more for everything they possibly can.  At the same time, adding more rows of seats into their airplanes, making economy class long haul flights exhausting! 🙁

Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂

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