Travel: Nonsense: or “How to Deal With Rude Airplane Seat Recliners” | Time Magazine

“Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than shrinking leg room on airplanes is when a passenger reclines their seat, further encroaching on already tight space. While the impulse is understandable, the shift in angle can lead to severe discomfort. So what should you do when someone decides to lean back into your knees or laptop — especially when they don’t ask in advance or give you a hard time about it?” Source: How to Deal With Rude Airplane Seat Recliners

My Comment: Welcome to modern America… I once had someone complain that I should put my seat fully upright, when it wasn’t nearly all of the way back, on a flight going from Atlanta, GA to London, UK — which left in the evening no less. When I wouldn’t raise my seat to the full upright position, when we were allowed to have it reclined per safety protocols, she called the flight attendant over and complained to her. The flight attendant promptly told her that it was within my right to recline, and quickly walked away. The woman continued to complain for a bit but no doubt tired herself out.

Allow me to explain why her antics bothered me so. Firstly, though I didn’t need to share this with her, I had (and still have) multiple problematic discs. A strictly upright flight overseas would not only have been uncomfortable, it would have been fairly painful.

Secondly, the person complaining wanted to be more comfortable whilst working (or playing) on her laptop. She wanted me, and potentially any other person somewhat reclining in front of her, to be less comfortable so that she could be more comfortable — operating her laptop. Did this one not realise that the purpose of a reclining seat is to… recline the seat. Did she not realise that the purpose of reclining the seat is to make the flight more comfortable, especially a long one. No one should have to be uncomfortable because you want to work, or play, or watch your movie, on the plane. Work at home, work at your destination, prioritize your duties; don’t expect others to be uncomfortable because you want to do something not essential to an eight hour flight (resting, for example, to deal with the potential of jet lag, etc., is far more of an inherent necessity to air travel than someone working/playing on their computer).

Thirdly, the woman was huge. She would have had plenty of room for her laptop if she wasn’t so morbidly obese. Look, I was way quite overweight too at one point, am still trying to lose thirty more pounds, know how hard it is to fight that battle, but it never gave me the right to infringe upon others — that would have been dishonourable. If your eating habits are such that you cannot fit anywhere close to comfortably in an airplane seat, and your expectation is that others should suffer as a result, you’re truly not very bright and/or not very considerate yourself. If you know you need more room to sit/work, pay the extra money, and go first class.

Sadly, we live in an age of entitlement that states, “I should be able to eat what I want, when I want, do what I want, and it if means encroaching upon the space, needs, and legitimate desires of others, so what — it’s what I want that counts, it’s all about me — and you better not try to “shame me” either.” How about this, if you know you need to fly in the upcoming weeks or months, give the keto diet a try, give intermittent fasting a try, go for extended walks everyday, and get your work done pre-flight, so that if someone wants to have a legitimately comfortable flight, per the very design of the seats, they can do so without having to be inconvenienced by your poor life choices and bad attitude. We all have the same rights, we should all be at liberty to be comfortable, but our rights and our liberty should not trump someone else’s rights and liberties. We should not expect others to compensate, let alone over-compensate, for our bad decisions. Now clearly, there are exceptions to the rule (e.g. legitimate significant physical disability), but being oversized whilst wanting to use your laptop isn’t one of those exceptions… and thus, people need to get a grip.

Look folks, not trying to be mean, rude, or crude… just being honest, just keeping it real… it may not go over well in this politically-correct, snowflake society of ours, but it is the truth.  May everyone enjoy their next flight, with wisdom, prudence, and some semblance of honour.

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