2 min read

Reclining airplane seats : work of the Devil!

Reclining airplane seats!! I shake my fist at thee. This one feature on airplanes has caused me untold miseries. Ok! I exaggerate .. a little. I live Vancouver, which is one the other side of the planet with respect to my hometown. As a result, I spend at least 30 hours on an plane, once a year. To compound, my 6’ 5” (196 cm) frame does not mix well with cramped spaces.

Dan Kois on Slate, says

everyone on the plane would be better off if no one reclined; the minor gain in comfort when you tilt your seat back 5 degrees is certainly offset by the discomfort when the person in front of you does the same. But of course someone always will recline her seat, like the people in the first row, or the woman in front of me, whom I hate. (At least we’re not in the middle seat. People who recline middle seats are history’s greatest monsters.)

Macro and Merlin agree.

Usually the conversation goes like this:

Me: “Sir/Ma’am, would you mind letting me know before you recline? My legs are up against the back of your seat, and if you do, my knees will be crushed.”
Potential Recliner: “Sure!”

*[2 hours later]: The seat reclines *
Me: “Gaaaa!!!”

In the four legs of the journey, if I get one “recliner” in the seat in front of me, I usually spend about 10 hours standing. Yes, I used to pay for my seat, and stand all the way through.

For the love of god, next time, maybe a quick check might be a good idea before you decide to recline. This way, you will help save crushed knees of some poor-souls.

Note: Cathay Pacific has an interesting solution. Their shell seats mean no reclining!.

Later: I spoke too soon! Cathay has reverted to their reclining seats. Who cares about numb butts. Just get up and walk!