Is it rude to recline your seat on a plane?

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Comments (13)
  • Anonymous says:

    A couple behind my travelling companion and I were loudly talking amongst themselves during the flight safety briefing. I looked behind me and informed them that should they continued to talk at this time, I will recline my seat during the entirety of the flight. The couple remained silent during the remainder of the aforementioned briefing.

  • Paula Hocking Blight says:

    Really, why are you even going to bother having a reclining seat if you can’t recline it when you wish. Perhaps airlines need to stop putting in reclining chairs.
    But I will continue to recline when it’s appropriate.

  • Tod Gillespie says:

    If I pay for the seat on a longhaul flight and someone wakes me so the person behind cat eat more comfortably, I would be livid!

    If everyone reclined the seats the spacing stays the same.

  • Martin Scarpino says:

    If you can recline, do it! During meal time its a no go! If you don’t like it book a front row seat or upgrade to another class. Seats features are there to be used and guarantee in each class as much as possible comfort for each individual traveller. I do agree its tight, but thats the deal.

  • Sharon says:

    I recline only on international overnight flights but this article has prompted me to let the person behind me know before doing so.
    I am often in the middle seat as hubby likes the aisle or window. I keep my arms within the boundry of my seat. It really annoys me when the other person beside me takes over the arm rest, including elbows on my side of the seat. Am I just being precious? What do you think?

  • Andrew says:

    Does reclining actually give you more leg room? I think not.
    When the seat in front is reclined I can no longer watch the inflight entertainment as I can’t focus (that close).
    What really annoys me is when a tiny person reclines and and uses the magazine storage as a foot rest! How dare they be so comfortable.
    And don’t get me started on overhead lockers …

  • Roman Vekselstein says:

    Reclining has always been a contentious issue and I agree with reclining only on long haul flights, being respectful and checking before you recline, and reclining to sleep. Alternatively airlines should stop cramming seats together which seems to be the case especially post-COVID.

  • Keith says:

    I agree you should not be allowed to recline on a domestic flight. I like the idea that an extra indicator light for recline be included and controlled by cabin staff and no recline at all at meal times.

    Further it would be nice to ask why do we have to. Lose our window shade when it’s a sunny day outside …. I prefer to leave mine open and I find it annoying particularly now aircraft have a centralised window shade controller… others views on this would be good.

  • Lyn says:

    I agree but get annoyed if people use the neck pillows behind them, then need to recline to the same angle they would be at. Use the pillow under the chin to support the head don’t put your head too forward onto your chest.

  • Maya Cremers says:

    I have just come off a long haul flight and to be honest, with the way we were crammed in it became apparent that airlines are money hungry and have lost sight of comfort for their passengers, if you are in economy you have still paid to fly and to not be able to have the room to get out of your seat to go to the toilet without others having to get out as well in your row, is disgusting and unsafe. I know this is not the discussion about reclining a seat but that issue compounds it as well. I had a seat in front of me shoot into my face as I was typing on my IPad and I was lucky it didn’t fly off the tray table as well. My drink did. The room in front of you and beside you has to change, it has now deterred me from flying long hauls and it’s no different in domestic. I’d rather do a cruise or take a train. If company’s want people to fly then make them comfortable. And I am sure more will fly. Win win.

  • David says:

    As a flyer with almost 1,000 flights under my belt, I know how contentious seat reclining can be. I agree: not on short haul or during meals. But I do wonder whether the ‘auto-recliner passenger’ ever reclines when sitting on their couch at home? Is it something special about a plane seat? Just because it can doesn’t mean you should; frankly, that’s a silly argument. For me, I recline when going to sleep or watching a movie, but I recline the minimum amount to be comfortable, which is nowhere near as far back as it can go. During meals, if I need help, I always ask the flight attendant; I wouldn’t want to risk an in-flight incident. That said, on a recent flight, we had just taken off and the seat in front shot backwards. I said “Really?” The occupant looked at me and straightened the seat to almost the original position. Solved! C’mon people, a little bit of consideration will make the world a happier place.

  • patricia thompson says:

    Yeah a light advising it’s okay to recline is a brilliant idea

  • Pamela Dowd says:

    The one consideration never discussed is that there are travelers with physical issues that sitting upright or being unable to modify the seat position from time to time causes extreme discomfort. I must use two cushions and constantly alter the positions even on short flights. I am careful whenever I move my seat but there are times when I must recline the seat.