Recline rancor: Passenger recalls seat dispute

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  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 8, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    Count me on the side of the guy with the Knee Defender. I hate it when people recline into my space when I am trying to get some work done or read on a flight. Nor do I recline my seat into anyone else's space. It's not that difficult to sit up for a few hours. I've had long international flights where it is reasonable to expect people to recline for sleep, but who can't sit up straight for an hour or even 4.

  • ER in AF Harare, Zimbabwe, 00
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    I fly around 30-40K miles every year. I did around 75K last year. Nothing mega-big, but each year that totals around 1 and a half times around the world. Long flights usually mean you are going to sleep. So guess what, I recline. It takes about 40 hours for me to get home and 40 to get back here at "home" in Zimbabwe. I pay for the functions of the seat and use them when I want to sleep. If it is time to eat,I put the seat forward and don't use it until all food has been picked up. otherwise I use it when I want to recline. As can the person behind me. Pretty straightforward. If someone were to use this device on my seat, I would immediately, every time, call the flight attendant and have it removed. Every time. Every time. period

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    Anybody who uses those devices is wrong to do so.

    The passenger sitting in front of him paid for a seat that reclined.

    He rendered it inoperable.

    He should be made to pay for the cost of her flight . . . At the very least.

  • RickChappell Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 3, 2014 11:23 p.m.

    Wow. Preventing a person from reclining is a violation of their rights? Rob me of what I paid for? I don't think I've ever such a state of entitlement before. How about the person behind you? Do they not have a right for reasonable comfort as well? Having someone recline their seat back in your face, particularly if they are in a seat that doesn't recline is the absolute definition of rudeness. Didn't they pay for a seat as well? Shouldn't they have reasonable space?
    The key here is that just because you have a "right" to do something, doesn't mean you should do something.
    I bet if an airline created seat spaces based on size so tall people had adequate leg space and shorter people were not allowed in them, they'd be crying discrimination as well.
    The real problem here isn't the airline, cramped seating or a knee defender, it's the self centered attitudes people have.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Sept. 3, 2014 10:55 p.m.

    When you buy a ticket you buy the upper front part of the seat you are sitting on and the back of the seat in front of you and the underside of the seat in front of you.

    This is the fault of the airlines. They put too many people on the plane and complain about weight and fuel costs. They charge to check a bag yet don't have enough room for everyone to carry a carryon. I have been on planes abroad where the typical user is inches shorter and a lot skinnier than us Americans and those seats and the legroom is perfectly fine no matter where I am seated. It's very odd.

  • ipr Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    @freedom seeker. Problem is solved if you sit in an emergency row, or chose an isle seat.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 3, 2014 5:27 p.m.

    I at least appreciate the fact the this regular flier admitted that he was ashamed for his behavior.That tells me a lot about the person and that he has learned a good lesson from his regretted behavior.
    I suspect we would all be pretty embarrassed if our road rage was put up on a big screen for our families, friends and associates to see.
    Likewise some of the observations made from the safety of a key board would make many of us look less than tolerant.
    Hopefully we are learning from others' 'less than tolerant' behavior.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    Anyone who buys a swat that will recline expects it to be able to recline. That goes with the price of their seat and the price of your seat does not prevent them from reclining....not at all. The seats in front of the first row of exit seats won't recline. Get a seat in that row and work on your computer to your hearts content. Plus, the row is wider, too, for emergency exiting purposes.

    Once Frontier Airlines changed equipment to a slightly smaller plane and took me out of a window seat and put me in a middle seat in front of the exit row. Not only did I not have an aisle or window seat, but my seat would not recline. And it was a full flight and I had no choice; wasn't even asked about it. I was a little steamed at Frontier. Couple that with the one time I flew on a Frontier segment from Denver to Durango, CO and had dozens of flights on Delta with no damage to my bag only to have significant damage on this one solitary Frontier segment. Sorry, Frontier, you lost a paying customer.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 3, 2014 5:00 p.m.

    The airlines are becoming more barbaric all the time. They ought to be ashamed of the way they treat their customers. "Let's see how shoddy we can make this experience and how miserable we can make the customer before he won't take it anymore." That was the attitude of the American car companies until the Asians started to eat their lunch with cars that were actually affordable and high quality.

    The day of reckoning for the airlines will come, and they will be shocked when it happens.

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    These devices need to be banned and anyone caught using one should be fined or put on the no fly list. The nerve of some jerks. If he is that tall or someone is too large they will need to pay for a seat that accommodates them and does not require someone else to sacrifice their own comfort. I will be reclining on my next flight and I expect the passenger in front of me will too.

  • Freedom Seeker Riverton, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    I am six feet tall with long legs. When I sit in coach my knees are jammed into the seat back in front of me. That is with the seat in front of me upright. If the person in front of me reclines, the seat back protrudes into my space even more crushing my kneecaps.

    We all hear about the risk of getting blood clots from sitting in a stationary position for long periods of time. We are told to keep moving our legs around to maintain circulation. That is impossible with the seat back in front of me reclined and nearly impossible if its upright. Wake up people....wake up airlines.

  • Humbly Yours Camas, WA
    Sept. 3, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    I travel regularly for my employment and from a purely philosophical point of view, believe that preventing a person from reclining is a violation of their rights. Just as you would have the right to recline, so should they. Any claim that there are rights to extra space for typing on a laptop is not implied by the airline at all, evidenced by the way the planes are built, and the reclining features permitted on every seat.

    A person's voluntary willingness to NOT recline so that you may type more comfortably on your laptop is the only way this works. And a kind request, along with an offer to buy them a drink or swipe your card for their movie is a wonderfully effective option.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    When I pay for a seat on an airplane, I am paying for the full functionality of the seat, including its reclining capabilities. If an inconsiderate saboteur wants to rob me of what I paid for, all for his own convenience, and is so dishonest as to hide behind me hoping I will mistake his selfish act for a broken seat, then he should pay for part of my ticket!

    If you don't like people reclining in front of you, buy a more expensive ticket and pay for your own luxury and comfort! But don't deprive someone of the comfort for which they have paid!

  • ipr Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    I am flying to Europe next month and I have paid the extra $65 per one way trip for the international portion, so that I will have more leg space and can recline my seat more. Will I recline? You bet ya! A business man who want to work while flying, can always fly first class. People are given the option to recline their seat, and if they want to do so, so be it.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    "I'd rather just kind of let them think the seat is broken, rather than start a confrontation," he said."
    So rather than take the heat, he'd let the other passenger blame the airline for not keeping the plane maintained. Nice guy, huh?
    So when will someone develop a device to keep the youngster behind me from kicking the back of my seat?

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Sept. 3, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    There is "reclining" the seat and then there is "reclining" the seat. The first example is a 10-15 degree recline, an inch or two of backward tilt at most. The second example is when someone reclines so far that you cant even use you eating tray. Doing anything more than a slight tilt back is rude and unnecessary. Asking the person in back if your level of reclining is ok would also be a nice improvement.

    It can go both ways as well. I had an experience once where I put a book on the eating tray and begain to read. Every time i moved this lady looked back to see what was causing the vibration to her seat. That seemed excessive to me.

  • SEC Rules Seminole, FL
    Sept. 3, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    We sent a man to the moon. Phones have become computers, and vice versa. So why can't we build a economy seat that is at least somewhat civilized?

    Airline travel today is stressful enough without the pain and discomfort of straight jackets they call seats.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 3, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    Common courtesy and turning the other cheek are things of the past. Two jerks who disrupted the lives of others.