Oddly enough, today I’ve run across two articles about people who recline on airplanes. This happens to be one of my pet peeves. I’m short and I have short legs, but it still annoys me when the person in front of me on a plane reclines. I know it’s their “right”, since the seats are capable of reclining. But everybody is packed in the plane like sardines and reclining takes away some of that space. Plus, it makes it hard to get out of the seat to go to the bathroom. Then when you have to hang onto the seat to stand up, the recliner gives you a dirty look.
I never recline, even on long haul flights. I find that it doesn’t make me any more comfortable than I would otherwise be. Plus, I know it annoys me when people recline, so I don’t do it to other people. That being said, what is even more distressing to me are the comments people leave when they read these articles. They get incredibly rude and show a disturbing trend toward uncivil behavior toward other people. Case in point, this article from Slate.com… And this one from the Smarter Travel blog… The comments and passion generated over this issue leads me to think that most people are selfish assholes.
I did find it interesting, though, that some enterprising person came up with a device to stop people from reclining and smashing his knees. Knee Defender hooks onto the tray table and makes it impossible to lean back. I have to admit, I’m tempted to get them, except I don’t like to fly with my table down anyway.
We have a couple of long haul flights coming up in May. Makes me wish I had a medical connection to give me some Ambien and knock my ass out so I don’t care if people lay back in my lap.
What I think is funny is that the people who made Knee Defender also made little printable notes you can pass to the person in front of you, letting them know that you’ve taken away their ability to recline. I don’t know how I’d react if I got one of those things. Since I never recline, I guess no one would ever have to use them with me.
Probably the rudest experience I ever had on a plane was in April 2010. We were on a very delayed flight and people were pissed off because we were stuck in St. Thomas at the airport all day. The flight was kind of rough and the seat belt sign was on for most of it. The lady who was sharing our row had a tight connection, so when we landed, I stepped out in the aisle to help her get her stuff down from the overhead bin.
Suddenly, I heard a voice from behind me say, “Excuse me, Ma’am. We need to get through.”
Before I had a chance to move, this woman and her two overgrown teenaged sons literally pushed me into the row of seats. I was absolutely fuming. I actually glared at the woman and said, “Do you think you’re the only person on this flight who has a tight connection? What the hell is wrong with you?”
It took Delta about ten minutes to open the door, so she probably missed her flight. It would serve her right.
I hate flying. I love traveling, though… so what can I do?