To recline or not recline....

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by beach1103, Mar 14, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. beach1103

    beach1103 Silver Member

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    I never really paid any attention to this until an experience on a recent flight...

    I normally am seated in the last row (of First Class - when upgraded) so if I were to recline my seat I would not disturb the person behind me. On a recent flight, I was unable to get that seat so I was seated with someone one seated behind me. After we reached 10k feet I SLOWLY put my seat back, as I was in for a 5 hour flight, and wanted to be as comfortable as possible. The person seated behind me hit the back of my seat and told me that I should not recline my seat as it was interfering with his "personal space". In all of my years of flying, this is the first time that I had someone tell me not to recline my seat (especially in First Class). I made a conscience effort to not just recline my seat with no regard for the person behind me as I have been seated behind people that recline their seat pretty fast.

    This got me thinking.....is there a "seat recline" protocol or courtesy that I should be paying more attention to? I have always thought of it as the cost of flying (and maybe I get lucky and the person in front me chooses not to recline their seat)

    Just curious...far from a critical concern... :)
     
  2. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    For me, you did the right thing and that person acted like a douche.
     
  3. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    Oh no! Not the always-controversial "Am I allowed to use a design feature of my airplane seat" thread! IMO, reclining is completely acceptable as long as it meets these requirements:
    1) It is not done so quickly that someone could actually be hurt or something could be broken or knocked out of someone's hands
    2) It is not done while the person behind you is bent over getting something out of a stowed bag -- I've had this happen to me, and I almost couldn't get back to an upright position
    3) It is not done to an extent that prevents someone from eating a meal or placing an open laptop on their tray table
     
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  4. cordray2643
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    cordray2643 Silver Member

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    For me, reclining in a first class cabin is fine, I do not prefer going all the way back, but fine if the person in front of me does. The other cabins are different. Even with Economy Plus, or the like, I never recline my seat, nor do I like the person in front of me to recline. Back there I have trouble even looking at my laptop when the seat in front of me is reclined. But, I want to stress that this is just the way I do it. If you feel entitled to recline your seat and you do not care about the passengers wants around you, then you should recline your seat if you want. Having said that, I think that it is always fine to recline your seat in the first class cabin.

    I think that I might be confused about my opinion or so it seems in my head.
     
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  5. cordray2643
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    cordray2643 Silver Member

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    #3 pretty much rules out all reclining other than Business and First Class.
     
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  6. mherdeg
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    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Some folks will intentionally adjust their recline all the way forwards during mealtime and then resume reclining after the meal service is over & the person behind them is done eating.
     
  7. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    I tend to do this, and when I recline, it's usually only a little, and very gently done.
     
  8. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Number 3 happens to me all the time, particularly with the laptop. It's not that I have a big laptop either. But when someone fully reclines, anything larger than a tablet becomes impossible to use.

    And number 2 has happened to me more than once when I was leaned over pulling my laptop out. One time I really could not get back up, and the guy in front of me was a real jerk about letting me sit back up. Sadly, it took a flight attendant's intervention because my head really was trapped under his seat.
     
  9. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    First of all, I HATE it when someone in front of me reclines their seat, as I am rather tall. That said, it's their right. And it's your right too.

    Now, all that said. If the person who reclines their seat in front of me acts like a douche in general, then I open up the air valve and point it as far forward as I can. I rarely do this, but there have been a couple of times.

    You should not have to feel so guilty about reclining your seat. Your thoughtfulness is admirable, but you're over-thinking this.

    I'm also one of those who seldom reclines their seat. If I do, it's only for a minimal ways. Mostly because I don't find the amount of recline comfortable enough, and sitting up is usually better for me.

    In your situation, I would have gone to the FA and asked if there is any way you could be re-seated. Chances are, the answer is no, but IF it happened, you'd make the person behind you feel like an idiot. Secondly, it might be able to get the FA to help your case. I'm sure they might have a suggestion or two on how to handle people like that.

    Just my two cents.
     
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Once he hits the back of your seat (i.e. declines to be polite), simply respond that his personal space starts at the back of your seat - wherever that may be - and he's welcome to recline HIS to match.
     
  11. beach1103

    beach1103 Silver Member

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    The funny part is that I got up and looked and HIS seat was reclined as well! :)
     
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  12. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Yes, but reclining your seat to match doesn't solve the problem of the person in front of you being in your lap.

    The real problem is that the amount of recline in most seats is too great for the seat pitch. You can't have great recline and lousy pitch and not expect someone to suffer.

    I just try to book into the bulkhead row in domestic F as much as possible to avoid having someone reclining into my lap. I'm rather tall and it doesn't take much recline in front of me before the seat in front of me is touching my knees. I also like to get work done in flight rather often, and someone reclining all the way back tends to make that impossible.
     
  13. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    That's really funny.

    In C/J/F I don't think it matters, although sometimes the seat really reclines pretty far back and you are looking straight at the back of someone's head, esp on SFO/LAX-JFK transcons.

    In coach, I look behind me, and if the person behind me has reclined their seat, I recline mine as well. At that point even if they complain you can just say they are doing it too. And if the person in front of me reclines their seat, I turn to the person behind me, and say "i'm so sorry, the person in front of me reclined their seat, so I have to do it as well in order to use my laptop." If neither has reclined, I generally don't do it unless I am super tired and want to sleep.
     
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  14. maromero02

    maromero02 Active Member

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    I just think is sickening that a person should worry about reclining a seat in FIRST CLASS.. I mean isn't the point of FC to have enough space?? Just a thought. I find FC in the 757, 737,320 and other aircraft to be a little uncomfortable.... I'm the person that when someone in front of me reclines their seat I accommodate myself because when the time comes for me to recline my seat I don't want to hear it from anyone...
     
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  15. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    We talked about this a bit a couple months ago, though this thread reminds me of a ATL-IAD flight last week, where the guy next to me (8A) on a CR7 was frantically slamming his seat back before the gear was even retracted.

    The whole topic really makes me laugh. There are some people out there who just have to do it, like 3" of recline on a CRJ is going to make that 55 minute flight that much more tolerable. This was the same "rules don't apply to me" guy, who after having to be specifically told to turn off his iPad (twice), simply flipped the cover, waited for the FA to walk away, then resumed writing his email.

    Though I tend to lump those folks into the same category as the Group 4 and 5 people that try to board with Group 1 and 2 and act surprised when the gate agent tells them it's not their turn. Yeah, that giant bold number on your boarding pass... that thing... means it's not your turn. We just can't fix stupid.

    </rant>
     
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  16. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Agreed but please do not insult douches like that as this pax was a putz, plane and simple
     
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  17. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    IMO, this is the main issue regarding reclining a seat... especially in Y, but in F, not so much. In Y, one should be considerate of the pax seated behind you, e.g. tall/long legs, amount of space available before reclining, etc. A little bit of recline is always acceptable in Y. It's those folks that have total disregard for anyone behind them that slam their seat back right into your laptop that really light me up! :mad:
     
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  18. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Indeed, a real douche!
     
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  19. ella
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    ella Silver Member

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    I usually only recline my seat on red-eye flights. I don't mind if person in front of me reclines but would prefer the "warning" that a slow recline gives rather than the rude ones who insist on reclining as quickly as possible.
     
  20. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Seat are designed to recline for a reason. They make air travel more comfortable (or less uncomfortable). That said, their responsible use shouldn't have to be on a placard for all to see. It's just common sense.

    I'm one who reclines, as I like to sleep during most flights. This may change when/if we ever get reliable wi-fi on UA, but for now, it's a great way to pass the useless time. Whether in first or economy, I always look behind me to see if I'm about to break someone's laptop screen off of its hinges or spill their drink into their lap. Once the way seems clear to recline, I do it slowly to make sure I didn't miss something.

    I wouldn't have even responded to the guy referenced by the OP. If he persisted after being ignored, I would probably step out of my seat and ask the FA to handle it. The last thing I would want to experience is having the FA observe an argument over something so ridiculous and think that I had anything to do with it.

    On a pair of US flights recently, I was in F, but the seats were spaced more like E+. It was a struggle exiting my window seat to go to the lav with the two people in the row ahead of me in full decline position, but that was the airline's fault - not the passengers'.

    A much bigger pet peeve of mine is having people behind me use my seat back as a hand rail. I have had my hair pulled, been awakened, spilled a drink on my shirt, etc. from having my seat suddenly and unexpectedly jolted by someone pulling this stunt. Again, it's a lack of common sense, common courtesy or both.
     
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  21. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I've never reclined my seat. I'm usually in a window seat, so if I want to try to sleep, I'll just lean against the wall of the plane.
     
  22. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Congrats?

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  23. zippypinhead

    zippypinhead Gold Member

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    I don't mind 'em pulling on my seatback so much. It's when the pull it back and then let go turning the seatback into a slingshot that pisses me off.:rolleyes:
     
  24. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Good manners along with awareness of one's surroundings is good practice. Reclining part way, slowly, should always be understood by all to be acceptable practice unless there are significant reasons such as poor design or extra long legs to require otherwise. Trying not to bounce or slingshot the person in front of you strikes me as part of good manners as well. I have not recently run into this problem in F or E+. I used to in PMCO E as the extra inches have made a big difference in my experiences.
     
  25. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    My dad has Alzheimer's, and he lived with me for two years until it just became too unsafe for him to be in a non-nursing residence. I took him with me on several flights to visit family, plus one to Panama (He really lit up with joy when I MADE him go with me to see the canal. Best decision I've made in years.)

    I always booked him in F, as he was just too unsteady (and overweight) to try to maneuver him any farther back into the plane. It took me one trip to learn the importance of booking bulkhead seats. I hate them, but it was the only way I could keep him from doing exactly as you describe. Problem solved.
     
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