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Air travel etiquette and cultural values

Back in March, I wrote an article titled “Why must that seat recline?” and my further travels have prompted me to rethink my views on the matter. This time I won’t be going on a rant like last time but more so I will talk about how this problem is viewed differently in a couple of other cultures.

Shortly after writing that article I went on my travels once more, this time opting for travel with a group tour on my adventures across Vietnam. Many of my companions in this tour group were American and Australian so this article will come based on the discussions that I have had with them. Now I’m not saying that all Americans and Australians will have this opinion but equally, I’m not saying that they don’t all have this opinion. I’d love to know your opinion on this matter related to air-travel etiquette, whether you feel strongly in one side other the other, it would be great to hear your thoughts.

Now let us get back on track.

In the previous post, I spoke about how there are a small number of people who like to recline their seats, causing inconvenience to the people behind. This is not just my opinion, although I do agree with this, the opinion is that of numerous different individuals. One thing that I did not take into account at that stage is that all of the individuals that I had spoken to were British. Could it be that the aversion to seat recliners is a view that is associated with British culture?

On speaking with my travel companions on this matter, I soon came to know that their views greatly differed to that of my own. The view that I had been given by some of those that I had been travelling with was essentially that of a domino effect – “If the person in front of you reclines their seat then you recline yours, and the person behind you will recline theirs”. This statement is all good in theory, but my response to this domino effect theory is that it assumes everyone is willing to recline their seat, and at a time that is convenient to the person who starts this chain reaction.

Picture this, You are asleep you could wake up to find the seat in front of you too close for comfort or even, you have food/drink on your table the items on your table may spill when the seat in front of you reclines. Would you like if this happened to you?

I guess there are two different viewpoints here

  1. Try not to inconvenience those behind you, which is the dominant view of those I had previously spoken to.
  2. If someone has taken an action, in order for you not to be inconvenienced, you should take that same action, and people behind you will have to make that same choice themselves.

Both views have their own merits and I guess there may not be one overall correct answer.

Heres some food for thought, go business/first class 😉 then you wont need to worry about any of this.

Ok ok, before you all shoot me for making you spend more money, let us bring this post to a close, see you all next time.

Before you go, don’t forget to send me your thoughts; do you think this is a view that is shaped by a person’s culture, or is just something that is based on personal opininon.

What to do about flights?

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