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Why must that seat recline?

Last September I went on holiday and yes you could be forgiven for thinking “What’s the big deal about going on holiday?”. This holiday was in fact my first solo trip… eeek! Today’s post isn’t about the holiday, you’ll hear about that shortly. Instead this post is related to the journey leading up to the first destination… Hope you agree with what you read…

My holiday involved going halfway across the world, taking two flights, and more than 18 hours to complete… Why oh why can planes not go any faster?? I do have a habit of going off on a tangent, but back to the point.

Seats and reclining! Don’t be that person… This is not a post for those of you in front, but for those of you behind, my sympathies…

Yes I know what you’re thinking… “What on earth is this guy talking about…”.

Give me a moment, you will soon know what I am talking about.

With flights being one of the most common forms of long haul travel, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me you used one airline or another during your last holiday. Tell me something… Are you a celebrity having booked a luxurious first class seat? Did you go on a work trip and have quite comfy business seats? Or are you like me and did you book economy seats in one of the many millions of airlines that are available today?

I’ll keep the focus of this post on economy seats. There is a lot to think about when booking your flight in relation to the seats alone; width, pitch, and even the number of seats in each row. Tell me, how many of you actually looked at this stuff when you last booked a flight. The reality is, when most people book a flight, they look at the price of the ticket and nothing else. I would recommend doing this research before your next flight, in particular seat width, pitch, and airline rating, I always check out https://www.airlinequality.com, try doing the same, you’ll find a tonne of useful information on that website.

Now… Seats…

Let me tell you a story… As you already know I went on holiday last September. I took a flight. I did my research and ended up choosing Qatar as the airline that I travelled with, and of course, an economy seat. Anyone who has flown with any airline knows that there is a foldable mini table and a small LCD screen integrated into the back of the seat in front of you… Oh and the main topic of this post… these seats can recline.

I’m predicting two different responses from people who read this post. 

The first response will be “What’s the big deal?”, which will be from the following people:

1 – The recliners

2 – Those who don’t fly economy

3 – Those who don’t fly

The second response will be “OH HOW I HATE THOSE RECLINERS”, and this will be from:

1 – Everyone else in the economy cabin

You may be wondering whose perspective I’ll be coming from next, rest assured I belong to the “Everyone else in the economy cabin” group and I cannot stand reclined seats.

So back to last September… I generally opt for window seats as I enjoy looking outside the window and seeing the clouds go by, I don’t know I guess it appeals to the little kid in me.

All is fine and dandy until the guy in front of me decides to recline his seat… The only question I have here is “Why?”, I can not see why anyone would need to recline such seats. Imagine this scenario, you’re at work, sitting on a standard seat for hours on end, do you recline those seats? No, you wouldn’t, but you do on an aeroplane, purely because you can, and you want an experience that’s above the basic economy experience. You might think “Why shouldn’t I recline my seat? I want to be comfortable”, but I think you’ve forgotten something… There is someone sitting behind you!!!

Now back to my story… There I was sitting at my window seat, and a few hours in, I believe it was dark outside now, the person sitting in front of me decided to recline his seat. The first thought that went through my head was “Woah!!”. Within the “recliners there are a subset, those people who recline their seat slightly, and those who go all the way. I must admit I don’t mind those who recline their seat slightly, its tolerable. Those people who want to go all the way down are the people who I find very hard to tolerate. 

There are two main reasons why people behind don’t like reclined seats. The first reason is if the seat comes all the way down, the seat gets quite close to your face, into your personal space, and it can feel quite claustrophobic in this scenario. The second reason will affect the taller passengers more, but may have an impact on everyone, when the seat comes down you may find your knees feel the squeeze. For me both of these reasons had an equally large impact and it led to some drastic action on my part. Before I carry on, I have to say don’t judge, I’m sure you all have done something like this at some stage. So here I go, as the seat went beyond a tolerable level, I intentionally used my knees to stop it going any further. I know this may be controversial for some of you, and especially for the recliners themselves, but the recliners need to understand that they need to be considerate to the people behind them as they may face the same inconvenience from in front of them at some stage in the future.

So what has been the effect of this on me… I have stopped selecting window seats and have been opting for aisle seats going forward. I feel the advantage of this is that if the person in front of me does decide to fully recline, at least I can stick my head out into the aisle, thereby preventing that sense of claustrophobia and invasion of personal space.

Recliners…I tell you this, think of your fellow man and woman, don’t be that person… don’t recline!!!

If you’re a traveller you must have flown on at least some of your travels. Along the way I’m sure you  have used economy seats on the flight at some stage. Did you have anyone sitting in front of you? Did  that person recline their seat when you were trying to get comfortable in your seat? This is what my post is  about. Which group do you fall into???

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