America in crisis: Should airline passengers be allowed to use “Knee Defender” to stop seats from reclining?

posted at 8:41 pm on August 26, 2014 by Allahpundit

To cleanse the palate, I’ve suffered through maybe eight hours of debate about reclining plane seats on Twitter today so you’re going to suffer through two minutes. Besides, as Mollie Hemingway says, we need to reach a national consensus on this important issue.

The video explains it well enough but if you simply must have a news account, here’s Reuters. My sympathies lie, very reluctantly, with the woman. She paid the airline for the seat, the airline allows its seats to recline (although not all airlines do), ergo she was entitled to recline even though she’s an inhuman monster for further reducing what little legroom these sardine cans allow nowadays. Should she be asked not to recline? By all means. Should she be shunned by the other passengers if she insists on reclining? I think it’d be helpful. Should her seat be manually locked in place by someone who didn’t pay for it, though? Well, no. If computer guy needed workspace that desperately, he could have popped for first class. Letting one passenger commandeer parts of another’s seat can lead to only one outcome, my friends: With an air-travel arms race, in which anti-recliners bring Knee Defenders aboard and pro-recliners bring some new technology, probably called Knee Crusher or something, that’s capable of unlocking Knee Defender if it’s placed on the seat behind them. Then the anti-recliners will find technology that beats that, then the pro-recliners will respond, and soon you’ve got open carry happening in the cabin just in case anyone reaches for that button on their seat arm.

Isn’t the obvious solution here for airlines to sell reclining and non-reclining seats? Set up a section or column of seats that don’t recline for the laptop crowd and let them choose that. You wouldn’t even have to charge extra. Just let people self-sort.


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I’d rather be behind a recliner than beside an obese person whose bulk won’t fit into one seat, but instead spills over into mine.

maryo on August 27, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Actually, United is the only airline that is peanut-free.

Ronnie on August 27, 2014 at 3:01 AM

United is everything-free. I flew them from Newark to LA and back a few days ago.

No staff at check in. It’s all those terminals, and most of them can’t read your CC or your passport. They can only look up your reservation code.

Then the flights are oversold. People truck on the most ridiculously excessive carry on. Both women to my left and right had shopping bags and backpacks that would not fit under the seats in front of them. So, they stuffed the bag between their spread legs and intruded into my leg room. For all five hours.

No free inflight entertainment. No peanuts. Not the friendliest flight crew.

Then they’re running those commercials for the airline telling you how wonderful everything is, and you are looking around you and seeing they’re totally full of bologna. Not flying United again. Now that US Airways, my usual airline, has left Star Alliance, I won’t have many opportunities to do so.

ezspirit on August 27, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Should her seat be manually locked in place by someone who didn’t pay for it, though?

Um, technically he applied the device to the tray, which he purchased and he has a right to use. This is a case of competing “rights” conveyed with the purchase of their respective tickets.

If the airline could not accommodate both of them, it should have graciously offered to exchange the seat for one or both of them. Perhaps, had they each been more civil, this could have been solved had they agreed to switch their seats!

I’m with him on this one.

microfiction on August 27, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Seats can be farther apart or closer together on any aircraft; in the industry it’s called seat pitch. Some airlines may choose to have tighter seat pitch with certain lines of aircraft than others, but it essentially has nothing to do with whether it’s Boeing or Airbus.

Chriscom on August 26, 2014 at 10:19 PM

No, seat pitch depends on when the airliner was ordered. They don’t redo the seats on a plane when it goes in for service — they design in the seat pitch at build time. Since the Airbuses are newer planes, they have a tighter pitch.

In fact, the airbus seats are designed to have a tighter pitch — look at the seatback pocket where the in flight magazine and the safety instructions are stored. There is no room in an airbus seat for anything else other than those items. You can’t tuck your paperback book in there when you get up to use the restroom — there isn’t enough room.

Hence, at this point in time, my instruction to my travel agent is a valid one.

Sooner or later, we will all be dealing with THIS:
http://www.latimes.com/business/travel/la-fi-airbus-seeks-patent-for-bicyclelike-airline-seat-20140711-story.html

unclesmrgol on August 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Do the airlines need to stop serving peanuts because you have a nut allergy too? Would you like the other passengers to pay for your birth control?

Ronnie on August 27, 2014 at 2:14 AM

Well, alrighty then, we know where YOU stand. You refuse to concede a couple of inches to a person in pain or a dozen peanuts to protect someone from anaphylactic shock. Got it. As long as you’re nice and comfy, it’s all good, right?

LilyBart on August 27, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Set up a section or column of seats that don’t recline for the laptop crowd and let them choose that.

There’s already a section of these seats – the seats immediately in front of the exit row do not recline fully.

No, seat pitch depends on when the airliner was ordered. They don’t redo the seats on a plane when it goes in for service — they design in the seat pitch at build time.

unclesmrgol on August 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

No. Seat pitch is something that can easily be altered after delivery, with a new railing system. Seat pitch is not “in stone” once you order a certain aircraft. It costs quite a bit of money to change, but airlines have certainly done so in the past when they thought it was to their advantage.

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I’m thinking that has to be so far back, that the planes were pterodactyls a la Flintstones :)

JetBoy on August 26, 2014 at 10:08 PM

JetBoy, I’m sorry you never got to experience a civilized society. It was really very nice back in the 1950′s, the era to which I was referring. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem enough to simply explain it to you young’uns, only to feel bad for you that you didn’t have the opportunity to experience it.

You think you’ve lost America. I could tell you stories.

NOMOBO on August 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

United is everything-free. …..
No staff at check in…..
Then the flights are oversold….
People truck on the most ridiculously excessive carry on….
No free inflight entertainment. No peanuts. Not the friendliest flight crew…..

ezspirit on August 27, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Most airlines are like that now. I’ve been (forced to) fly Southwest several times in the last few months, and this was my experience exactly. Although, we did get peanuts – but on one flight – they actually threw them at us (and not in the humorous, Southwest-y way).

What is the big deal with the peanuts – can you explain to me why people are so attached to those little bags of peanuts?

LilyBart on August 27, 2014 at 9:44 AM

No, the obvious solution is to let the market work. Say an airline decided to provide a few inches of extra space between coach seat rows and advertise that “Everybody deserves their own space, and we give it to you”. Guess what, frequent travelers, the target market for every airline, would flock to get on board, even if the airline charged $5 more a ticket, about what it would take to make up for the few rows they’d have to lose to make the space available…

TXUS on August 26, 2014 at 9:29 PM

THIS…and this.

OccamsRazor on August 27, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Others’ rights only go as far as not infringing on my rights. He infringed on hers – he is in the wrong.

What next? You can call the seats next to you “saved” (as in elementary school) and you think no one then can sit there?!?

miConsevative on August 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM

If you pay for a seat that reclines, you must be able to recline that seat. You are not infringing on another passenger’s ‘space’ when you recline your seat – that is your space. You have purchased the seat and you have the right to recline it as much as it can go.

Knee Defender mechanisms should not be allowed. They are put on someone else’s seat, which is paid for by someone else. The guy who put the Knee Defender on the woman’s seat was COMPLETELY in the wrong.

Now, the woman should not have thrown a drink at the guy, either. But I would not be too upset if she ‘accidently’ spilled her drink directly on his laptop…these things happen on planes, you know.

kutabeach on August 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM

I once picked the very front row window seat, which had extra leg room, but an older larger woman sat in the middle, and she smelled like old person. Like enough to make me want to hurl. She kept turning around to talk to her husband who was in the middle seat one row back.

I asked the flight attendant if I could switch with the guy so he could sit by his wife. Yes, it smelled that bad that I traded a window seat with leg room for a middle seat.

The flight attendant was so impressed with my selflessness that she offered to let me go to the very back of the plane to a completely empty row. Score! (I don’t stand up as soon as the plane stops, waiting for the hundred people in front of me to file out. I just sit there and read until the plane is almost completely empty, then stand up and get my stuff. I mean, you have to wait at the carousel anyway to get your non-carry ons. Might as well sit.)

cptacek on August 27, 2014 at 10:27 AM

I’ve been giving Allahpundit a hard time on some of the Ferguson coverage but I just wanted to say, it’s headlines and stories like this that keep me coming back to HotAir. There’s just no snark like Allah’s snark. Ace comes close sometimes, but he just doesn’t have it.

Missy on August 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM

People mocking the bus clearly haven’t been on one in the last 10 years.
Big, comfy seats with legroom & decent recline.
Big windows showing the world like a widescreen movie.
Free Wi Fi!

Same low lifes as the plane.

Tard on August 27, 2014 at 10:42 AM

….What is the big deal with the peanuts – can you explain to me why people are so attached to those little bags of peanuts?

LilyBart on August 27, 2014 at 9:44 AM

It’s all that separates mankind from the animals now.

Tard on August 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The worst people are the ones who recline and then don’t even lean back in their seat. I was behind a guy who reclined his seat and the leaned forward and rested his head on the tray in front of him and went to sleep. So I made it a point bump his seat with my knees every 10 minutes to make sure he couldn’t sleep like that. If you’re going to ram your seat into my knees at least lay back in the seat. I personally never recline unless the seat behind me is empty or if the person is shorter and then I ask if they mind if I recline my seat a little. Even though I don’t recline all the way. If we would all just take a moment and think about someone other than ourselves we wouldn’t have problems like this.

Erockk on August 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Dusty on August 27, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Lots of things are designed whose abuse is … well, abuse. And rude. Just because it is designed to recline does not mean it is OK to recline. When space is tight, the person reclining is taking up space I paid for. I do not appreciate looking at their head for several hours our have my legs further cramped just because “the seat is designed to recline”. Guns are designed to kill people. I would not appreciate someone using one to kill me. Legal or not. Cars are designed to park – I do not desire that they park so close to my car as to ding it or make it hard to get back into. Stereos are designed for volume. I do not appreciate a volume so loud as to disrupt my peace and quiet.

And on and on. Just because something is legal does not make it right. Just because something is designed a certain way does not mean it should be use for that purpose when other constraints are evident.

Rude is rude. If there was more room, then so be it. There isn’t.

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM

It’s all that separates mankind from the animals now.

Tard on August 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Exactly – the animals in the zoo can actually get peanuts……

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Since the seat was engineered and placed to recline, doesn’t the potential space it would occupy if it were reclined belong to the paid occupant of said seat?

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 11:47 AM

(un)fortunately for me, I need no “knee defender” in regular coach class. My legs do not fit in a standard airline seat. My knees are usually jammed into the back of the seat in front of me. Try as you might to recline that seat, it ain’t happening.

I’m not trying to be an ass-hole. I’m not trying to irritate you, its just your dumb luck that you sat in front of a guy who is 6’6″ tall and wears size 17 shoes. That, and the airline industry apparently feels that its ok to let shrimps sit in the emergency exit and bulkhead rows instead of reserving them for giants like me.

The only time I got irritated with a person reclining their seat is when they gave me lip about it (it was a typical know-it-all New York accent) who decided that despite the laws if physics and good manners, he was going to try and force my knees out of the way after I kindly asked him to stop repeatedly slamming his back into his chair because my knees were there.

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Since the seat was engineered and placed to recline, doesn’t the potential space it would occupy if it were reclined belong to the paid occupant of said seat?

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Does that space belong to you, even if you paid for it, if my knees are there and there is no where else to put them because they’re attached to the rest of my body?

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Can I say the same about my big fat @ss?

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Exactly! What the hell is this rationale that just because something is designed a certain way, that it should be used at any given time that way. Like I said before, just because I can turn the volume up on my stereo doesn’t mean I should do it or that somehow I paid for that environment and anyone within earshot be damned. Come on people. It’s about consideration of your fellow sardines! For pete’s sake ….

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM

They get peanuts????

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Exactly!

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Can I say the same about my big fat @ss?

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Certainly… but here’s the difference. Outside of getting an amputation, theres literally nothing I can do about my knees being where they are.

Your overweight rear-end is the by product of you having an allergic reaction to a salad and a treadmill.

(Mind you I’m an ex practice squad DE – I’m pretty big myself after I “let myself go”)

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

I’ve been on both sides. I remember one flight home I was reclining. I knew it was rude but I was in the process of coming down with a killer fever that left me in bed for three days. The people behind me never confronted me, but they were very pointedly talking about it and gave me a LOT of dirty looks on their way out. I felt bad for being rude, but I felt worse for being sick and got over it.

On the other hand I am 6′ and my husband is 6’8″. If one tries to recline into our space they are getting knees in the back, assuming it will recline at all, not because we’re punishing them but because we already take up all the space. For some planes the tray tables won’t even work properly with that much leg.

Either way, if you’re on a plane you are trading the miracle of affordable flight for the time it would take you to travel any other way. It’s important to keep your sense of humor and remain calm and polite as much as possible.

MC88 on August 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM

My “Knee Defender” consists of repeatedly banging my knees into the seat in front and/or grabbing the top of the seat to “adjust my position” in my seat. If the recliner in front of me–especially on a short hop flight–is willing to live with my constant jostling, they will most assuredly get a whiff of my deodorant when it comes time to stand up at the conclusion of the flight…as I stand several inches inside of their “personal space.” This admittedly works better when one is 6′ 4″, 215 lbs. with a well-practiced Clint Eastwood scowl.

PD Quig on August 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Exactly! What the hell is this rationale that just because something is designed a certain way, that it should be used at any given time that way. Like I said before, just because I can turn the volume up on my stereo doesn’t mean I should do it or that somehow I paid for that environment and anyone within earshot be damned. Come on people. It’s about consideration of your fellow sardines! For pete’s sake ….

Thats a great idea. Next time someone decides to be a jerk on a plane and make my knees their object of resentment I’m just going to prop up a bluetooth speaker on their headrest and start playing death metal.

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Hence the name!!! Great! Need upper body strength to hoist people out.

How about those wide shoulders? Maybe we should both buy 2 seats?

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM

This probably wouldn’t be a problem if the airlines would stop treating passengers like steerage and packing them in like sardines.

Citizen Jerry on August 27, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Should airline passengers be allowed to use “Knee Defender” to stop seats from reclining?

Short answer: no. Longer answer: I will put railroad spikes through the back of my seat if you even try this crap on me. I’ve paid good money for the cramped little box with 3 inches of wiggle room in the seat, which I plan to use.

Physics Geek on August 27, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Can I say the same about my big fat @ss?

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Certainly… but here’s the difference. Outside of getting an amputation, theres literally nothing I can do about my knees being where they are.

Your overweight rear-end is the by product of you having an allergic reaction to a salad and a treadmill.

(Mind you I’m an ex practice squad DE – I’m pretty big myself after I “let myself go”)

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

WryTrvllr: how often has someone argued with you about the size of your butt? I have had plenty of people sit next to me who were too big for the seat, but as long as a person could physically manage to fit into the next seat they are expected to. I have NEVER been on a flight where someone was asked to purchase the second seat to accommodate.

Trust me when I say, it’s no more comfortable for extremely tall people to be crammed into those seats than it is for you to be crammed next to us.

Defenestratus: I feel your pain. I’m not as tall but women tend to be longer in the legs, and my husband is bigger than you. We just try to be polite, maintain a sense of humor and try to consciously think about number and duration of sections to a flight to maximize comfort.

Ultimately we all share the blame as we demand cheap seats. Only a handful of people I know will pick flights based on the standard seat size of an airline. You can’t have more room and cheaper seats, and if there isn’t someone out there filling the demand the conclusion is that, for all of our fussing, it isn’t the priority.

MC88 on August 27, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I don’t particularly like paying extra for +6in of leg space on Frontier flights, but I definitely do not enjoy having my knees crushed for 2+ hours. Never recline my seat, though.

Jedditelol on August 27, 2014 at 12:11 PM

MC88 on August 27, 2014 at 12:10 PM

http://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/airline-policies-for-overweight-passengers-traveling-this-summer/

First they came for the fatties….

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 12:19 PM

PD Quig on August 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

So basically you’re the kind of total @sshole who just enjoys pissing off everyone else.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM

That, and the airline industry apparently feels that its ok to let shrimps sit in the emergency exit and bulkhead rows instead of reserving them for giants like me.
Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

They give the exit row seats to the people who ask for them and are physically qualified for the exit row – as in able to open and lift the door in an emergency.
My son is 6′ 6″ and just recently went to Hawaii, so I told him to get to the gate early (or at the check-in counter) and ask nicely if he could get an exit row seat. He did and had an exit row window seat with plenty of leg room for the 7 hour flight.
Get to the airport early and ask – and you will most likely get the seat you need.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Not to worry about reclining, using a laptop or knee room, Airbus has the solution with the bike seat concept.

Next will be subway straps.

F X Muldoon on August 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

So basically you’re the kind of total @sshole who just enjoys pissing off everyone else.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM

If a fellow traveler is so unaware of their environment as to inflict pain and discomfort for the sake of a tiny marginal bit of comfort for themselves, then I accept your definition of @asshole. I notice that it is usually short f***s whose feet barely touch the floor who can’t wait to recline.

PD Quig on August 27, 2014 at 12:35 PM

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM

LOL – yes he is — in person the anonymous bully who sticks his smelly body in someone’s face and then goes on line to brag (anonymously of course) about how his antics reflect Clint Eastwood tough guy characters (all imaginary of course).
In real life he probably sobs in the office if someone takes the last Keurig (and then posts a comment somewhere…anonymously of course, after he has urinated in their cup or something similarly adult in nature)

Bradky on August 27, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Reclining the seat is not rude – and it doesn’t really make that much difference to the person behind you – unless that person’s knees are up in the middle of the seatback – which means that person can’t use their own tray anyway.
The seatback pivots at the base – basic geometry – if the top of the seat moves 3 inches, the lower half of the seat is moving less than an inch.
I’m 6′ 1″ and have never had a problem with my knees or a full-size laptop on the tray when the person in front of me reclines – the laptop just moves about an inch closer to me.
If you’re that much taller (as my son is) – ask for an exit row and you’ll get all the leg room you need – and the airline people will be happy to give you that seat to avoid having problems in flight.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Bradky on August 27, 2014 at 12:39 PM

If you had legs as long as mine and had been on the hundreds of flights that I have traveling for a cheap business in economy class, you would likely sing a different tune. I welcome your scorn, Shorty.

PD Quig on August 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Either way, if you’re on a plane you are trading the miracle of affordable flight for the time it would take you to travel any other way. It’s important to keep your sense of humor and remain calm and polite as much as possible.

MC88 on August 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM

The most sensible thing written on this tread.

LilyBart on August 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM

If you had legs as long as mine and had been on the hundreds of flights that I have traveling for a cheap business in economy class, you would likely sing a different tune. I welcome your scorn, Shorty.

PD Quig on August 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM

So through those “hundreds of flights” you never figured out to ask for an exit row seat or collected enough miles to get an upgrade to business or first class?
Instead you just decided you had earned the right to be an @sshole to everyone else on the flight.
If you really flew that much, you should have been some kind of gold or platinum level club customer who should be able to get just about any seat you want just by asking.

I spent a few years in jobs where I flew somewhere about once a month – and figured those things out pretty quick – and never felt the need to be an @sshole with someone who just wanted to recline their seat the mere 3 inches it allows.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The most sensible thing written on this tread.

LilyBart on August 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM

And that translates into Loctiting the person in front of you’s seat….how.. exactly?

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I’m 6′ 1″ and have never had a problem with my knees or a full-size laptop on the tray when the person in front of me reclines – the laptop just moves about an inch closer to me.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM

I’m not even 6′ and I don’t think I’ve ever not had a problem with using a laptop when the person in front of me reclines. The angle just doesn’t work, unless you’re willing to put your laptop on your chest.

The ones who bug me are the ones who suddenly recline all the way back in a rapid fashion. If you’re going to recline, please do it slowly so I have time to react and please do pause if you feel any resistance. It’s about courtesy to your fellow sardines.

I recline the seat very slightly when I do have to fly nowadays – just enough to get my head and neck comfortable so I can sleep.

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Airplane travel is racist.

xblade on August 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM

BTW, the dude in the pic for this thread has LOADS of room. He must be sitting in Business Class.

(But he still can’t use his laptop on the tray. :p )

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I’d say we need to have some sort of etiquette in regards to reclining your seat. Add to the airplane safety instructions a politeness PSA. Include in it a statement that passengers that wish to recline should ask the passenger behind them first if it is okay. That would be the gentlemanly thing to do in that situation.

Just politely ask if you can recline. If they say no, then you should not do it and accept that you would be imposing on their space by reclining. If they say it is okay, then there should not be a problem.

The “knee defender” as well as people just randomly reclining without permission are both symptoms of a lack of communication and cooperation amongst passangers. It is not unreasonable to expect people to politely ask. In most cases, people probably will not mind you asking. What is more, simply asking will make people feel better about it because that will be an acknowledgement of the other person’s interests and your respect for them.

Consider all the awkard situations you deal with on a daily basis simply by politely asking. Lets say a person is sitting alone at a table that has four seats. And your table needs an additional seat. Do you just go to his table and take a seat or do you instead ask him if you can have one of his unused seats? Obviously you ask. And in most cases he will have no problem with you taking a seat. However, even if he doesn’t need the seat, if you just take one without asking he will feel slightly insulted for the assumption that you can just take one of his seats without asking.

This is the issue.

Definition:
Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.

That’s all you need to solve this problem. Just be polite and considerate of other people.

Karmashock on August 27, 2014 at 1:31 PM

BTW, the dude in the pic for this thread has LOADS of room. He must be sitting in Business Class.

(But he still can’t use his laptop on the tray. :p )

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I was going to comment on that cartoon as well – totally unrealistic. Like you say, either the guy is in business or first class or he’s a midget.
But – the other inaccuracy is most (if not all) trays I’ve had also slid back and forth, so you could move it closer to yourself to get the laptop out from under the seatback. But in the real world that puts the edge of the tray almost into your belly – or into it I suppose if you’re “bigger” around the middle.
Overall – very unrealistic picture.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Welcome to flyertalk.com!
-
I wonder how many on the recline side would change seats with a pro
Knee Defender passenger or vice versa?
-
Recliners annoy me during mealtime. The geometry between a fully reclined seatback and tray-table makes eating a creative exercise. Aer Lingus recognizes this. It is the only airline I’ve flown where passengers are asked during meal time to place their seats in the “full & upright position”.

diogenes on August 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Karmashock on August 27, 2014 at 1:31 PM

I don’t buy the asking permission part for reclining my seat. If my seat reclines and I want to, I will.
I do agree with GWB that it’s rude to slam your seat back quickly, and BTW – the person you’re asking for permission also has the ability to recline their own seat. Do you think they’re going to ask permission of the person behind them. I can easily see someone like Quig telling you no, and reclining his own seat – he wants everything his way with total disregard for everyone else.

And sorry, but your restaurant table/chair analogy just doesn’t even fit with this issue at all.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Recliners annoy me during mealtime. The geometry between a fully reclined seatback and tray-table makes eating a creative exercise. Aer Lingus recognizes this. It is the only airline I’ve flown where passengers are asked during meal time to place their seats in the “full & upright position”.

diogenes on August 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Gotta admit – it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a flight that actually had a “meal time” – probably my flight to Germany 12 years ago. I don’t think any flights within the US that I’ve been on in the last 10 or 15 years even served a meal of any kind.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 1:57 PM

PD Quig on August 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Yeah that is my other strategy. Heavy coughing right behind his head is another. I dredge up fake phlegm. And if that doesn’t work, the fake phlegm is launched. Grosses out my neighbors to the side though. But I explain to them that it is war and they usually concur. Usually. But they are usually dropping crumbs in my lap anyway so they don’t notice the phlying phlegm.

Defenestratus on August 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Oh my – you are smarter than me. I did not even think about that. I like the way you think.

xblade on August 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM

And you, of course, are correct. This is what is actually wrong. Banging into my knees and crowding me in is, in fact, racist.

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

You are not really buying the seat but also the SPACE.

When the lady (used loosely) reclined back, she invaded the other person’s space and she should know better.

Her act was similar to Hamas launching missles froma Gaza to Israel.

The person behind her has a right to their space and existence.

She just wants all her FREE STUFF.

KirknBurker on August 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The seat does in fact pivot around the base and your knee room is barely changed. When I sit down in coach my knees push against the seat in front of me due to my height and that barely changes when they recline.

This is about someone wanting to use a large notebook computer on the tray table which becomes mostly impossible when someone reclines in front of you.

Airlines have wrung the slightest pleasure out of traveling for those flying coach. It’s business class or I’m Not Going.

Tard on August 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Have sat in the right seat, left seat, first class, business class, premium economy, economy elite, and economy/coach, jump seat, and a few other seats. Key is civility.

Some of the worst seats are the pilot seats.

HonestLib on August 27, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I drive most places, now. I’ve only flown when it was too far or the timing was urgent. I love it: I have yet to lose my luggage, I can carry my Swiss Army knife, the food is better, and I can put the seat back as far as I want.

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Some of the worst seats are the pilot seats.

HonestLib on August 27, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Concur!

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 3:13 PM

KirknBurker on August 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Exactly right. The space it does, or can, exist in. We are in agreement.

WryTrvllr on August 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

I love the video re-enactment! My favorite part is when the guy reclines his own seat after sabotaging the seat of the women in front of him. lulz

Kensington on August 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

KirknBurker on August 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

EXACTLY! This is what I was trying to say above, and last night.

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 3:12 PM

I think that is what I am going to have to do now that I have the time for it. I hate airline travel so much. But it is quick. I think I read somewhere else today (shoulda bookmarked it) that some airlines are thinking of getting rid of first class seats ‘cus “they just aren’t selling.” Um, lower the price, idiots! Out of frustration with the cramped coach, I have tried first class but holy Jehoshaphat, a few grand? Note to airlines, knock the price down, serve the same wonderful food as coach, and they will sell. Tall people like me will go for it.

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I drive most places, now. I’ve only flown when it was too far or the timing was urgent. I love it: I have yet to lose my luggage, I can carry my Swiss Army knife, the food is better, and I can put the seat back as far as I want.

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Depending on the destination – most definitely.
In my college/military days, I drove from Colorado to Maine a bunch of times. With 3 or 4 people in the car each driving through a tank of gas, we could do it in 40 hours only stopping for gas. While it cost 2 days of vacation each way, it saved a lot of money. But I don’t think I could handle that kind of drive now.

From Colorado Springs to Albuquerque is about a 5 hour drive. While the flight itself may only be a little over an hour, the added time of getting to the airport, parking, getting into the terminal, check-in, security, wait for boarding, boarding, and then all the reverse when you land, and then get a rental car – I’m already at my actual destination in Albuquerque if I drive – for much less cost.
A couple years ago, we also drove to Phoenix to see the Rockies in pre-season – but it turned out 12 hours straight in the car was a bit much, even though the total cost was much less than flying.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 4:13 PM

I love the video re-enactment! My favorite part is when the guy reclines his own seat after sabotaging the seat of the women in front of him. lulz

Kensington on August 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

That’s the reality of most of the people b!tching about “recliners” – they don’t want YOU to recline onto their knees or laptop – but they have no problem doing it to whoever is behind them.
And I’d bet Romney’s $10K they would b!tch like he11 if you locked up their seat.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 4:20 PM

How about the airlines just make more comfortable airplanes with good leg room? They could definitely afford it since they overcharge everybody for their bags.

SoulGlo on August 27, 2014 at 4:44 PM

How about the airlines just make more comfortable airplanes with good leg room? They could definitely afford it since they overcharge everybody for their bags.

SoulGlo on August 27, 2014 at 4:44 PM

THAT is the real problem.
If the airlines didn’t insist on packing everyone in so dam tight, there wouldn’t be any argument over reclining and leg room.
This whole issue only exists because of how the airlines arrange the seating.
The real enemy in this debate, for ALL of us, should be the airlines.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Being long legged with my feet flat on the floor and legs straight, my knees are my build in defender, so if someone in front of me does not like it, well too friggin bad, they can enjoy the flight in the crapper with their legs cramped against the door.

Wade on August 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM

What airliners need are better jet engines to make flights faster.

nobar on August 26, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Yes, we are still using the same technology since the 50′s :-(

Eon was correct about the Concorde, but he failed to mention that the Concorde was not allowed to operate in the USA for years. The official reason was “noise pollution” but really it was because since Boeing couldn’t play in the sandbox with their SST, they didn’t want anybody else to have one either.

After several years, American aviation authorities finally allowed Concorde to fly into New York and Washington provided it maintained only subsonic speeds in US airspace.

yubley on August 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM

If the airlines didn’t insist on packing everyone in so dam tight, there wouldn’t be any argument over reclining and leg room.
This whole issue only exists because of how the airlines arrange the seating.
The real enemy in this debate, for ALL of us, should be the airlines.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Passengers want leg room, but they won’t pay for it. They tell this to the airlines every time the book a flight. They look for the cheapest fairs. The ‘extra leg room’ seats don’t sell out-but the cheaper smaller seats do. In fact, American Airlines got rid of their extra leg room coach seats, and didn’t loose customers over it. And people are clamoring to fly Southwest.

Passengers voted with their wallet. You got what you voted for.

LilyBart on August 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

To cleanse the palate, I’ve suffered through maybe eight hours of debate about reclining plane seats on Twitter today so you’re going to suffer through two minutes.

..late to the dance for me on this one, but I had to add: “How about we all just get a life?”

The War Planner on August 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

So through those “hundreds of flights” you never figured out to ask for an exit row seat or collected enough miles to get an upgrade to business or first class?
Instead you just decided you had earned the right to be an @sshole to everyone else on the flight.
If you really flew that much, you should have been some kind of gold or platinum level club customer who should be able to get just about any seat you want just by asking.

I spent a few years in jobs where I flew somewhere about once a month – and figured those things out pretty quick – and never felt the need to be an @sshole with someone who just wanted to recline their seat the mere 3 inches it allows.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Have to laugh at the ignorance. I too am 6’6″ and sitting in the normal economy seat means the person in front of me will not be able to recline their seat. It has nothing to do with being an “A-Hole” or not….it is simple a matter of physics. Upgrades to first class a few and far between on most popular flights unless you are beyond the top level of medallions. Unless you have not been flying in the last several years, airlines charge more for bulkhead and exit row seats, an added expense businesses are not willing to pay for. The airlines have decided that the extra bucks charged for those seats is worth more than the discomfort it causes to both myself and the poor sap sitting in front of me. Until that mentality changes, my knees will take precedent over your perceived right to recline.

Animal60 on August 27, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Animal60 on August 27, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Exactly – if it were as easy as Dent says, no problem. And if it were a ” mere 3 inches it allows.” again no problem. But he seems to confirm the notion that A-holes are the issue.

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Don’t fly much.

What happens with tray table down and a drink on it? Bought a meal at the airport and ate on plane. Is that a problem?

I did put the tray table down and read a book off it.

goatweed on August 27, 2014 at 5:54 PM

We are a nation of cowards. America needs to have a serious conversation about reclining seats.

petefrt on August 27, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Animal60 on August 27, 2014 at 5:42 PM
Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

If you’re an @sshole with everyone you deal with, including the airline employees – no, you won’t get better seats.
My 6′ 6″ son booked a regular coach seat to Hawaii last month, and followed my advice on how to ask for an exit row – and got it – no extra cost.
I’ve also gotten seats in first class on a couple occasions, or gotten moved to a better seat or an empty row just by being nice and easy-going with the airline employees – and not b!tching at them about their over-booking or seating problems.
In one instance I got first class while a guy who did b!tch and yell at them didn’t even get on the plane. In another, my whole family got first class and got home an hour early, and got 4 free ticket vouchers by getting off an overbooked flight.
It IS as easy as I said – if you’re not an @sshole.

If you want to see ignorance about how it works – look in the mirror.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 6:38 PM

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 6:38 PM

I guess that “look in the mirror” thing works for ya, huh? Seems to me a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Glad to see things come so easy for ya. Now STFU.

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 6:46 PM

No. Seat pitch is something that can easily be altered after delivery, with a new railing system. Seat pitch is not “in stone” once you order a certain aircraft. It costs quite a bit of money to change, but airlines have certainly done so in the past when they thought it was to their advantage.

GWB on August 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

The seats are designed for a certain seat pitch. So, while the rails allow changing seat pitch, you have to pull and replace all of the seats — not just move them closer together.

Also, the airbus seats are narrower by one inch than the Boeing seats, and to reduce the seat width on the Boeing plane, you’d also have to pull all the seats.

If I detect that United has done this, then I will refuse to fly. I’ll take the train before I’ll endure another airbus seat.

unclesmrgol on August 27, 2014 at 7:11 PM

I love the video re-enactment! My favorite part is when the guy reclines his own seat after sabotaging the seat of the women in front of him. lulz

Kensington on August 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

A true libertarian.

unclesmrgol on August 27, 2014 at 7:13 PM

If you’re an @sshole with everyone you deal with, including the airline employees – no, you won’t get better seats.
My 6′ 6″ son booked a regular coach seat to Hawaii last month, and followed my advice on how to ask for an exit row – and got it – no extra cost.
I’ve also gotten seats in first class on a couple occasions, or gotten moved to a better seat or an empty row just by being nice and easy-going with the airline employees – and not b!tching at them about their over-booking or seating problems.
In one instance I got first class while a guy who did b!tch and yell at them didn’t even get on the plane. In another, my whole family got first class and got home an hour early, and got 4 free ticket vouchers by getting off an overbooked flight.
It IS as easy as I said – if you’re not an @sshole.

If you want to see ignorance about how it works – look in the mirror.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Sure, when you fly off hours, odd flights etc……BTW ANYONE can get free vouchers for volunteering to get bumped……you act like it is your magic personality……in reality, if you were not so dumb, you probably could have gotten more. When you fly routes that are constantly booked to capacity….it doesn’t happen…..not even when you know the flight attendants from flying so much. The A-Holes are the ones that think they own the space behind them and think they are the only ones that know anything about flying.

Animal60 on August 27, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Exactly – if it were as easy as Dent says, no problem. And if it were a ” mere 3 inches it allows.” again no problem. But he seems to confirm the notion that A-holes are the issue.

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

There is nothing worse than the “thinks they know it all and are smarter than everyone else A-holes”

Animal60 on August 27, 2014 at 7:39 PM

I guess that “look in the mirror” thing works for ya, huh? Seems to me a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Glad to see things come so easy for ya. Now STFU.

Chuck Ef on August 27, 2014 at 6:46 PM

There is nothing worse than the “thinks they know it all and are smarter than everyone else A-holes”

Animal60 on August 27, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Well, except you 2 are the know-it-all @ssholes who say what I’ve managed to easily get is impossible.
So you 2 just keep being the know-it-all @ssholes that keep getting screwed and I’ll just continue to be the ignorant one who gets what he wants. People like you make people like me look that much better to the airline employees, which makes it that much easier.
Maybe you don’t get anything BECAUSE the flight crews know you so well.
You can both kiss my ignorant @ss – losers.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 10:56 PM

unclesmrgol on August 27, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Hmmm … you sound like that Dent A-hole. I may be wrong. Maybe you are just a big-government “progressive” who knows nothing about what constitutes libertarianism other than what he hears in the stall next door. A device it ain’t nor is it your implied selfishness. If anything, the “gentleman” you describe sounds like a “progressive” – “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine”. Oh, and quoting Dent, everyone is a ignorant A-hole … except me, eh Dent?

Animal60 on August 27, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Too true – you are a gentleman and scholar sir!

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 10:56 PM

You can both kiss my ignorant @ss – losers.

FIFY!

BTW if it all were as easy as you claim, everyone would be doing it (eventually) and therefore that implies the planes have more than enough room for everyone in the first place and your plan is meaningless. Too imply everyone else is an A-hole and that is why they cannot get roomy seats is to belie the nature of the claimant.

Chuck Ef on August 28, 2014 at 10:38 AM

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2014 at 10:56 PM

One more thing – Arthur Dent wants his good name back. Arthur Dent you are not. You slander Arthur Dent. I know Arthur Dent and you, sir, are NO Arthur Dent.

But if you are, get the hell out of our galaxy. You don’t belong here.

Chuck Ef on August 28, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Chuck Ef on August 28, 2014 at 10:38 AM
Chuck Ef on August 28, 2014 at 10:46 AM

You must be a new sock puppet for libtardfree or nonpartison – you have the same levels of stupidity and arrogance.
It’s all about being decent with people and not demanding or expecting everything your way all the time – something you clearly don’t understand.
So despite how easy it really is, I’m not surprised that a large portion of the population – stupid sefl-centered LIVs like you – can’t figure it out.
That’s ok – you keep up your dumbshiite attitude and treat people like shiite, and keep thinking it’s impossible – and I’ll keep doing the impossible.
Oh, and GFY moron.

dentarthurdent on August 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I have no opinion on who’s right. But I do know who’s wrong – UNITED AIRLINES. The minimal leg room that United graciously allows passengers is plain dangerous. I’d love to see a times emergency exit drill with all those crammed passengers on board.

Air travel has become something like the Medieval custom of trial by fire or trial by drowning.

Bankrupt United Airlines may wonder why they are so beleaguered but those who fly as passengers know.

And please do not get me tarted on their fees for everything and dirty, cramped slave holds.

CiLH1 on August 28, 2014 at 11:13 AM

CiLH1 on August 28, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Yes – several of us commented on that yesterday. The airlines are the real villains in this debate.
Someone else also mentioned how some airlines are getting rid of first class because they don’t sell enough of those seats. Of course not – when a coach ticket costs maybe $500 and first class on the same flight can be as much as $1500 or more, most people will put up with coach for a couple hours insted of spending that kind of money.

dentarthurdent on August 28, 2014 at 11:36 AM

dentarthurdent on August 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM

See – you have no clue what you are talking about. None. Many other galaxies to explore, Arthur. Many.

Chuck Ef on August 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Someone else also mentioned how some airlines are getting rid of first class because they don’t sell enough of those seats. Of course not – when a coach ticket costs maybe $500 and first class on the same flight can be as much as $1500 or more, most people will put up with coach for a couple hours insted of spending that kind of money.

dentarthurdent on August 28, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Some airlines are getting rid of the ‘extra leg room’ coach seats (American Airlines), because they don’t sell well. (perhaps they’ll also get rid of first class seats – I don’t know) Forget hundreds of extra dollars for 1st class, apparently people don’t even want to pay $50-$60 more for about 4″ of knee room in ‘economy plus’ – they’d rather save the money and then tell the people in front not to lean back.

LilyBart on August 28, 2014 at 12:24 PM

See – you have no clue what you are talking about. None. Many other galaxies to explore, Arthur. Many.

Chuck Ef on August 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

And you keep on proving my point.

dentarthurdent on August 28, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Some airlines are getting rid of the ‘extra leg room’ coach seats (American Airlines), because they don’t sell well. (perhaps they’ll also get rid of first class seats – I don’t know) Forget hundreds of extra dollars for 1st class, apparently people don’t even want to pay $50-$60 more for about 4″ of knee room in ‘economy plus’ – they’d rather save the money and then tell the people in front not to lean back.

LilyBart on August 28, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Yes – and there are examples of that all over this thread.

dentarthurdent on August 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Seems to me that the issue is related to cooperation.

I think most people would be more willing to cooperate, especially when the cost to them is minimal. I was asked, by a flight attendant, if I would move from my aisle seat to a window seat in another row because a wife wanted to sit next to her husband. No biggie, done.

If the husband had demanded that I move so his wife could sit where I was, I likely would have refused. Nobody tells me to move for their convenience.

As for these anti-reclining devices, I assume so you can open your laptop, my take is you are purchasing transportation not a work space. You can ask the passenger, who also purchased transportation, if they would not recline and if they agree then great. If they don’t, then suck it up and next time go first class or get a smaller laptop. But it is not your prerogative to prevent from reclining because you cannot get any work done.

Russ808 on August 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Yes – and there are examples of that all over this thread.

dentarthurdent on August 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM

If you being an arrogant and ignorant A-Hole……there certainly are.

Animal60 on August 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM

As for these anti-reclining devices, I assume so you can open your laptop, my take is you are purchasing transportation not a work space. You can ask the passenger, who also purchased transportation, if they would not recline and if they agree then great. If they don’t, then suck it up and next time go first class or get a smaller laptop. But it is not your prerogative to prevent from reclining because you cannot get any work done.

Russ808 on August 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

It is not a matter of getting work done, for me, it is a matter of there simply not being any space between me and the seat in front of me. The same argument can be applied to the individual that wants to but cannot recline their seat…..suck it up of buy a first class ticket. Double dented in the head can pretend that there is always seats to relocate to or first class upgrades………but after decades of flying, including being at one time in the top 5% of a FF program with one airline, reality is far different from his fantasy. It decades past…..ticket agents would see me, and I would have a bulkhead or exit row seat without even asking. These days they just don’t care. It doesn’t matter what their grasping at those few extra dollars does to passengers. Just like the people complaining about the carrying bags…….that goes back to the airlines and their charging for checked bags.

Animal60 on August 29, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Animal60 on August 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Animal60 on August 29, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Yup, yup. What you said. Much more eloquent than me. Or whomever.

Chuck Ef on August 29, 2014 at 1:14 PM

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