Sunday, February 16, 2020

Give Me Some Leg Room and Stay Out of My Space

A recent article in USA Today reported on a minor altercation between two passengers on an American Eagle flight over an issue of personal space in the economy section. 

One passenger took offense with a woman seated in front of him reclining her seat. He was so upset that he began punching the back of the seat -- nine times! Watch it here

While I understand the man's anger, whacking the seat with fists isn't going to solve the problem. As long as seats can recline, some people are going to use them. Even Delta CEO Ed Bastian believes the woman should have asked before reclining her seat. 

This is NOT an airline seat

I don't recline anymore, even on trans-Atlantic flights when I'm overcome by fatigue. The reason I don't is that I've experienced passengers doing it to me on several occasions. I've had food or drinks on my tray nearly knocked over on me by persistent pushbacks. One time on an Air France flight, the person kept bouncing back and forth before it finally dawned on him that he wasn't sitting in a recliner. 

There's barely enough legroom, and compound that with someone pushing their seat back, if only a few inches, it's almost like they're sitting in your lap. I'm not a tall person, but I can imagine what it must be like for a big person to encounter a seat less than two feet from their nose. 

The only solution is for the airlines to lock the seats in place so folks can't move their seats back. Smarter Travel offers five rules for those who insist or reclining. 

In the meantime, I wish passengers would show respect toward others in those cramped quarters. And that also includes kicking the back of someone's seat (perhaps in retaliation to the recliner), removing shoes and propping up smelly feet on armrests or back of seats, sharing armrests (especially for the person stuck in the middle), and general cleanliness. 

Do you have any gripes?

Until the next time . . .  

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