Airlines are getting rid of reclining seats in economy: smart or inconvenient?

Air travel is getting some deservingly bad PR lately. For decades, companies have prioritized profits over safety, and now it’s all coming to a head with planes that are literally falling apart in the air. Over the past two decades, base ticket prices have continued to increase (Covid prices excluded for obvious reasons) and then they hit you with a ton of add-ons like luggage fees, carry-on bags, and even paying for your family to sit together. Plus, the seats in economy class are generally just uncomfortable, unless you want to pay a lot for an upgrade that most of us can’t afford if we’re not traveling alone. It’s just all such a racket.

Diatribe aside, the latest great idea from the airline industry is to get rid of reclining seats for economy passengers. Over the years, seats have gone from reclining 4-inches to only reclining 2-inches. Southwest has already shared their new seating design, set to start in 2025. Why? Because that will make the seats lighter. Lighter seats mean reduced weight on board, which means jet fuel will go further and less money will be needed to spend on maintenance. In short: they can save money while still most likely increasing costs for the consumer.

The controversial debate of reclining your seat on the plane may soon come to an end thanks to airline companies wanting to cut back on costs. With airlines like Southwest debuting a more streamlined seat design for 2025, it’s only a matter of time before reclining seats disappear completely, aviation and travel expert William McGee told Condé Nast Traveler during an interview published on Monday, April 15.

“This trend has been occurring for several years now, and I think it will continue. Lighter seats are what the airlines want, because with the cost of jet fuel they are always looking to reduce weight onboard,” McGee, a senior fellow for aviation and travel at the American Economic Liberties Project, said. He adds that lighter, non-reclining seats require fewer mechanical parts, and thus airline companies also save money when it comes to maintenance.

Certain airlines like Delta, United, American and Southwest have already been cutting back on the number of inches a seat can recline, according to the outlet. Economy seats used to recline back four inches and now the standard is two inches.

Pre-reclined seats are also becoming a trend. In 2019, Spirit Airlines introduced its new cabin interior that featured seats that “pre-recline on every row,” the company said in a press release at the time.

The seats are designed at a slight angle to “allow for a wider range of healthy postures and movements,” and “offer an additional two inches of usable legroom compared to industry-standard flatback seats,” per the release.

McGee pointed out that airlines have been cutting back on other luxuries in the last two decades, from free seat selection to included in-flight meals.

“Consumers have been losing much more than seat recline in economy class,” he said. “It’s just that in this case, losing the ability to recline can be a blessing in disguise for others, because tighter seats have made reclining unfair to fellow passengers.”

Not only would airlines be spending less on maintenance and extra jet fuel costs with non-reclining seats, but they would also avoid the arguments that tend to arise among passengers whenever someone reclines.

A viral video shared on X in November 2023 is an example of the controversial etiquette debate in action. In the clip, a passenger claims the person sitting behind her pushed against her seat “the whole trip” because she reclined.

“I’m allowed to put my seat back,” she repeatedly said in the video.

[From People]

So, where does everyone stand on reclining seats? I’m of two minds. The first one is that airplanes are uncomfortable enough as it is. I remember when they made the recline just the two-inches and with that change, I now barely notice when the person in front of me reclines. I have definitely noticed that you get less sitting room in general as a result of airlines adding extra rows, though. So if two-inches makes someone else’s flight just a little better, so be it. My second mind is that, well, it can be annoying if you’re in a section with decent reclining seats because of said smaller seating areas. I have never flown on Spirit, so I looked up pre-reclining seats, and it just looked like seats designed with a slight curve? Has anyone flown with those types of seats? Are they a good compromise?

My family and I have started traveling more on Amtrak to go visit family in New York. We had already started driving more, but at least with Amtrak, you can read a book, close your eyes, use the Wifi, etc. It’s about 10 hours for us either way, so flying is the most convenient way to travel. It’s just so dang expensive! Honestly, as someone who used to fly a lot, I’m quite bitter about just how different (worse) air travel has gotten, especially over the last five years. It feels like something about air travel changed after Covid and it hasn’t been for the better. I hope it gets better. In the meantime, we really need to get going with that high-speed railway system.

photos credit: Suhyeon Choi and Hanson Lu on Unsplash and via Instagram

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

93 Responses to “Airlines are getting rid of reclining seats in economy: smart or inconvenient?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Cadet VR says:

    We drive 14 hours a couple of times a year. We stop overnight somewhere enroute. It’s quite pleasant. I listen to an audiobook along the way.

    • ML says:

      If possible, this is what I do as well. We sometimes break up our journey where we’ll travel up to six hours and then have a 24-hour stopover to sightsee or visit before continuing. Or we’ll take the ferry/ train.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’ve done many multi-date, multi-state drives for work. Audiobook & cruise control all the way! And stopping every two hours to stretch my legs, with every other stop being at a gas station for gas, restroom, & snack. The intervening stops will be at rest stops. Although in Texas–with it being such a big darned state!–rest stops along the freeway aren’t all full-service. One will, the next one will have parking & shaded picnic tables but no restrooms, and then the next will just provide parking; rinse & repeat. Oh, and no more than 8hrs of driving; that’s an agency rule (I think it’s actually 6, but if you only drive 6hrs a day, it’ll take you an extra day to go from CA to GA.

      Nowadays I fly more than anything else. I mean, I’ve flown across the decades & I honestly can’t say things are ‘worse’. Things just are. Things will take time. There will be waiting. There may be problems. Prepare for that. You will get there, eventually. I’m also at a point in my life where I will willingly plunk down the money for my comfort (and I’m traveling alone, so I understand the implications). Sometimes it gags me, the price difference between First Class & Economy, but for me it’s worth it.

      As for recline or not, recline a little or a lot, eh, no real opinions. Sometimes I’d recline, sometimes not, depends on the length of the flight or how awake I’m feeling. But as I say, anymore, I want those lie flat seats! Those are the best!!

  2. teehee says:

    I have never used the reclining function, out of interest for the people behind me.
    So from my pov it can go. People in front of me sure dont seem to think the same.

    • LooneyTunes says:

      As someone who gets an achy back during travel, even a small recline helps ease the discomfort.

      • Becks1 says:

        This is why I always recline. I rarely recline the whole way, but sitting up without recline hurts my back a lot.

        Honestly, I really don’t notice when the person in front of me reclines. I have long-ish legs but I can’t remember the last time someone reclining was an issue for me. Maybe its because of the change from 4 inches to two inches?

      • Chaine says:

        Same. I have a bulging disc in my low back and it really painful to sit straight upright for hours. I need to be able to recline!

      • Ciotog says:

        Same here. I’ll typically recline a little bit for this reason.

    • ML says:

      I travel by plane across the Atlantic every year to 2 years to visit my family and friends in the USA. The flights are always at least overnight one-way and we’re in the air about 10 hours. I can’t, especially on overnight travel, keep the seat upright the entire time, but to be fair, no one else seems to do this on my flights either.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I don’t recline my seat because I tend to get airsick and leaning back makes it worse. Having the person in front of me recline adds claustrophobia to the mix. Luckily, I haven’t had to fly since 2015.

    • Shawna says:

      I also decline to use the reclining function because I am worried I’ll discomfort or upset the passenger behind me. But then if someone reclines in front of me, I then spend the whole flight in petulant resentment about my own heroic choice, lol. So I’d be glad not to have the mind games playing in my own head!

    • lucy2 says:

      I almost never recline, either, but ALWAYS am behind the person who goes fully back the minute they can. It’s so uncomfortable.
      I have a long flight in a few months and we ended up upgrading our seats to business class, I just can’t stand it anymore. It’s pricey but it’s an overnight flight and I’m hoping maybe I can actually doze off a bit.

    • MissMarirose says:

      I’m the same way. I tend to either work or watch videos while traveling, so I don’t recline. But inevitably, I get someone in front of me who not only reclines their seat, they jam it back hard, causing my tray to rattle and items to spill. And a few times, they’ve done it while I’m trying to get something from underneath the seat, so it slams into my head.

      For the life of me, I don’t understand why people don’t check behind them before they recline their seat.

    • Rachnz says:

      I don’t get this, why not just put yours back too then? If everyone reclined there would be no issues. I guess Americans can be rather large, maybe that’s a factor

      • rosa mwemaid says:

        It doesn’t work, I’m claustrophobic, when someone in front reclined their chair was only a few inches from my face, so I reclined mine, all it did was to make me feel it would be even more difficult to get out of my seat so it made it worse, I felt like a stranded whale. luckily I managed to get out and there was an empty seat opposite and no one reclining in front. Never flown or travelled in a coach with reclining seats again.

  3. CatMum says:

    the train is the last civilized form of travel. I would always choose it over flying.

    airlines have been making seats closer and closer together for years. so this is unsurprising.

    I haven’t tried it, but making all the seats less upright while evenly spaced seems to make sense. I do not want someone else’s seatback in my face but it seems difficult to avoid. so perhaps more ergo but immoble is the way to go. idk. flying is terrible now.

  4. FancyPants says:

    I say good riddance to it. I’ve had to deal with a giant rage monster punching and kicking the back of my seat before, and I tried to tell him “If we weren’t allowed to recline our seats then we wouldn’t have reclining seats.” This would just remove it from the equation, and might even increase safety because people Hulk-out at the slightest inconvenience these days. I drive when I can, but my grandfather lives 14hrs away so if I only have time to leave after work Friday and be back Sunday night, I have to fly. It’s harder and harder to get a ticket for less than $500, and I live within 1-2hrs of THREE major airports. The two trips I want to do this summer are wanting >$800 so far, and I just don’t understand how a domestic flight can cost that much when I see flights to the Caribbean and Iceland starting at $460 from the same airports.

    • Kelly says:

      Yes, but I have pushed against the seat in front of me when it suddenly reclines taking up any hope I had of crossing my legs, especially when it moves against my legs trying to force me to pull up into a near-fetal position. That person has a side to the story, too. If one can’t recline without making moving into the space of the person behind then it just shouldn’t be done.

    • Lara (the other) says:

      I’m one of those rage monsters who start kicken if the seat presses on my knees and asking friendly for some space doesn’t help. Even worse for my hubby. His legs are longer than the space to the next seat, he will involuntarily press his knees into the back of the person in front of him.
      If the seat is reclined, he either has to pull his knees up to his chin, to the side on the seat of the other passenger of gets hurt.

      • FancyPants says:

        I’m taller than average and I don’t care for people leaning back in front of me either, but if we weren’t allowed to recline our seats then we wouldn’t have reclining seats. If you want to wear yourself out pushing on my seat for 3 hours like an angry baby, that’s your decision. I say get rid of them altogether because of people like you.

      • Lara (the other) says:

        Sorry i can’t shorten my legs fot the convenience of the person in front of me.
        If you recline, my knees will push into your back, if I move to relive the pressure ob my knee, I will push you.
        That has nothing to do with wearing me out, thats simple physics. If the space between my seat and yours is shorter than my legs, the knees will push into your back.

      • ML says:

        Yeah, my husband needs the aisle seat because he’s basketball-sized and has super long legs. Unfortunately, economy doesn’t take into consideration that the average male height where I live is close to six feet and that means about half the men are taller and their legs are longer. I would love to see comfort/ premium/ business/ first classes as well as private planes eliminated. Budget airlines and tax-free kerosene should also go. And subsidies.

      • Rachnz says:

        You seriously need to get over yourself. Everyone is in the same boat in economy. Long legs? Tough shit. Why should others bend to you and your grumpy husband? There are advantages to being tall and advantages to being short. Hubby gets a great view at a gig? Well guess what flights will be crap.

        It’s like everyone wants everything suited exactly to them these days. Seriously get a grip. If you kicked my seat this kiwi would tell you where to go.

    • B says:

      I shamelessly pursue the cheapest tickets available on (which is amazing) and accept the discomfort that goes along with it lol.
      I take two Tylenol and think about the money I just saved.
      I haven’t gotten the chance to fly in Europe yet but I hear they will nitpick every pound of luggage you bring as well.

  5. Elle says:

    FINALLY!!! Reclining seats made sense when there was space to recline.

  6. Tarte Au Citron says:

    I hate being crunched in when the person in front reclines fully. And I often can’t get my seat to recline so I give up.
    My work flights are generally under 2 hours though, so unless I am flying long-haul, then I don’t think I need the recliner anyway.

  7. StillDouchesOfCambridge says:

    Air travel was such a treat to me twenty years ago. There was something magical about it. Now it’s such a turn off. I don’t know what happened

    • Mimi says:

      The greed of the industries and the lack of class of the people flying. That’s what happened. Very bad combination of greedy airlines taking everything away and making things more inconvenient and angry, tacky people.

    • Shawna says:

      9/11 happened. Once the industry went into a tailspin and casually being in airports hanging out was nixed for security, airlines used the opportunity as a free-for-all to scrape away all bits of comfort. They probably had to to survive at the time, but corporate greed has kept the crisis mode on long after it should have subsided.

      • Kitten says:

        9/11 ruined so many things. In that sense, the terrorists really did win.

      • Nic919 says:

        The cost of the additional security theatre since 9/11 has made travelling by plane way more difficult. And those extra costs have translated into less room on the plane for the folks who don’t get first class.

        Even crossing the border by car is far more cumbersome with the need for passports.

    • what's inside says:

      Hate the cattlecar mentality of commercial airline travel. Hate it!

  8. Kelly says:

    “So if two-inches makes someone else’s flight just a little better, so be it.” Yikes if those two inches move into my space so that I can’t cross my legs, put down my tray, or open a book as happens when the person in front of me leans their seat back. It is extraordinarily rude. Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should. I am truly sorry that the airlines do this to us but that’s the way it is and one person’s comfort isn’t to be had at the expense of someone else’s.

    • Mimi says:

      Exactly! So why must YOUR comfort be prioritized?

      • Kitten says:

        LOL yup!
        People on here are making it seem like reclining is some luxury but fora lot ofpeople with back issues it isn’t really an option to not recline. Sorry if it upsets the person behind–blame the airline.

      • Rachnz says:

        Finally someone on the Same page. Everyone is complaining about their own comfort.
        No one thinks flying long haul economy is comfortable.

        Here’s an idea. Save more money and go business. If you can’t afford or you are cheap (no shade, I’m cheap) then suck it up.
        Boo hoo you long legged peeps. Next time you’re at the movies maybe hunch over as you might be blocking the short asses view who’s behind ya.
        At a concert?! Stand at the very back, how rude of you to stand at the front! Thoughtless! Think of us shorties 😂😅

    • Rosie says:

      To clarify what I meant is that I personally don’t mind the two-inches, but totally get why other people hate it when the seat in front of them reclines, no matter how much!

  9. Nanea says:

    We’re mostly using trains for travels across Europe.

    It’s often even faster than flying, if one calculates the time/distance to and away from the airports, plus all that extra time for pre-flight checks, at minimum two hours pre-boarding, plus waiting for luggage if we go on vacations.

    I can do without all these people reclining their seats without at least asking/checking if there’s food/drinks on the tray behind them – lacking basic courtesy or common sense.

    And if we go transcontinental, we try to upgrade whenever possible.

  10. GunnSof says:

    Agree that reclining seats only makes sense when there is room for that, so if they get rid of them at least it saves me a lot of irritation when the person in front of me not checking before reclining. As it seems is more the norm than exception.

  11. Becks1 says:

    My issue with this is just……it seems airlines are making this change because it will save THEM money but those savings won’t trickle down to us as consumers. so we are going to be paying the same, or more, and are losing the option to recline without the promise of having those partially reclined permanently seats.

    It’s like when the airlines started charging for even the first bag or two of checked luggage – was that 10 years ago? It was during one of the big spikes in oil prices and we were told this was to offset the increased cost of fuel and those fees would go away when the oil prices fell.

    HAHAHAHA. Instead they just doubled down and added more baggage fees etc. Flying is getting so expensive and you would think it would be getting cheaper as time goes on. we have four in our immediate family and we’re starting to plan trips that don’t require flying so we can spend more money on the actual vacation.

    • Jess says:

      Yep, I distinctly remember when they jacked up the prices due to oil prices going up, and I just knew those prices are never going back down, no matter how much cheaper the oil becomes. And boy was I right. 🙁

    • Kitten says:

      Yes exactly–It gets worse every year. I’d love to travel more but I just cannot stand flying and the whole airport experience.

    • Erin says:

      MTE when I read this. These “savings” are 100% not going to go to the customers. It’s just another corner to cut for the airlines to squeeze every last penny out of people. That’s capitalism, you have to constantly be making more than the quarter before.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Well, not only the added expense, but then everybody started trying to cram everything into their carryons & then we ended up with overloaded storage space & our bags get checked anyway! For free!

  12. WiththeAmerican says:

    This makes me even more angry that Republicans killed the high speed rail plans under Obama, but Biden has some underway now. Who knows when they’ll be ready to use, though.

    I have to say reading above people admitting to kicking the chair in front of them for an entire flight is rather horrifying. And justifying it because they’re uncomfortable while never thinking about the reasons some people need to recline their chair is just exactly why I hate to fly now.

    I saw a rage monster kicking the chair of a disabled person who needed to recline for the entire flight on my last flight. Just outrageous levels of entitlement mixed with anger. There’s no excuse for kicking someone’s chair repeatedly.

    I don’t recline, I try to keep myself in a bubble so I don’t encounter people like upthread, whose anger seems ready to explode at any moment. No thanks.

  13. nutella toast says:

    Flew on a newer Spirit plane in December and if you are over 5’9″, I don’t know how you would do it. I’m 5’8″ and my knees were IN the seat in front of me (no recline, just an odd, super hard seat to lean against). I wanted to cry for all the men on the plane and any woman larger than a size 14 (I’m a 12/14 most times, and I had to squeeze into my seat and was spilling into the next seat – and again, I’m not huge). I guess flights are only for skinny privileged people now? There were so many embarrassed people looking around with tears in their eyes knowing that everyone was wondering how they were gonna fit – and I’m not talking 350 pound 6’7″ people…I’m talking normal passengers. The crew were trying to rearrange people so they had extra room with empty seats next to them – it was so humiliating for them, and delayed take off. I hated it.

    • Mimi says:

      That is straight up ridiculous. Since my son turned 14 and shot up to 6’4″, I have had to buy business class seats for him because he would literally be folded up into an economy seat. I am fortunate to be able to do that for him. This is cruelty and greed at the expense of the people paying for the executives’ exorbitant salaries.

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      That is horrifying! My god that’s obscene. I’m so sorry for those folks.

    • schmootc says:

      Spirit is the worst! I have flown them once and will never do that again. They also nickel and dime the crap out of you for every little thing.

  14. Jessi says:

    The REAL problem is that airlines have managed to convince us to turn on each other when the ACTUAL villain is the CEO. Shrinking seat sizes, decreasing leg room, added fees for everything including sitting together – all of these were corporate decisions that increase their profits. And every time the airline industry spends money on stock buy-backs to increase shareholder value instead of socking money away for a rainy day, OUR TAX DOLLARS BAIL THEM OUT! And then they turn around and charge us more and serve us less. Somebody much more articulate than I am stated “they’ve figured out how to privatize profits while making the public pay for risks” and it should be stopped.

    • Jess says:

      Hear hear!

    • Kitten says:

      Indeed. Corporate greed is the monster here.

    • Kelsey says:

      Hell yeah bestie

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      So true!

    • BeanieBean says:

      Speaking of corporate greed, did y’all know that flight attendants don’t get paid until the plane door closes?? They have to be there, they have to be on board, they have to start prepping meal/drink service, help people to their seats, etc., etc., etc., and they’re not getting paid yet!! That is so wrong!!

      • rosa mwemaid says:

        It was the same when I worked on a cross channel ferry, they stopped paying us the moment the boat tied up but we had to stay on the boat until every car was off, it could easily take an hour or so.

  15. tatannelise says:

    I’m 5’4″, and last time I flew, I could barely move my legs because the person in front of me reclined their seat. My husband is over 6′, and he just sort of takes for granted that he will be miserable on a plane no matter what.

    I don’t really think anyone needs to recline their seat on a regular domestic flight, but it’s different on an international redeye. Given the level of “service” airlines now provide, I doubt they’ll take that into account, especially for “domestic” redeyes.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Depends on your ‘regular domestic flight’. In the US, coast to coast will be 6hrs or more.

  16. lisa says:

    last time I flew the person in front of me reclined so far I could have given her a facial. she snapped back up when her hair got food and coffee in it

  17. Digital Unicorn says:

    Am all for this – hate reclining seats with a passion, esp on long haul flights, simply because there are rude idiots who act like rude idiots. For short haul flights I don’t see the need for them but I, grudgingly, understand the need on long haul flights but TBH they should reduce the number of cheap seats and give people a bit more room which would make things more comfortable esp for tall people.

    A 4 inch recline is still a lot esp for the poor person sitting behind.

  18. Louis m says:

    How convenient for the airlines that we sit here debating the ethics of reclining a seat instead of protesting the utter failure and greed of the airlines to expect people to tolerate such discomfort and dehumanizing standards. These conditions bring out the worst in people.

  19. RMS says:

    Pre-covid, I flew constantly (I have over a million miles on 2 different airlines), which meant status and upgrades. After covid and a cancer diagnosis, I fly significantly less and I have a 5 hour rule: less than 5 hours I can handle being in economy. More than 5 hours or overnight, if I can’t find a business class seat that I can afford, I don’t go. Plain and simple. To be fair, I now know I won’t be living as long, so the budget got re-jiggered, but largely this has to do with having a decent vacation and lowering the odds of me being medivacced home because I got wildly ill en route. For those pining for the olden days of travel, I have 2 words to spring you back into reality: SMOKING SECTION.

    • Nic919 says:

      I went to Florida as a kid in the 80s on a delta flight and definitely remember there was a smoking section.

      That said the seats were bigger and you didn’t have to get there hours in advance and then be treated like cattle. You could also stay with people who weren’t going on the flight until they called your departure time.

      The problem here is the airlines look to profit anyway they can and customers tolerate it because they think there is no other option.

  20. Stef says:

    I travel more than 35km a year for work across Canada and the USA – I’ve never had an issue with reclining or the person in front of me reclining. It’s not selfish to recline your chair on a flight!

    Usually, I will glance back before I recline in case they have a laptop out, and if so, I recline very slowly.

    I’ve flown in non-reclining seats and it’s not preferable but not too bad.

    Airline travel sucks these days and they do nickle and dime you as much as possible. Some people who fly seems have a tremendous sense of entitlement and only consider their own comfort. I’m seeing some of the same sentiment here in the comments …

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      Agree. I travel a lot for work and fly way more than I ever wanted to. I conduct myself with as much grace as I can muster because I know everyone is going somewhere that matters to them and everyone is miserable. I just don’t see the point or cause for taking that out on other people.

    • rosa mwemaid says:

      And what about if the person behind is claustrophobic, do you consider their comfort?

  21. Kelsey says:

    EVERYTHING has changed since COVID and it hasn’t been for the better. Food quality, hotel/travel lodging, chaotic and unorganized (and purposefully short staffed) retail stores, deteriorating outdoor spaces, chaotic and unorganized hospitals and doctor’s offices, literally EVERYTHING has changed for the WORST and it’s so crazy to see unfold in such a short amount of time. I feel like 2020-2024 has been a 10 year span so much has changed so rapidly smh.

    (And what’s insane is that everything has gotten worse-skimpier quality rise, yet prices keep rising like anything is being “improved”)

    • Sass says:

      @Kelsey good point. I’ve noticed it too. I don’t even like to purchase new clothes anymore because they are overpriced and terrible quality. Our grocery bill is now $400 every two weeks…we buy the same stuff we always have, it’s just all gone up. We actually have made the concession to buy even less expensive stuff too. For example my favorite jam is now $8. It used to be $4 a year ago, which is already pretty pricey. I don’t buy the jam anymore because that’s ridiculous. Things have doubled in cost. Even coupons and store rewards etc. aren’t really helping.

  22. Bad Janet says:

    Thank God. People who recline their seats on a non sleeping flight are a**holes. I’ve had people hit my baby on the head reclining their seats. My husband is 6’2″ and it is already uncomfortable to fly economy, but the instant someone reclines a seat, he literally can’t move. I’ve been waiting for this for years because people can’t use common sense or common courtesy.

    • ChiDawg says:

      Totally agree. I was flying for business once (not business class, though!) and we pulled back from the gate but were then sitting there for 2 hours. The guy in front of me immediately reclined and did it by violently pushing his whole weight back on the chair – absolutely no slowly reclining. When whatever problem was fixed and we were actually getting ready to takeoff, they made everyone unrecline their seats. I saw my chance. I put my knee up, so as soon as we took off, this guy is pushing against my knee and can’t recline his seat. He calls the flight attendant who asks me if I can move my leg and I said nope! He may be allowed to recline, but I’m also allowed to use the space in front of me which is what I was doing. If he wasn’t being such a d**k by so forcefully throwing his seat back the full way, I wouldn’t have done that. Once we landed, he avoided me at baggage claim. I said to my colleague – what happened? On the flight he was so interested in sitting on my lap and now he wants nothing to do with me!

  23. B says:

    FUCK THE AIRLINES!!! They make the bulk of their money from economy seats yet treat economy passengers like cattle! Do you know how rare it is for first class to be full? Yet they are constantly expanding first class at the expense of space in the economy section which is always packed. You want to know why there are more videos of people going off on each other and flight attendants? Its because they’ve been kept in stress positions for hours!!

    If your seat was intended to recline but you can’t because you end up in the lap of the passenger behind you thats the airline’s fault!! Not the passenger who needs space. This is unbelievable! Can you imagine how awful a overnight flight in the freaking upright position in a middle seat will be?? FUCK THESE GREEDY ASS AIRLINES!!!!

  24. TMH04 says:

    Yikes, reading this I sort of wanna cry right now. I have a very invisible disability, but it’s incredibly limiting and painful at times. Even the slight recline allows me to fly whereas if I have to stay straight up, I’m often holding in my tears. I’m definitely not someone who wants anyone to see me upset because I want to be able to do things without help or limitation

    You would think that there would be some accommodation for someone like me who has an invisible disability, but would like some option to be able to fly. Driving long distance is just as difficult but for a longer amount of time and that’s why flying often is the only choice. And I have limited joy in my life because I’m quite limited and flying to see my family and sisters brings me quite amount of joy and now I’m worried I really won’t be able to do this anymore.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I feel for you, @TMH04. I have a progressive neuropathy that wasn’t ‘visible’ until I started using a cane a couple of years ago. People tend to be nicer to me now, but I still hear the ‘tsks’ behind me as I struggle getting off the plane, as though I’m deliberately holding them up. And I need to move every so often any more, otherwise the pain gets to be too much. I am only now starting to realize the limitations this is placing on me & my life as I’ve lived it, where travel was always a joy & an adventure. I’m bummed at being able to do it less & that for whatever reason, my disability makes somebody else angry. A little compassion goes a long way.

      • TMH04 says:

        I’m sending you all the good vibes and positivity. It sounds like we both have a pain-in-the-butt neurological disorder.

        I can’t wait till Tesla makes a safe on the road, hands-free; then, people with disabilities can relax their arms and adjust their seats to the position that is most comfortable and chill. That or the actual ‘beam me up Scotty,’ technology!!:-)
        And the people that are so agitated waiting while you take the time you need to safely depart are just big ‘ole poop heads and should be treated accordingly!

  25. Traveller says:

    I unapologetically HATE when someone reclines in the seat in front of me, so I say good riddance.
    The space given to seats on planes now is too small as it is; I feel claustrophobic. I mostly fly internationally and 8-10 hours of flying is made so much worse with the person-in-front’s head in your lap. Cramming people into smaller and smaller spaces in order to squeeze every last cent of profit out of each flight is the worst part of capitalism.

  26. TMH04 says:

    ** and When I say accommodation, I mean from the airline like discounted price to pay for the higher level than economy. I have plenty of doctors who would write a letter, but the airlines just won’t do it. I don’t know how people with disabilities fly, I don’t think they often do, and it seems quite cruel on the airlines side.

    • BeanieBean says:

      It’s hard, it’s really hard. I worry about the day, sometime in the future, where I’m incapable of getting off the plane on my own & I get left on board overnight. In a damn seat that doesn’t recline.

      • TMH04 says:

        I can understand your fear and worry. I have had similar thoughts about getting older and how my condition will effect things. But, then I try to remind myself to stay in the moment and focus on today and find some joy, even if it’s eating some chocolate and watching my favorite show. Know you aren’t alone and also there are always caring and empathetic people that are on airplanes. The flight attendants but also people who either experience something similar but have family members that have something similar.

  27. Sass says:

    I hate flying. If I could drive everywhere I would. Flying terrifies me. The other stuff – reclining or no reclining chairs, more expensive seats with fewer perks including luggage restrictions that didn’t used to be so tight, rude passengers, rude attendants etc.

    I love visiting new places and trying new things but I hate that my options are overpriced but fast public transit OR private but much longer travel time via personal vehicle. I don’t have the vacation hours to drive and make it enjoyable. For example we are taking a quick trip to Chincoteague this summer for my birthday and we are flying because driving there and back would take up all my PTO. I would rather drive but I don’t have two weeks.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Oh, I always wanted to go there! Have fun!

      • Sass says:

        @Beaniebean thank you!! Me too, ever since I was a kid. I’m not a big party person and all I wanted for my birthday was to be at the beach. Why not the beach AND wild ponies? (The ponies are on Assateague but we will stay on Chincoteague). I was surprised at how affordable it is to visit. You should check it out!

      • BeanieBean says:

        @Sass: one of these days, one of these days!

  28. Cherie G says:

    So much justifying bad behavior in these comments .

  29. Mina_Esq says:

    Right? It’s not the lack of recline that is aggravating back pain. It’s the prolonged sitting and pressure. Good riddance to reclined seats. No one wants another person in their lap as they are trying to survive a crappy flight.

    • TMH04 says:

      Respectfully, I know that I can’t truly understand the frustration of being incredibly tall sitting in an airplane seat. And, while the seating can be incredibly difficult for you, it can at the same time be incredibly difficult for me who has a very rare neurological disorder, and my immune system attacks my nerves, and YES two inches does make a difference and provides relief. I am not sure why that is something that needs to be argued. I could say the same thing which is ‘it’s two inches does it really matter that much.. you can suck it up and deal with me reclining two inches..’

      There is some MAJOR ABLEISM talk going on here. And, all that being said.. it’s the airlines fault. Not anyone else here.

      But, we are all complaining, some people complain because they don’t want people reclining and taking up some space and other are ‘complaining’ saying we need that space’.

      I think it is pretty ironic that the people who make comments about there being so much justification about bad behavior are in fact justifying their bad behavior.

  30. smee says:

    As a person who is 5’12” that 2″ recline means a lot to me. Frankly, it goes back so little it blows my mind that people complain about it. But overweight passengers aren’t accommodated, so why should the tall? I hate flying these days, it sucks even when you pay more for a better seat.

    • rosa mwemaid says:

      99% of people are overweight because they eat too much, that is a choice, our height isn’t a choice, that’s down to mum and dad.

  31. Yep says:

    I never recline so I’m all for this! It’s horrible when you sit behind a recliner. Someone supply me with business-class tickets for life, please.