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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:52 am   #1
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Seat Recline Etiquette

I recall that this has been looked at in threads passim, but I could not find them.

Had a very recent flight - MEX to LHR in Y.

A family of 4 - father, mother and two children in the row in front. Within a minute of sitting down the child in the seat in front of mine (age about 12 / 13)slammed her seat into full recline. Prior to take off was asked to move it to upright by cabin crew, but as soon as they had gone past - full recline again.

Then at meal service, same thing - temporary upright then full recline spilling hot coffee over me.

I always ask those behind if they mind me reclining my seat and on this occasion the person behind said they would prefer I didn't as they find it very claustrophobic - which is fair enough.

I asked two members of cabin crew to help, and with each asking the child to put her seat up without success, and getting a mouthful in rapid Spanish from mum, shugged her shoulders and wandered off. At just over 6 foot I did find it pretty cramped.

I was not going to get all bent of shape over this (well, I was but literally rather than mentally ...) but I am wondering how other FTers would handle this situation. (apart from the obvious of flying WT+ or J - which was not possible on this occasion).

I accept that this IS public transport and it did the job of getting me 5000 odd miles in 10 hours but I would appreciate some strategies!
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:56 am   #2
  
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I have to be honest I never ask before reclining my seat and have never seen anyone else do it. I do try to do it slowly and gently to avoid spilling coffee though.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:00 am   #3
  
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I don't ask but I tend to glance behind me, if the passenger is reclined I see that as a green light to do the same....
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:06 am   #4
  
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Last time I flew LH Y - I asked the person behind if they would be OK if I reclined, they were, and even then I only reclined a little.
I HATE people in front of me reclining, really winds me up - I find it rude. When on SH, I aim for exit seats which can't recline over the joke of CE.

I do appreciate they have every "right" to recline - as would I.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:06 am   #5
  
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I've never had someone in front ask me before reclining and I don't mind as that is part of the design. I do be careful around mealtimes though or if there's anything that can be knocked over.

On the flip side, I don't ask if I'd like to recline, though I do it carefully and not at mealtimes.

I don't see why people complain about people reclining. Shouldn't it be expected if that's what the design allows? They should really be complaining about the plane design instead.

I'd get a bit annoyed if there was a child reclining like crazy in front, but I don't think I'd do much other than huff a bit...
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:07 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterT1953 View Post
I recall that this has been looked at in threads passim, but I could not find them.!
Here's one:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...y-recline.html
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:08 am   #7
  
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I also never ask first, but always do it slowly. Personally I find a recline rather uncomfortable so I don't tend to do it for the entirety of the flight.

Ditto what caz312 says about if they're reclined, too!
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:18 am   #8
  
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My view is, especially on a night flight, all ok to recline after the meal and everything has been collected.

I was on a WT+ flight from YYC-LHR recently, and i was eating the meal, the idiot in front decided to do a full, fast recline in the middle of the meal, my red wine went all over me. As you can imagine i was not impressed.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:19 am   #9
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Here are some more threads:
My first taste of air rage
Reclining seats (slightly OT)
Nine in ten passengers say reclining seats on short-haul flights should be banned
Semi-OT: Violent Reaction to Seat Recline - What Would You Have Done?
And from the TravelBuzz forum:
Consolidated thread: Seat recline etiquette.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:21 am   #10
  
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Complain to airline not about the people

The issue you speak of is the airlines issue not the person in front of you. They are on the same 10 hour flight and maybe they want to try and stretch out a bit in a different position. The airlines are now thinking of making the seating area even smaller with less leg room, With the growing size of the average person this makes no sense, people spilling over their seats now getting more of them crammed into the area. The only way to improve it is to get airlines giving more room. may cost more but a little comfort is worth it in my mind.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:22 am   #11
  
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In today's cramped economy, if you don't wish to have a seat reclined on you then you should pay extra and fly in business class.

I will recline my seat slowly to avoid the hot coffee issue, and at meal times its strictly seats up - but other times people are within their rights to recline all they want. And no I wont be asking permission... sorry.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:25 am   #12
  
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My only long haul Y flights in the last 5 years have been bulkhead or exit seats, so other people's attitude towards it doesn't affect me much but I try and be somewhat thoughtful about it myself and I do think it's really pretty inconsiderate to recline your seat when the person behind is eating.

I do understand that sometimes people are coming off a connection and just want to sleep as soon as humanly possible though, if you're on your second 11 hour flight in a row then I can understand reclining and passing out ASAP after takeoff.

The situation you describe with parents who have no interest in teaching their little brats manners or thought for others is a different matter. It's the design of the plane and you can't force people to be considerate, so I stick to W or J long haul partially as a result...

Short haul, the seats don't recline enough that I even notice to be honest...
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:31 am   #13
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smala01 View Post
In today's cramped economy, if you don't wish to have a seat reclined on you then you should pay extra and fly in business class.

I will recline my seat slowly to avoid the hot coffee issue, and at meal times its strictly seats up - but other times people are within their rights to recline all they want. And no I wont be asking permission... sorry.
The fly business remark is too common and tedious. I am sure a family of four can think of better ways of spending what could be the difference between 2,000 and 10,000 for a ten hour return. His question was not whether he should have bought business
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:39 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smala01 View Post
In today's cramped economy, if you don't wish to have a seat reclined on you then you should pay extra and fly in business class.
Yes, that's tiptop advice. I'm surprised you didn't suggest OP get the chip off his shoulder and ring up NetJets for his next family holiday.

To the OP...sadly, seats do recline and are intended to be used in that mode. I agree with those who advocate a gentle transition.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:39 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitcage View Post
I have to be honest I never ask before reclining my seat and have never seen anyone else do it. I do try to do it slowly and gently to avoid spilling coffee though.
I have always done the same.

I seem to recall in a previous thread being castigated for admitting to doing such a thing.
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