Moving the seat back...

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May 26th, 2006, 11:44 AM
  #1
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Moving the seat back...

Ok, sure, the seat does move back a bit.

But here is the proverbial good neighbor question...

If we are all packed like sardines into our budget seats, is it really polite to lean your seat back when you know it will only further intrude upon the person behind you? In some cases, the person moving the seat back makes usage of the drop down table unpleasant or impossible.

I say that unless the person has a medical necessity that requires the seat going back, it is good neighborliness to keep your seat upright. Just my two cents.
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May 26th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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How refreshing to see someone with consideration for others--a rare commodity these days, unfortunately.
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May 26th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Thank you, Underhill.

the way some people on here react to me you would think i was satan himself!

But seriously, this one lady on the plain (with a neck cushion, doting hubbie, etc.) moved her seat back and the table was like going into my gut. And then of course she is moving around and the space just seemed to get smaller and smaller so that I was pushing into the back of my seat to get away from the seat in front of me!

I asked her nicely if she could just move it up a bit. She got all huffy and later tries to "teach" me how everyone can move their seats back. I politely told her to just end the conversation and to move the seat back if it is such a big deal. Of course, she did.

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May 26th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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This topic was extensively debated awhile back. There were those who agreed that it was only common courtesy not to move the seat back (particularly on short trips) and there were those who were equally adamant that it was their absolute right to do so regardless of their fellow passengers comfort. More than anything else, it is a reflection on our society.
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May 26th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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True. It was a long haul trip and on my way there, i was in the last row next to the loo....so I could not move my seat back even if I wanted to.

I don't see how a person, with such cramped seating, couldn't realize that moving the seat back would not be a little bit claustrophobic to the passengers behind them.
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May 26th, 2006, 02:29 PM
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My 6'5" husband will exert knee pressure into the recliner in front of him on the especially tight, short-haul trips. The ones I love are the folks who get the exit row seats (those that actually recline) and push them back as far as they go, when they've already got an advantage to everyone in coach. Personally, I can't stand when the person in front of me cranks the seat back as far as it goes. Good grief, it isn't like you are getting that much more comfort out of the experience, for the amount of discomfort you give the poor soul behind. (If this thread has been discussed extensively in the past, I apologize for missing it, because it is a peeve of mine).
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May 26th, 2006, 02:33 PM
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Eating a lot of garlic before you get on the plane has a way of making the person in front keep his/her distance as does coughing and throat clearing, but it shouldn't be necessary.
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May 26th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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True. My seat mate puked. I felt bad for her.

And on my first trip a passenger fainted.

Also, after a while, the smell of wine in a cramped space gets a bit overwhelming.

And yes, I do enjoy my beaujalais.
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May 26th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Hate to say it, but I always travel with my seat back. Everyone can do it except the poor souls in the very last seat and those ahead of the exit rows, so when your neighbor behind you puts his seat back, it evens out.

Sorry, mean no disrespect, but I do feel it's the only way to get comfortable on a plane. If the person behind me couldn't put his seat back, I'd feel differently, but it's almost universally true that everyone can.

Sorry ilovetotravel29! i feel bad that you think i'm a jerk.
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May 26th, 2006, 06:13 PM
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The seat is designed to recline.

The seats were designed to be a certain distance apart.

The airlines are the violators here, since they install the seats too close together now.

People who insist on things from their point of view -- the ones in front who insist on full recline, the ones in back who insist on full upright -- only compound the misery. Blaming each other instead of the airlines is misguided and refusing to compromise is just pigheaded.

I have to recline from time to time to keep my spine from screaming in pain from being in the same position too long. I try not to do the full recline in coach unless the people behind me are also in full recline and asleep. And I try to live with people in front of me reclining so long as they don't do it during meals (assuming there ARE meals) and don't recline all the way.

Making an absolute edict either way -- no reclining allowed or full recline and hellwit everyone else -- is just (forgive me) dumb.
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May 27th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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The seatback needs to be upright during takeoffs, landings, meals, anytime a body is not actually reclining in the reclined seat, or when I am sitting behind you.
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May 27th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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Fortunately, I rarely have to fly in coach, and even when I do, it is generally on United which has economy plus seating with an additional 4 inches of leg room. Otherwise, I would have a serious problem. Being 6'4", there is no way I could deal with anyone puting their seat back in a regular coach seat. There simply wouldn't be anyplace to put my legs. Before anyone puts their seat back, they ought to at least have the courtesy to look at the person behind them to see if there is room.
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May 27th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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Wow, I am claustrophobic and hate it when the person in front of me reclines. I also have a bad back in a way that reclining makes feel worse. So if the person in front of me reclines I get to pick one misery or another. I also have long legs and feel cramped when the seat in front is reclined.

My SO is very tall. When the person in front reclines, the seat is literally jammed into SO's knees.

One thing that irritates me is when really small, short people recline the seat. They have most room and comfort to start with.

I do think the airlines are to blame. However, on a given flight on a given day the person in the seat is the one who has the option to be kind, not the airline.

Please be nice to the people behind you. If they are not reclining, please don't or at least look to see if the seat will jam into them. Or maybe ask if they mind. I for one will really, really appreciate the consideration.

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May 27th, 2006, 08:38 PM
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Seats are designed to be reclined. There's no rule against doing it anytime in cruising altitude. Including meal time. Those who complain about the person in front reclining - please get yourself a bulkhead seat or exit row seat, or get yourself some premium economy, business or first class seat.

I am short, but I like my seat angle low. Tall and long-legged people have lots of advantages in life, but hey, I don't complain about them and I don't feel bad about myself being short. But why can't I make my back comfortable just because YOU can't pay a little more for YOUR OWN problem (of being tall)?

And I will never ask before I recline. It's my rights and why should I ask? What if you say no? Should I then argue with you? If you don't want me to recline, then YOU can ask. I may, or may not, listen to you, but it's YOU that should ask, not me.

Having said that, I will NEVER NEVER abruptly lower my seat back. I always turn my head to glance, making sure the person behind isn't using a computer or whatever, then I will lower it slowly, giving him/her time to adjust. And I ALWAYS ALWAYS straighten my seat during mealtime, because 1) I don't lean back when I eat, and 2) I know it's tough for anybody to eat when the seat in front is reclined. But I do that out of consideration, not because I have to.

BTW, I also NEVER NEVER grab the seatback of the seat in front, like when I need to get out. I know how disturbing it is to the whole row of people in front. Again, if the person in front wants to recline, that's his/her rights; hoping that he/she will not recline is one thing, demanding it is ridiculous.
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May 27th, 2006, 10:34 PM
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On another note, when you're not a full 6' do you ever notice that the "headrests" are of no use to you? I'm 5'7" and my head never rests comfortably against the headrest-in fact, my head doesn't even reach it.

The headrests w/ the flexible leather (or faux leather) "wings" are most comfortable to me. The worst are those hard spongy ones that are inflexible and my poor short self has to relax on a flat seatback. Blech!
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May 27th, 2006, 11:04 PM
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rkkwan post says it all. It really is a reflection of the kind of world we live in now.
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May 28th, 2006, 04:24 AM
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I am tall, long legs, and don't really have a problem with anyone reclining their seat in front of me for one simple reason: I intend to recline my seat. A person asking if they can recline their seat in front of you is just warning you that they are about to recline their seat. I don't think anyone has ever asked me, though. My tallness is not a problem for me and it is not a handicap that I need anyone to help me with.

I was on a Lufthansa flight from Germany a couple years ago in economy behind a short woman. Duriing the meal she was leaned forward eating while her seat was reclined. She was in an exit row and didn't understand what it was like havig the seatback on top of the meal tray (this is a problem that would affect anyone of any size). I was basically straddling her seat back with my feet tilted and underneath her seat (am not complaining just explaining how I cope). The FA asked/told the lady to put her seatback up during the meal. She complied but later during a snack she left her seat down. This was during the last two hours or so of the fligt. The next time she raised her seatback I put me knees in front of me with my feet flat on the floor. The next time she tried to lower her seatback it lowered about an inch before my knees stopped it. This was not painful to me. She pushed a couple of times and huffed once or twice, looking over her shoulder, but she never spoke to me.

Was I within my "rights" in doing this? I was in my space and was allowed to sit in any (normal) manner that I find comfortable, no? She was not able to recline her seat again during the flight.

Since that flight the only time I have been in economy on a long haul was in a United Economy Plus seat.
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May 28th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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rkkwan is correct. Im a 6 footer and have all the problems talked about here when someone reclines their seatback. I have learned to cope.

If you have a problem with reclining seats take it up with the airline, not the passengers.
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May 28th, 2006, 08:12 AM
  #19
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Interesting comments.

Yes, I can take it up with the airline.

The question was more along the lines of humanity....if you know it will inconvienance the person behind you, what are you saying when you stil do it?
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May 28th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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ilovetotravel29 - I know that my seatmate wants to have my seat too so that he/she can spread out. I'm definitely inconveniencing him/her by just being in my seat. By your logic, I shouldn't even get on the plane.

You're going far too extreme. As I said, becareful when you lower your seatback, and do it slowly. Return to upright during meal time. That's very reasonable and I've flown hundreds of times with my short reclining figure, and has yet to get into argument with a seatmate behind me.

One other thing one can do. When you leave your seat to go to the bathroom, return the seat to upright to give the person in the back in a little more room when you're not using it.

One other thing - if the plane is configured with seatback video, then you may not want to move the seat too often. Everything you adjust the seat, the person watching the screen needs to readjust the angle of the actual monitor. Gets annoying if you're doing several times an hour.
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