Moving the seat back...

Jun 23rd, 2006, 04:42 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Airlines are not renting you space on an airplane and granting you the right to use it in anyway you see fit. They are contracting to move your body from one location to another, and giving you a place to sit while doing so.

The idea that you have a right to recline but that the person behind you does not have a right to touch your seat back is selfish to say the least.

I understand people may want to recline their seats and as long as they're polite about it, I have no problems with it. When they're rude, my feet go flat on the floor where my knobby knees can massage their backs through the paper thin seats as I try to get comfortable in the vastly reduced space alloted.

While I believe in the golden rule, as a realist, I also recognize that what goes around comes around. Perhaps, if more people recognized this there would be less need for threads like this.
Hal8999 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 04:46 AM
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There would be almost no need for threads like this if the airlines provided a resonable physical environment in which to travel.
soccr is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Actually Saharabee, our the idea of personal space isn't so much ingrained in our "lizard brains" as it is a construct of our society and culture. Different societies have different ideas of personal space. Americans tend to have a much stronger desire for "elbow room" than somebody from ,say, India. Of course, what defines courtesy is also a social construct. What some may define as a rude invasion of space may be utterly perplexing to someone of another culture.

So, I guess my bottom line would be if the seats being reclined/not reclined somehow causes you physical pain, then try to work it out with your neighbor politely, realizing of course that what makes you more comfortable makes him less so. If it's not physical pain, then just realize everyone is different, it's not going to last forever, so why take the energy to get all worked up about it?
cynic is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 07:47 AM
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Actually, regarding physical space, I think it is more of a true biological thing......have you read the stats that living in cramped quarters appears to stress the body and hinder growth???

But I agree with many posters....1) the airlines pack us in like sardines, and 2) I don't lean my seat back even though it would make it easier for me to actually sleep or get comfy cause I feel that it would probably be a little uncomfy for the person behind me, and those that may have to try and move behind my seat when exciting the row.

Oh well.......we could always lobby the airlines, right?
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 11:23 AM
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Actually no, the idea of personal space is a cultural construct especially since we are talking about intermittent incidences of interaction as opposed to permanent living conditions. In fact, there is a field of study devoted to it which is proxemics - " The study of the cultural, behavioral, and sociological aspects of spatial distances between individuals." It's actually fairly fascinating how different cultures will appear to be "pushy" or "standoffish" to others depending on the cultural norms of personal space versus intimate space etc.

But I do agree that the airlines are at fault for packing us in so tightly, but until that changes I would just urge people to be mnre patient and less accusatory to their fellow passengers.

Lastly, lucky is the passenger is sits in front of me and behind ilovetotravel29 since he will have the best of both worlds.

cynic is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 11:31 AM
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Oh, one other thing, what I would love to see put on all planes are those seats that recline by sliding forward. Have you seen those. I'm not explaining it well, but the point is that when you recline you actually give up your own leg room. That way we wouldn't have to argue about back pain versus leg pain and this debate could finally end.
cynic is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Despite studies about living in cramped spaces and talk about personal space requirements, we have indicated a preference for low airfares rather than additional space.

I'm pretty sure that if the airlines could make more money by charging more for a roomier personal space we would have that. While it sure would be nice to have more room and better food it seems that we are not willing to pay for it.
SamH is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 01:40 PM
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I have to say I agree with basically everything cynic has said in the last few days.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Cynic, I think I understand your forward sliding's sort of like your wall-hugger reclining chair. Problem then becomes the tray table in the seat back would then lower onto the passangers legs behind you. Armrest tray tables could be a remedy to that.
SamH is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 02:30 PM
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SamH - I have flown on AF's 773ER with the sliding coach seats. Tray table position is not an issue.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Not to worry, I understand we are debating, and in fact I find you a very civilized debater. That said, I am going to insist that I am right, and you are wrong, so you might as well give up now, my husband sure has....

I think possibly because you fly quite a bit (yes?) that you might be more affected by these things. Whereas I only have to endure sardine class the once or twice a year that I get away.


I know, it is possible that you were seated behind a once or future axe murderer and nothing would have done. Or more likely, she might have been trying to make a point to her parents as much as to you.

That said, you say you would feel weird trying out what I suggested. Hey, look, I never promised my method wouldn't make anyone feel weird, I only said it would stand a better chance of success, or at least of being better received. Besides, look at this way - surely you wouldn't feel any worse than you likely did after your woman snapped at you.

It really can work (excluding the axe murderer scenario) to emphasize that one knows one is asking someone to do something possibly uncomfortable, but could they do it anyway. They are more likely to oblige, but even if they do not, their reaction to being asked is often more favourable.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Seen on the Africa/Middle East Board:

Author: starstruck
Date: 02/12/2006, 07:52 am
After a complaint, I received a letter from Emirates Air stating that economy passengers are in fact not allowed to recline in their seats during any meal service. This is to allow the person behind you more room to eat.

If you are sleeping, you will be woken up and told to sit upright.

This policy is also in effect on the 14 hour overnight flights from NY to Dubai.

I think it is an outrageous policy. Can you imagine being woken up 3 times in the middle of the night because they are serving snacks or meals? Imagine taking a sleeping pill to sleep during the 14 hour flight only to be woken up THREE times so the person behind you has a bit more room to eat. Outrageous is the only word that comes to mind.

We need another carrier to fly the US to Dubai non-stop. Emirates Air's policy are gestapo-like.

JAGIRL is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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Leaving aside the issue of whether the "gestapo-like" action of making somebody straighten a seat back is comparable to the "gestapo-like" actions of the real Gestapo (no overstatement there)....

What did this person do? Stay awake for the length of the meal, then re-recline only to be surprised by being awakened for the second meal? And then stay awake for that meal and re-reclined only to be surprised by being awakened a third time?

Wouldn't it have been easier to keep the seat up after the first awakening? (Maybe I'm just lucky, but after a sleeping pill I can conk out with the seat upright.)
KT is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Forgot to say: On all the 12-hour flights I've been on, the first meal is served soon after takeoff, and the last one shortly before landing, so there's usually a good chunk of time to sleep between meals. Maybe Emirates does it differently, though.
KT is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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If it is a night flight and the dinner and desert as been served, move the seat back. But please bring the seat forward during the meal if you are on an international flight.
wally34949 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2006, 05:28 PM
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What is it about the human psyche that turns usually decent, considerate people into boys and girls behaving badly, once the gain the freeway, or travel in coach?? Consideration above all things should be the by word, since we are all in this together. I don't fly coach much, but when I do, I need to let the seat back at least a 'smidge' ot relive the pressure on my neck and spine. Of course, if the folks behind were to request it, or complain, I would try to be accomodating. End of discussion.
Jul 3rd, 2006, 08:24 AM
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P.s. The airlines are providing 'cheap' and affordable fares by 'scrunching' us up...Otherwise, they would have to charge more. Many of them are going bankrupt as it is. The trick would be to find a middle ground;where comfort and economy are blended to a 'tolerable' experience. Of course, if you are 6ft 5, you are bound to be uncomfortable. By the way, coach class in British Air has the tightest configuration of any airplane in the sky, or so it seems to me. I am not a large person, but can hardly bear it, so the cost of an upgrade is well worth it to me.

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