A user asked, Am I a jerk for not letting the passenger in front of me recline their seat on a flight? We want to hear from you.
What Does OP Do?
What Happened Last Week?
Last week, OP was on a 4-hour international flight with his knees crammed into the seat in front of him. The passenger directly in front of him tried to recline but realized that his knees prevented her from doing so.
What Did She Do?
She turned around, gave OP a dirty look, and attempted to recline again with more force. OP was a little annoyed but apologized and told her he could not move my legs out of the way without infringing on the spaces beside him (i.e., moving my legs to the side into other people’s spaces, freeing up space for her).
What Did She Say?
She accused OP of doing this on purpose just because he wanted more room for himself, calling me a jerk and saying that if he could not fit into a regular economy plane seat he should pay extra for an emergency exit seat so that people around him can have more free space.
OP says, “If I’m honest, I feel that people who recline their seats in economy are annoying and inconsiderate, so I didn’t exactly bend over backward to accommodate for her.”
Some More Context
For more context, no, OP did not check to see if this flight, in particular, had extra emergency exit seats. OP says, “As I said, usually I do not feel the need. I do not often run into issues with seats beside me, although this issue with people in front of me not being able to recline has occurred before, though not always, and has earned me some dirty looks from those in front of me in the past.”
He wants to know if he is a jerk and asks if he should pay extra for seats with more legroom so that people in front of him can recline, even though this is not always a problem.
Not A Jerk
Reclining Is NOT Acceptable
“Not wrong. As a frequent traveler on 14-hour flights and short enough to stretch my legs out in the economy, I will say that people who recline are jerks. Someone almost snapped my laptop because it was on the tray table, and I had to slam it shut before they reclined.
I don’t know why you’d design them that way. Still, between being kicked by kids behind and having a seat slammed into my face if I try to lean forward to stretch my back, there’s never a time when reclining is more comfortable than the inconvenience they cause. I also have to shimmy and hop to get out for the bathroom when the seat is reclined. All Recliners are jerks.
Edit: Clarity, those who recline immediately to the fullest extent. You can recline a bit for a small gain and limited inconvenience, which works out much more favorably for all.”
Reclining Nowadays Is RUDE
Pay For Yourself
“Light jerk, mainly because you said you’ve caused this issue to people before.
I know you can’t change your height, but we pressure fat people to buy two seats not to inconvenience those around them, so it should be reasonable to expect you to pay for legroom not to inconvenience the people around you. She paid for a seat that should have every right to recline, even if you disagree.”
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