A Delta Air Lines passenger reclined her seat, and the woman behind her – she says – began pushing her seat back throughout the rest of the flight. In response, she didn’t ask for help from a flight attendant. Instead she began yelling at the woman behind her. And another passenger caught it on video.
The passengers behind the woman denied pushing her seat and that just drove the her to the brink, unleashing a tirade defending her right to recline. The battle had gone on silently until she just couldn’t take it anymore at the end of the flight.
She causing a ruckus, exclaiming
“I’m allowed to put my seat back!”
But I have to agree. She is allowed and if u don’t like it, fly first class.
— TheAverageBlackMan™ (@TheAvgBlackMan) November 4, 2023
Seat recline is important for passengers on long flights with poorly-padded seats. Recline works to distribute passenger weight and reduce back stress. Reclining is also a basic right when it’s a feature of your seat (certain airlines like Spirit and Frontier feature seats they call “pre-reclined” i.e. that do not recline).
- A passenger controls their own seat
- Airlines ban the Knee Defender device, which prevents recline – a device was designed to stop reclining. While their interest is prevent damage to the seat, they do not allow the passenger seated behind to interfere with the recline function
There is an etiquette to exercising your right to recline, though. Don’t recline during mealtime. Try not to recline unless it serves a real purpose (if it doesn’t actually benefit your comfort, don’t recline).
If you don’t want the passenger in front of you to recline, politely ask them not to. And if they want to recline and you don’t want them to, consider whether it’s worth your while to make not reclining worth their while. Many years ago all it took was $5 (offered with a parent’s permission) for me to convince a child seated in front of me not to recline so that I could work effectively on my laptop.