New Airline “Recline Alert System” So You’re Ready When The Passenger In Front Of You Leans Back

KLM is out a few hours early with their April Fool’s joke: the world’s first airline to offer a beeping ‘recline alert system’ to notify the passenger behind you that you’re about to encroach on their space.

Funny! And sort of useful? But also an odd choice for an airline to highlight just how uncomfortable they’ve made economy class that you might realistically value an alert that the person in front of you is reclining so that your laptop doesn’t get smashed or you move your items that could spill off of your tray table.

What makes this funny is that airlines put you in this uncomfortable situation all the time and don’t do anything about it. Oh that cheeky KLM, pretending that an airline would invest in warning customers before they’re crunched even more into their coach seat!

This seems more on-brand for Ryanair: we know it’s absurd that they’d make any investment in their passenger cabin, so a recline alert is so silly! Plus it’s the perfect Ryanair joke, their seats do not even recline! It is perfect for them since they market how uncomfortable their product is as part of underscoring how affordable it is. Michael O’Leary has been known to muse about making passengers pay to use the lavatory, even, whenever they’ve been out of the media too long for being cheap.

On past April firsts I’ve highlighted Marriott’s new cost-saving water conservation campaign called “If It’s Yellow, Let It Mellow”; shared a trip report flying first class on Russian carrier Meridien; and pointed to a $120 first class mistake fare (this one was sort of mean).

(HT: Don G)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. “Encroaching on their space”? More like using the space you are entitled to use by the airline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *