One of the biggest hot topics of travel today is the issue of reclining seats. Everyone who's flown in the last few years has an opinion, and it's probably a strong one.
"Pro - Recliners" believe that it's their right as a passenger to use the seat recline that they've paid for. The feature is built into the seat - why wouldn't they use it? Some people with neck and/or back problems who fly need to recline to avoid severe discomfort.
However, other passengers - we'll call them "anti - recliners" - don't quite agree. They argue that the pro-recliner argument comes with a sense of arrogance and entitlement, and lack of consideration for those sitting behind you. I myself have had my knees squished by a sudden, swift swing backward, unable to use my tray or look at my monitor. For people over 6 feet tall, this is particularly uncomfortable.
Some people have fought back. As a recent NYTimes article wrote ("Your Knees, Their Seat: Discuss"):
"Those in favor of the device, most of whom pointed out that they were six feet tall or more, recounted how their knees had been repeatedly whacked by passengers who abruptly recline their seat midflight without any warning.
“I do it in self defense of my knees,” said Chris Bolton, 53, from Boise, Id., who describes himself as 6 feet 3 inches “with iffy knees.” He made his own knee defenders by using C-clamps that he attaches to the arms of his tray table to prevent the person ahead of him from reclining. “No one has ever asked me to remove them. Any person who tries to move their seat back and can’t simply assumes that the seat is broken,” he said, adding that if asked he would remove them, but would not be against pressing his shins into the seatback in front of him. “I justify using them by believing that pain avoidance is more important than additional (and marginal) increased comfort.”
However, though I sympathesize with crunched knees, I'd like to think we have enough civility left to simply tap the shoulder of the person sitting in front of us and politely ask if they would recline a little less. Perhaps the answer will surprise us.
What do you think? Leave your comments below!