US

To recline, or not to recline: Should people be allowed to recline airplane seats?

Photo of Taylor Bigler
Taylor Bigler
Entertainment Editor

Tall people have had it up to their knees with reclining airplane seats.

On a flight from Dubai to England earlier this week, a heated argument broke out aboard an Emirates Airbus 380 because a passenger reclined his seat as the man behind him was about to eat, the Daily Mail reported.

The two leapt up and traded barbs before the crew calmed them down. The exchange was so heated that the pilot called police who were waiting at the gate when the plane landed in Manchester.

If an incident like this can happen on board an Airbus 380, the biggest commercial jet in the world, no wonder tall people are so upset on cramped, domestic flights were people are round up and crammed into tiny planes like cattle.

For the long-limbed, coach and economy class seats can be so torturous that an entire Web community was built around the space issue.

The first Google search term that comes up when searching “airplane reclining” is a forum on SmartTravel.com called “How can I defend myself against reclining airplane seats?” There are also several YouTube videos dedicated to preventing crimes against legroom.

Luckily, some serious entrepreneurs invented the Knee Defender, a device that clips onto the two handles of your tray table and blocks the seat in front of you from reclining:

Lightweight, pocket-sized, all-plastic Knee Defender™ is easy to use – helping you gain some protection for your knees when there is no airplane legroom space to spare but you may be dealing with an aggressive seat recliner.

Those in favor of seat reclining also have their fair share of good reasons: they paid for the ticket and the seat reclines for a reason, so they should be allowed to utilize this function. Who doesn’t want a little horizontal action when they are trying to take a cat nap?

So tell us:

Follow Taylor on Twitter