I had never heard of the Golden Asshole rule before. Obviously, one can find oneself in exceptional circumstances, but as a general rule, it's pretty useful.
Bravo. Thank you. Evidently at least one person learned something in kindergarten.
Another Airplane Etiquette Rule: The middle seat should get BOTH armrests. Come on, window and aisle people, you already have one dedicated armrest AND a better seat position. So let the poor bastard in the middle have your other armrest, for pete's sake.
While I agree, with the main point of being kind to fellow travelers, I don't get the privilege of complaining about how packed planes are. Air travel is an expensive and limited resource (not to mention emissions heavy.) Getting to fly at all is a luxury many can't afford. Increasing the number of people who can access a single plane (regardless of comfort) is the populist objective.
If you're on a daytime domestic flight, you almost certainly shouldn't recline your seat.

Bullshit. If you bought a reclining seat, you use the reclining seat. If the person behind you would prefer you not recline, it's up to them to ask you politely to put it back up.
sounds like Paul uses his flight to do his work. Sorry, but I don't do my work on a laptop so I recline when I fly and I don't clear it w/ the person behind me. I just assumed the recline feature was there to use at my discretion.
More seats=cheaper flights, not sure the airlines are the jerk you're making them out to be
@5, no. Paul is right. Don't recline. The damn things should be locked in the upright position for any daytime flight. It is clearly unjust for one person to decide to recline and thus make the decision for every person behind them in their section that they must also recline or else choose to be squished. You don't own every space behind you, just your own. Which means no reclining unless the person immediately behind you consents.

Unlike Paul, though, I think the blame is not just the airlines. It belongs to people who think their comfort is more important than the comfort of multiple other people. It's rude and inconsiderate.
"If you meet more than one asshole in a day, you're probably the asshole."

(also, that's kind of the reverse of the Seattle Driver Rule I just came up with... if you're not constantly encountering horrible drivers, you're probably a horrible driver)
You bought a ticket for a reclining seat. You get to recline if you want to. So does the person in front of you. Really, people. These seats barely even recline. Much ado about nothing.
Or dont be a fucking cheapskate and buy a first class ticket.
@8: What the fuck? You own (well, rent) your seat, and the right to do what you will with that seat so long as it is within the airline's rules. They explicitly allow you to recline, so recline at will. Sitting at a 90 degree angle (sometimes less so in seats with more obtrusive headrests) is really uncomfortable. Why should my back suffer so your knees don't, especially given that you have the option of reclining yourself?

If the airlines thought it was a problem that people wanted to be comfortable, or that reclining somehow unduly inconvenienced other passengers, they WOULD lock them. Given that they don't, the weird rules that you made up don't apply to anyone but you. In fact, airlines are opposed to the KneeDefender device, implying that they explicitly would like people to increase their own comfort by reclining.

It's rude and inconsiderate to think that your arbitrary rules are more important than the comfort of everyone on the plane who wants to use the tools at their disposal, provided by the airline itself.

("You can't be comfortable because it'll force everyone else behind you to decide whether they want to be comfortable too...")
Daytime has nothing to do with it. SEA->NYC is a five hour flight. I don't care what time of day it is, I am going to recline, like I would in my office chair. If there's an in-flight meal, I will return to the upright position. If the person behind me asks politely, I will put it upright. If they ask rudely, I won't. I will not warn the person behind me in advance - reclining seats are a fact of air travel, and people who don't know that are amateur flyers, the same people who can't figure out zone boarding or how to put luggage in the overhead correctly.

I fly about 100K miles a year, including plenty of daytime flights, and I obey the airplane etiquette of the experienced flyer.
Really, I'm pretty sure they'd lock the seats IN THE RECLINING POSITION if people didn't need to get in and out and if they didn't need to be upright for takeoff and landing. It's just more comfortable! There's no reason the entire plane needs to be uncomfortable so that one tall asshole (who presumably knows he doesn't comfortably fit and yet chose a seat with less legroom anyway) has his knees squished less.
@ 12: "You own (well, rent) your seat, and the right to do what you will with that seat so long as it is within the airline's rules."

Sometimes the "rules" aren't sufficient. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond the rules and discover a higher form of socially acceptable behavior than simple legality. Your logic is exactly what corporations use to fleece taxpayers and pollute the earth. There is no morality in legality; the two are barely connected.

For Christ's sake, be a human being and use your own common decency/judgment. Paul is 1000% right here.
So a couple of things:

- Reclining all the way means everyone behind you gets inconvenienced. Why? Because everyone behind you on a long flight is going to need the bathroom and most will not be able to do it if you are fully reclined.

- @14 - c'mon, you know that not everyone "chooses" their seat.

- Paul is right; the airlines are at fault wanting to cram as many in as possible (and leaving the flight attendants to sort it out).

- Last, why not a middle ground? Couldn't the airlines put their own lock on seats so passengers could recline somewhat but not fully? It would give everyone something.
I agree with respect to the flight attendants.

But airlines need to totally disable the fucking recline feature, it's pathetic now. Just disable it. My knees touch the seat in front even when it's NOT reclined, and I'm just barely over 6-feet tall. Being reclined into is just torture, and reclining provides no extra room, just nuisance for the person behind you.

I don't condone assholery or violence, but in the current situation, the reclining people are the real jerks (other than the airlines, of course).
There are degrees of reclination (?). I never put the seat back all the way, but I need to have it not be at 90 degrees for the sake of my back. I ease the seat about a third of the way down, and leave it there until I'm told to put the seat and tray upright for landing. So far, no one's complained, not even passive-aggressively. People who press the release button and slam their seat back all the way are rude, I agree. But in my travels I've seen them get their own brand of discomfort handed back to them by their row-mates "accidentally" stumbling over their legs when they refuse to get out of the way for someone who needs the restroom, which was pretty satisfying. (And yes, I would love to travel first class, but . . .)
I haven't flown many times in the last decade for a number of reasons, but when I have, I've kind of practiced the following rule with regard to armrests (regardless of seating position): if I, in the privacy of my own mind, decide that my seatmate/s don't warrant the extra containment due to apparent sweatiness, odor, fidgeting, or girth (sorry, but I paid for the full seat width), I usually ask them if we can just put the armrest away. I don't mind a little body contact, and the unpadded armrests usually hit me wrong and make my elbow sore anyway.

Opinions/berating on the above?

(I don't generally recline on short flights, never thought about asking permission, will do so next time.)
This is the Seattle-est conversation ever. Do whatever you want, people. Jesus...
@ 13:

Well, *I'm* just a lowly serf who most certainly does NOT fly 100K miles a year, and I'm certainly not an "experienced air traveler" like you are. But to me, etiquette is politely asking whoever is behind you if it's OK with them if you recline your seat, and complying with their wishes if they object.
One step closer to, as the onion says "packing them all in like cordwood"…
@8 Glad you think Paul is right, but your an idiot. Apparently the airlines believe the recliner is 'right' since that device is present and the knee defenders aren't. BTW, I'm 6' and haven't come close to having my knees crunched. I bet you like your inexpensive tickets as well.
Airlines believe that consumers' primary purchase criteria is price. They are doing everyting they can to lower price, including packing more people into planes.

If price *isn't* your main consideration in airfare, I invite you to buy one of the "economy plus" (or business or first) products. You will have plenty of room.

If price *is* your main consideration, then your enemy isn't the airline, it's yourself. Your purchasing behavior is behind the shrinking legroom and seat width that you experience.

You might as well complain about the poor nutritional value in Taco Bell's $0.99 menu. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
Fighting over reclining seats is such a coach class thing to do. That's why I always fly first.
"your an idiot"

I hate it when someone in front of me reclines so much that should I need to get up, I would be face to face with that person in the row in front. I'm not especially fond of people reclining to the point that it impedes my space adversely, especially then when they lean forward--which is what mostly happens.

But yeah, it's their right to do so. I never recline my seat because I don't want to be the troll in the person's day.
Yes, you have every right to do what the airlines permit you to do. You have every right to be a self-entitled, cavernous asshole every day of your life. Congratulations, you are acting within your rights, you tit.

By the way, if you're sitting in front of me in anything less than business class (and, sorry, tall as I am, I don't actually make more than the average man in my demographic, I'm going to be in cordwood class more often than I'd like), you will not be able to recline. It will be simply impossible. Start a fight about it, why don't you.

Fucking cheapskate. And a typical seattle passive aggressive asshole too.

if you are a tall person, or a giant fat fucking tub of shit, do yourself and everyone else a favor, and nut the fuck up and buy business or first class.

otherwise, deal with seats going back, whether you like it or not
Since the airlines get to write their own rules and don't like the knee defender or other locking devices, they should just ban them outright and then ban the people who try to use them.
What? Wow. Oh, Seattle. I have never heard of this 'problem' before in decades (!) of flying coach. Sometimes I recline for a little back relief, sometimes I don't, sometimes the person in front of me does, sometimes they don't. I have never cared either way and I cannot believe this suggestion that it's somehow up to the person behind me to decide. Not their choice, sorry! If you fly regularly at all, you'll know you're in for your share of inconveniences and discomforts. Children kicking the back of your seat, chatty born again Christians in the seat next to you, the tiny toilet seat sprayed with a stranger's piss, etc.
I'm 5'11" and, while I don't enjoy when the person in front of me reclines their seat, it generally doesn't bother me much.

The only time it becomes an issue is when I'm trying to work and I literally can't open my laptop because the person in front of me is trying to experience maximum airplane relaxation. Airplane comfort is not a thing! Stop trying to make it a thing by reclining into my laptop! I've put off all these important work things, and this flight is the only time I have to get them done! Uuuugh.
If the Wright brothers heard all the petty arguments about air travel, they'd probably burn their little fucking flying machine to ashes instead of giving us flight.

Jesus Fucking Christ... you're flying through the air. Who gives a shit if you're comfortable or not.
First world bitchiness.
what's wrong with you people? so sick of PNW bullshit.
Just slip them a 20 the seat goes back up then.
I like the golden asshole rule. But yes, people should always feel free to recline. The seats only recline a small amount (4" at the headrest, 0" at the waist pivot, so...about an inch at the knee). It's always the right of the person in front of you to lean back those measly couple inches if it makes them more comfortable. I feel like many people commenting otherwise either rarely fly or enjoy getting into confrontations. If you get filled with rage when the person in front of you leans back that little bit you shouldn't be flying, or at least not economy, because there is much shit to put up with on an economy flight without even counting seatbacks.
G g, my knees may or may not find that they're in the small of your back when you recline so far. Sorry, I just find that when I can no longer open my laptop due to you using the full range of recline I tend to become weary and slide down in the seat.
"I feel like many people commenting otherwise either rarely fly or enjoy getting into confrontations"

Well, they are Slog commenters after all.
Once again, we are fighting over the crumbs left from the predator profit gods. Check out the billions made by airlines last year. The airlines are the assholes here. I avoid all US based companies as much as possible. There are a lot of airlines out there that don't treat passengers like garbage. Vote with your tickets.

If you hate US based companies, then why dont you just move out the country?

I fly all the time - and I rarely have a bad experience.

And I am happy as hell that the airlines making billions. If they dont make money, then they stop buying airplanes.

Seems to me people like you let your hatred of corporations and profit(that evil word!) that you cant fucking thing straight.

in other words - go fuck off, pansy boy.
I put the reason for this problem where it belongs and that's with the carriers. They are so hungry to cram ever more people into a space that there is no room to breathe.
So let's say you tell the person behind you that you are going to recline and they say, "I'd prefer that you didn't." What then?
I'm 6'4" and generally respect the right of recline. If you know it is coming though, you can adjust your knees down and avoid the kneecap slam. A little head nod as an alert goes a long way. I also am loving the navel gazing in this thread. And I do completely agree with the middle seat/both armrests doctrine.
@29 - You don't understand. If I'm sitting behind you, you will not recline. It will be physically impossible. Trust me, I'm not happy about it. But if for any reason I have to fly on my own dime, I can't afford anything nice. Sorry, I'm going to continue to live, and my femurs aren't getting any shorter.
at 6'6", I resent anyone who reclines in front of me. i can't shrink, and i don't think it's justified to demand that I pay an extra $35-80 for my extra-long legs, let alone double that if I want to sit next to my partner or whoever I'm traveling with.
fuck all y'all. seats recline and i will use my reclining seat as i see fit. i will not ask. and now we are done.
I fly a great deal but this rarely effects me since I'm business class for any flight longer than 3 hours. But for god's sake it's not a puzzle.

If it's an overnight red-eye or long international flight - of course you can recline.

But you know what you do first? ( And this will rock your world): You ASK.

That's what you do. You say "Pardon me, it's late and I've got to hit the ground running when we get to (where ever). Do you mind if 'I FILL IN THE BLANK' ?"

See? Easy.

You politely ask people if you can recline. Or if you can use your laptop at 3am. Or if your conversation is disturbing them. It's not fucking hard.

You act like actual grown up adults with a lick courtesy and you ask the people around you for their permission to... do what ever.

Jesus. What a dearth of adults in this cesspool of entitlement.
@43 Usually I bribe with booze or offer to buy a meal or something. But if they say no? Then you don't. We don't always get what we want in this life.

But in thirty years of adult flying I have never - NEVER - had anybody say "no" when I politely ask them for what ever.

In the last ten years any long flight I've good fortune of flying mostly business class so reclining isn't an issue. But you still have to be courteous.

If you want to say work on a lap top at 3am, or watch a movie, or whatever. So you ask. And people in my experience respond to you when you don't behave like entitle douche bags.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that people don't comprehend fundamental manners. But I am.
@all the $30,000 millionaires in coach who have important work to do on laptops: if your work were that important, your company would have sprung for business class. If you are in coach, get over yourself. Your conspicuous consumption of cheap crap and crappy services is killing middle class jobs and making everything suck.
Dear 50: I think his post about using the time on the plane to do work was about his choice because of the time on the plane. Or does choice only apply to the pig reclining?
You paid bottom dollar for that seat. So did the shlub in front of you. You are not somehow more important than he is.

Please wait...

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