An American travel writer has gone viral with a dangerously controversial topic: To recline, or not to recline.
It’s often expected that your seat remains upright during meal times whenever someone is behind you (particularly when seated in economy class), but during the rest of the flight, it’s fair game. However, according to Abbey Gingras, passengers who recline their seats on a plane are “the worst”.
“There’s one thing I hate about flying,” she wrote in American travel magazine Outside Online. “And it’s not the overpriced tickets or the baby crying three rows ahead of me in economy class.
“It’s the people who recline their seats with total disregard for the person behind them.”
In her eyebrow-raising piece, which triggered a furious debate on social media, Gingras begins with a fairly understandable plea about taking care when reclining your seat. However, as she goes on, her argument intensifies.
“Economy-class members who recline their seats are the worst,” she declared. “The thing is, you know you suck when you hit that recline button, but just in case you truly are ignorant, hear this: your actions have direct consequences for the people around you — any space you take is taken from someone else.
“The person behind you deserves the same respect you give the person in front of and beside you by not kicking their seat or elbowing them over the armrest.”
The question of ‘To recline, or not to recline?’ is one many modern-day travellers are faced with whenever they fly. It has caused brawls on planes, screaming matches between passengers and the invention of a controversial device called the knee defender, which actually limits the extent to which the seat directly in front can be reclined.