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Passenger goes beserk in Economy over seat recline

Passenger goes beserk in Economy over seat recline

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Old Jun 30, 19, 2:09 pm
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Passenger goes beserk in Economy over seat recline

This evening's BA481 BCN-LHR was uneventful until the last 40 mins of the flight. Club Europe is up to row 7 and I am seated in 8F in the Y cabin. After take off 7F moves over to the aisle seat in the same row and occupies 7D.

Everything seems normal, I pretty much doze on and off for the first hour into the flight. 8D is occupied by a 6ft plus guy. Luckily for him (and me) 8E is unoccupied but still 8D is having a hard time getting comfortable. Suddenly 8D goes beserk, pulls the curtain aside and starts screaming aggressively in Spanish at 7D. It turned out that 7D reclined his seat after the meal service had ended.

CSM quickly appeared and asked 8D to calm down whilst trying to diffuse a very aggressive situation. He asked 7D to move to 6D which was vacant. Just a minute or two later 8D gets up and storms into the business cabin and then proceeds to scream again (including the F word) at 6D, and slapped the back of his seat several times and with enough force to cause 6D's spectacles to fly off.

Cabin crew were quick to ask 8D to return to his seat and remained calm and professional whilst he continued screaming profanities at 6D. What I saw was a very aggressive reaction to someone who had simply reclined his seat, and is entitled to do so. Unfortunately for him he was unaware that the person behind him was already restricted with his legroom.

Captain came to speak to 6D half an hour before landing, (in the galley area) away from other pax. BA481 landed 5 mins ahead of schedule at 19:35 this evening. Three Police officers met the aircraft on arrival at T3 and hauled 8D off for questioning as well as asking for any witnesses. I volunteered and so did a few others from the business cabin. 8D had only a glass of water when the trolley service came through and did not drink throughout the flight. He may have had alcohol before boarding but did not seem intoxicated nor did I smell any alcohol on him. No idea why he went beserk just because someone reclined into his knees.



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Old Jun 30, 19, 2:20 pm
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The crew seem to have handled this well, I’m pleased that the police met the flight.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 2:21 pm
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Not condoning his behaviour, but this is surely increasingly likely to happen as airlines squeeze more and more seats into already cramped cabins. I'm not quite 6 feet and still find economy seating to be uncomfortable.

Entitlement to recline sure, but I would politely suggest that it's only considerate to warn the person that you're reclining into first. It may just avoid kicking something off like this.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 2:22 pm
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Most unfortunate and unnecessary, and a massive over-reaction from the passenger in row 8. The recline on that seat isn't exactly huge, and is not really at the knee level. When people do this sort of thing, whether in a pub, a bus, a restaurant, an aircraft, dozens of people are affected and put unnecessarily at edge just because one person can't control their temper.

Personally I would never recline on shorthaul, but those that do have every right to do so. While it lasts, that is, since the newer Recaro seats have no recline at all, though a bit more knee room.

I don't know what others think, and it's difficult to be definitive from the photo, but the passenger looks like he has slumped down the seat somewhat. He would have had more space if had sat up straight in the seat, which the new seats pretty much impose on you.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 2:27 pm
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Sounds like a fun flight!

I'm 6'5", and yes, it's annoying when the person in front reclines, but you can definitely work around it, especially if you're (a) in an aisle seat and (b) have an empty seat next to you. On a flight as short as BCN, there's nothing to complain about. If he's that sensitive, he should pay for a bulkhead or exit row.

He deserves everything he gets...
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Old Jun 30, 19, 2:48 pm
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A while ago, I recounted a similar-ish situation on a flight from TXL to LHR. I too was at the window seat A, and when the aisle passenger in the row in front reclined whilst my C seat neighbour (middle seat empty) was working on his laptop, said neighbour got really aggressive and threatening. As a result, the reclining passenger called the crew who talked to them briefly meekly saying it was not fighting for before retreating to the front galley.

Predictably, the situation reoccurred much worse yet and the crew were completely dismissive whilst the rest of us were exposed to my neighbour hitting the seat in front, this reoccurred several times to the continuous disinterest of the crew despite some actual shouting and my neighbour ignoring the recommendation to calm down and move to an empty row by several of us (the flight wasn't even very full). By the time the SCCM finally came by and proposed to the two passengers to move, both refused and my neighbour actually threatened the person in front that he would "find" him after the flight. The passenger in front reported the threat to the SCCM who was still completely unbothered. In our case, there was no one meeting the flight and certainly not the police and I passed the passenger next to me whilst he was picking up his bag and purposefully made a very slow exit hoping the guy in front (who wasn't particularly nice either but seemed the less crazy of the two by quite a distance) to make a swift exit as I was genuinely worried the other guy would attack him (in fairness he never was aggressive to me specifically).

So I would say that in comparison, your crew seem to have been quite exemplary in their handling. In my case, I wrote to BA to report the incident after the flight and got an irrelevant copy/paste answer.

Reclining one's seat is a right, and people should remember that even a short haul flight may be part of an itinerary that may well involve 15, 20, or 30 hours of flying (I am indeed a frequent flyer of those. So if one remembers that the passenger in 7D may well have been coming from a 12 hour flight from Latin America or similar, one can certainly see why some people would want to take whatever little recline is allowed on those flights.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 2:49 pm
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The new A321NEOs will have the Recaro seats in Y and the regular current seats in the first few rows, right? Meaning that a pax in this exact situation could have a seat reclined towards them but with no means of reclining themselves? That would be irritating.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Reclining one's seat is a right, and people should remember that even a short haul flight may be part of an itinerary that may well involve 15, 20, or 30 hours of flying (I am indeed a frequent flyer of those. So if one remembers that the passenger in 7D may well have been coming from a 12 hour flight from Latin America or similar, one can certainly see why some people would want to take whatever little recline is allowed on those flights.
Sorry, I agree with you on many things but the extended nature of your itinerary does not confer carte blanche to dispense with consideration for fellow passengers.

Just as you would expect to be left alone after your 12 hour flight from Latin America, so would the passengers around you hope to be enjoying a quiet flight without disruption too.

Give and take on both sides, that is all that this needs.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Personally I would never recline on shorthaul, but those that do have every right to do so. While it lasts, that is, since the newer Recaro seats have no recline at all, though a bit more knee room.
I'm with you on this - I neve, ever recline on Short Haul no matter what time the flight is as I know how annoying it can be in the seat behind, Having said that I did spend an entire Air Malta flight behind the late Keith Flint (Prodigy were playing at Ta 'Qali) who was in Row 1 and who reclined on take-off, fell asleep and didn't even put his seat back up for landing.,,,
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:36 pm
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Luckily you were not too involved in this. It sounds ridiculous behaviour and completely unacceptable.

Sadly I have been on the end of something similar, and what was worse was it was a long haul Y flight. 8 hrs of misery.

This was possibly 15 years or so ago, a female behind me decided that I wasnít allowed to recline, she decided to stick her knees into the seat and force the seat forward, being a person who will not take this sort of behaviour from others, I kept on trying to recline or at least have a bit of recline but she wasnít having any of it and started banging the back of my seat.

It was at the time when meal service had finished and the cabin lights were dimmed, most pax had reclined, got comfortable and were resting.

I wanted to do the same but this thing behind me wasnít going to allow me to do so. I got up and ask her what the problem was, Iím allowed to recline, she gave me a rather evil and annoyed look followed by a few unnecessary french words.

I eventually gave in and realised I was a better person than this so stayed upright trying to sleep. Karma will come back to bite this Ďpersoní (to be so kind to her as to call her a person)

I think this is when I realised I donít want to have to be in Y ever again, if I can avoid it. Luckily I found FT and can now rant about or avoid Y.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:39 pm
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Reclining into the face of the person behind you is just very bad manners and I am very glad that many people donít do it. On a short flight there is no need to do it. Ryanair have this right as their seats do not recline.

If if the person in front of me reclines I push back and make a great fuss.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Greenpen View Post
Reclining into the face of the person behind you is just very bad manners and I am very glad that many people donít do it. On a short flight there is no need to do it. Ryanair have this right as their seats do not recline.

If if the person in front of me reclines I push back and make a great fuss.
Iíve never been on an aircraft that allows you to recline that far back!
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:43 pm
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I was impressed with the way the whole situation was handled calmly and effectively by the cabin crew. It wasn't a fun flight, if I could I would have moved away from this aggressive person. He did assault the business class passenger by slapping his seat, that's why the police were called. Officers did mention after we finished talking after disembarking that he didn't want to press charges.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:49 pm
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Iíve had abuse from somebody behind me for reclining (partially) once - but the person in front of me had fully reclined so it was tough luck for them, unfortunately. Normally I donít recline if thereís somebody behind me but thatís the exception.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:50 pm
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If you werenít supposed to recline, the seat wouldnít recline.

Itís fairly standard that it does.
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