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Seat recline etiquette— is there such a thing?

Seat recline etiquette— is there such a thing?

Old May 26, 18, 4:12 pm
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Seat recline etiquette— is there such a thing?

ALERT: This is a rant / pet peeve thread.

So, at this moment I’m 5B on DL1328 SNA>ATL. We just passed 10K feet and the otherwise nice lady in front of me just abruptly went in full recline. No warning, no notice.

Now, I know this isn’t a crime against humanity, and it happens on virtually every flight I take, but I often wonder if I’m the only one who turns around and asks the passenger behind me if they’re OK with me putting my seat back. They’ve been OK with it every time, and half thank me for asking.

if You don’t take a moment and at least LOOK behind you, you don’t know if the pax is bending over looking into their carry-on, or leaning forward while sipping a beverage, or working on an oversized laptop, or whatever. It just seems like common sense and common courtesy to check these things out beforehand.

Why have I literally never been asked or even acknowledged from the paxian offender? Not once!

To add insult to injury, as it were, the “offender” is a petite elderly woman to whom I offered to stow her roller, which she accepted and was grateful. So I know she intends no harm and it probably didn’t even enter into her head, which is essentially what I’m trying to understand.

Why no thought for your fellow pax?
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Last edited by TheHorta; May 26, 18 at 6:59 pm Reason: Flight number typo
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Old May 26, 18, 5:06 pm
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I have literally never seen anyone turn around and ask the pax behind them before they reclined, not once. I have seen people kinda look back as sort of a heads up to the pax behind, but that's pretty rare, and even then it's not an ask, it's more of a "be advised, here I come"
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Old May 26, 18, 5:26 pm
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I sort of look back and go slow but I don’t go all the way back. Just a couple clicks is all I need to be comfortablish. All FC domestic. I am fine with the person in front of me doing whatever they want no notice. I like that more than the people that have to use seats as handrails all the way down the AC. They walk through the airport with no handrails....
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Old May 26, 18, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by TheHorta View Post
Why no thought for your fellow pax?
There are no established rules, and we all come from different backgrounds, so what one passenger considers "thoughtless" is what another would consider proper.

Personally, when I recline I do it slowly, and when the tray tables are in the seatbacks, I won't recline during meal service.

I don't feel the need to ask permission to recline, because I consider recline a privilege included with my seat.
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Old May 26, 18, 5:45 pm
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If the pax in front of me reclines, I usually do as well so I have enough room (6’6”). When I do it’s very slowly so I don’t inconvenience the person behind me by breaking a computer or spilling a drink.
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Old May 26, 18, 5:56 pm
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This is pretty much what I do. I don't recline often, never during meal service, and I always do it slowly. Normally I look back to see if there's a computer or glass that could potentially be at risk. If I see a problem, I'll warn the person that I'm going to recline my seat, but I don't ask permission......and I once threatened to have the cops called when the person sitting behind me was feeling around my leg trying to unrecline my seat when I was napping.
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Old May 26, 18, 5:58 pm
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Yeah, I guess I'm a little over-sensitive to this particular non-offense. I suppose if this is the only thing I have to complain about on a flight, I'm doing pretty good.
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Old May 26, 18, 6:54 pm
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It drives me crazy when someone goes into full recline as fast as they can. At least give a look back or go slow. I for the record don't recline unless the person in front of me does and of course I look back and go slow.

One time a guy behind me said something and I let him know I did not recline until the guy in front of me did and I needed the room for my computer.
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Old May 26, 18, 7:13 pm
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I recline or not depending on what I am doing. I could care less about the person behind me because it is my space.

If the person in front of me reclines, so be it. That is his space and his option. I have no clue why it matters how fast he does so, I never assume I have a right to his space.

I have never in my life seen anybody actually look back and ask before reclining.
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Old May 26, 18, 7:25 pm
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Some people don't even think before they recline. It wouldn't even cross their minds. I think it is nice when passengers recline slowly or look behind before they do but I don't think its inconsiderate not to. I hope that people aren't going around thinking that when people abruptly recline their seats it means they don't care about the people behind them. I try to expect neutral as opposed to negative motives
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Old May 26, 18, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
I hope that people aren't going around thinking that when people abruptly recline their seats it means they don't care about the people behind them. I try to expect neutral as opposed to negative motives
I'm 100% agreeing with you but think you may have an overly optimistic view of the average person's rationality.

Fundamental Attribution Error - we judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their actions.
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Old May 26, 18, 7:33 pm
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I certainly don’t ask, but slowly recline, if in coach. I rarely recline on short 2-3 hour trips. On long haul international J or F, it rarely would matter since the spaces are separate.
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Old May 26, 18, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I could care less about the person behind me because it is my space.

<snip> <snip>

I have no clue why it matters how fast he does so
HEAVENS to Betsy!!!
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Old May 26, 18, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I recline or not depending on what I am doing. I could care less about the person behind me because it is my space.

If the person in front of me reclines, so be it. That is his space and his option. I have no clue why it matters how fast he does so, I never assume I have a right to his space.

I have never in my life seen anybody actually look back and ask before reclining.
Who ever said there’s no courtesy in air travel anymore?

I hope your laptop screen gets unexpectedly crushed next flight. ^

IMHO, you don't need to ask, you really don’t need to look back, but PLEASE, just go slowly.
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Old May 26, 18, 8:04 pm
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I don't ask and I don't turn around to check. I do recline slowly because it's more comfortable to do it that way and because this is not personal as to the passenger behind me. It's simply "my" space and that passenger can choose to recline or not as he pleases.
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