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Is it your "God Given Right" to recline your seat?

Is it your "God Given Right" to recline your seat?

Old Feb 28, 06, 9:21 pm
  #1  
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Question Is it your "God Given Right" to recline your seat?

One a number of Trans-Atlantic flights that I have taken over the years, I have had some "run-in's" with the passengers sitting behind me taking great offense to me reclining my seat. These problems have occurred more often than not on Foreign Carriers such as a LH code share as opposed to US Carriers. The type of offense that was exhibited by the other pax ranged from a polite request to put my seat up to a nasty request to put my seat up, or knees in the back of my seat to keep my seat up. For any incident aside from a polite request, I have generally found it necessary to get the flight attendant involved to settle the problem. Now, I have never had this type of "run-in" with a pax that was American. Generally only Europeans on European routes. Also, flight attendant methods of handling problems can differ greatly from one carrier to another (but that is a topic for another thread)... Anyone have an opinion on this.... A good story of an incident? I have one that I will add to this thread as soon as I can find a way to word it as "politely" as possible.
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:28 pm
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I definitely view it as a right. I might do my best to come to some sort of compromise, but if I did, I would feel like I was going the extra mile. I'm 6'4" and I never complain if somebody reclines, so I expect the same courtesy in return.

If somebody copped an attitude about it, then I definitely would recline to the max, just to mix it up.

Jammer
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:30 pm
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Yes....you paid for its use...you can recline it. If they don't want you to recline it...install seats that won't recline. I rarely do in coach though...because the added comfort is negligible.

Once someone (on LH, I believe) insisted that I not recline my seat by kicking it when I reclined. I asked them to stop kicking. They did not. I got the FA. She told her to stop. She stopped.
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:34 pm
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We had a long, intense discussion about this over at the EK forum.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=519773

I agree that it is your "right" but that the airline should enforce putting the seat in the upright position during meal times.

Cheers
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:39 pm
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I agree that it is definitely your right - but I also know that a reclined seat during meal time is annoying.

I follow a simple "protocol" as far as reclining my seat. If I'm asked nicely to not recline my seat (or not "so far") I agree (so long as I'm not missing sleep). When some jerk decides that my seatback is the perfect resting spot for their knees - I get pissed and keep the recline all-the-way

To each his own I guess...but if asked politely, I graciously give my back-seat partner a few extra inches.

-Chris
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:47 pm
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It's not a God-given right, but rather a constitutional one:

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes, provided such regulation upholds the inalienable right of travelers to recline while riding in a vessel of interstate transportation."
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by chrislacey
I agree that it is definitely your right - but I also know that a reclined seat during meal time is annoying.

I follow a simple "protocol" as far as reclining my seat. If I'm asked nicely to not recline my seat (or not "so far") I agree (so long as I'm not missing sleep). When some jerk decides that my seatback is the perfect resting spot for their knees - I get pissed and keep the recline all-the-way

To each his own I guess...but if asked politely, I graciously give my back-seat partner a few extra inches.

-Chris
That is generally what I do as well, meal time is understandable. I will also give consideration to someone who is using a laptop computer. It's not nice to recline hard and crack their screen (unless they are nasty about it!!)
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey
It's not a God-given right, but rather a constitutional one:

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes, provided such regulation upholds the inalienable right of travelers to recline while riding in a vessel of interstate transportation."
I really need to remember that.... think I will write it down and try it on for size on Thursday when I piss off a German on a UA codeshare flight on LH from IAD - MUC - TXL!!! Now, my return is on UA metal so I expect my Constitutional Right to be upheld without question (or knees in my back)!!!
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Old Feb 28, 06, 9:59 pm
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I guess this is why I dont mind row 1!!! I did have someone a few weeks ago while in 28E (toilet row!) or something like that...3rd to last row or so, and reclining...rub my head. I was hoping it was some late20's something hottie, but it was a 6 year old little girl behind me! Little girls candied and sticky fingers have a way of getting someone to put their seat up...and do it QUICKLY!
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Old Feb 28, 06, 10:03 pm
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I always recline my seat unless I'm eating or using my laptop. I also dont like people reclining into me, for that reason I always try to get a bulkhead seat. I would never even think of asking anyone not to recline their seat. Last year I had the privledge to fly Delta Business Elite for the first time on a short hop from MCO-ATL. To truly appreciate the seat I put my seat in "sleep mode" right after takeoff. The guy behind me didnt say anything to me but I think he made some comment to his seat mate. Yeah he probably thought I was an a$$, but I was also in paid F and I think it is your right to use what you paid for.
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Old Feb 28, 06, 11:24 pm
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Not to ruin things, but this is probably more apropos in TravelBuzz (where I believe it has been discussed at length on any number of occasions). As such, I'm going to move it there.
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Old Feb 28, 06, 11:48 pm
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I guess if one doesn't fly on UA E+ seats this can be an issue.
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Old Mar 1, 06, 12:09 am
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I almost always fly in First, and unless I'm headed over the pond, I don't recline. I choose bulkhead whenever possible so people reclining in front of me don't have to be an issue.

However, since I am not quite a princess, sometimes I'm stuck, and sometimes it's in torture class. As much as I'd love to be gracious about having a stranger lolling in my lap, it gives me the willies. Worse, I have long legs and a big .... No matter what I do, my knees are rammed in that seat in front of me. I can't get the machete through security to chop them off. . . so what's a girl to do?

I endure, but by the end of a coach flight, I'm usually either weeping or bruised. I've thought about buying the seat in front of me, but as it is, if I'm in coach I've already bought the seat next to me, to keep that big ... comfortable. Not to mention some unlucky fool in a middle seat would probably leap into my supposedly empty aisle, so what would be the point.

My husband, who reclines with gusto, says I am a pain. Easy for him to say with his 27 inch inseam. He also claims I close my eyes and mumble "please please please don't recline" whenever someone sits in front of us. How odd.
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Old Mar 1, 06, 12:55 am
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The only thing that really ticks me off is when it's meal time and the person in front of me hasn't put their seat straight up and they are just going for the food w/ the extra room. not only do I have to deal with their seat as an overhang over me, but it's down right impossible if you're petite (I can't eat leaning back and keep my feet on the floor at the same time).

This was easily corrected on a flight on Air Canada ICH-YVR. The flight attendant gave me my food and the person in front of me who still hadn't put their seat up was going at it with their food. I informed the FA who kindly went up to that gentleman, told him he had to put his seat up and promptly pressed the button and pushed it up for him when he refused to do it in a timely manner.
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Old Mar 1, 06, 12:56 am
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Originally Posted by uva185
I think it is your right to use what you paid for.

The meaning of "your right" has become rather diluted.

Last I remember, the declaration of rights was about things like freedom of speech, movement, residence, fair trial etc.... And of course each country adds their own to this list (like freedom to own a gun with which to kill people).

On the other hand, we have a duty to be considerate to each other, I would argue. This includes not banging each other on the head with an airline seatback during mealtimes.

Despite what the speed signs might say, you don't have a "right" to drive at 60 kph if there are pedestrians crossing the road in front of you, do you?
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