Babyseat blocked recline

Reply

Old Mar 18, 18, 9:23 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 2
Babyseat blocked recline

Hello:

First, please know that I'm not complaining about a baby's safety - I am always for a baby's safety above everything else.
My question is this - I sat on a United flight and my seat was in front of a baby who was seated in a car seat. The seat was positioned so the baby faced the back of the plane.
Positioning the seat in this manner is often more safe for the baby - and so should absolutely be positioned this way.
Because of this positioning, my seat was unable to recline - not even a little bit.
I wrote to United after my flight and they said "they were only responsible for my travel, and that a reclining seat is not guaranteed."
As a gesture, they did return a portion of my frequent flyer miles.
However, my question is this - doesn't the cost of my ticket include the full use of my seat, and a reclining one at that?
I'm just curious as to what my "rights' are as a paying passenger.
Thank you.
altabello likes this.
Kate Kilmer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:33 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: LAS
Programs: 3 MMer
Posts: 458
Welcome aboard!

Did you address this issue with the f/a, and if so what was the response?
Two Bee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:40 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: Hertz PC
Posts: 485
Some airlines don't have reclining seats. aka Spirit. So there no federal regulation saying you have a reclining seat.
bhunt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:44 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 8,587
I can see during takeoff and landing, parents would want to do this for their babies. However, during cruising, it seems kind of bad for them to do this and inconvenient other passengers. Or, the seat is only designed to be put this way? In that case, should UA ban it?
altabello likes this.
username is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:48 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LHR (sometimes CLE, SFO, BOS, LAX, SEA)
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 5,750
It is interesting to compare the feedback in this thread (too bad for you) vs. the feedback given to a parent of a child who was unable to use their car seat as designed because someone had reclined their seat (too bad for you): Child carseat unusable b/c reclined seat
mherdeg is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:48 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 10,707
Nope. UA has several rows that don't recline ever on each aircraft type.

UA doesn't prohibit inconsiderate parents from being passengers.
Dublin_rfk likes this.
mduell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:50 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: HND, NRT
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 148
I should say that, while they don't guarantee a reclining seat, a fully functioning seat is implied to come with purchase. I wouldn't care if it were a short flight, but if it were a long one (like the transpacs I normally take in Y), I'd take great issue with someone preventing me from reclining (aside from during meals of course). When another passenger interferes with this, that's a problem.

Also, I believe the seat map when selecting seats indicates which ones have "limited recline," which is probably code for almost none to none. If there isn't that warning, I would expect to be able to fully recline my seat.
Kannai is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:53 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: SEA/ORD
Programs: Delta Platinum Medallion, Alaska MVP Gold 75K, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 720
I had a flight couple months ago with the exact same problem. First, I thought the seat was broken or the person behing was willfully preventing the recline, then I looked back and it was a babyseat. I just let out a *sigh* and carried on. Luckily, it was only a two hour flight, so not long enough for me to get cramped in full upright position.

There's really not much anyone can do in this situation as baby's safety takes precedence. Either politely ask the FA if you can swap to another empty seat. If flight is full, then you are basically out of luck.
Explorer789 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 9:57 pm
  #9  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Gold 1.8MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 44,849
Originally Posted by username View Post
.... In that case, should UA ban it?
Airlines are required to accept any FAA approved child restraint system which includes certain aft/ rear-facing child seats.
https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...AC_120-87C.pdf

10.f Operators Prohibiting CRS Use. No aircraft operator may prohibit a child from using an approved CRS when the parent/guardian purchases a seat for the child. If an approved CRS, for which a ticket has been purchased, does not fit in a particular seat on the aircraft, the aircraft operator has the responsibility to accommodate the CRS in another seat in the same class of service.
The FAA does require these be placed in window seats, not blocking anyone/s exit in an emergency.
Dublin_rfk likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 10:23 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,041
Originally Posted by Kate Kilmer View Post
I wrote to United after my flight and they said "they were only responsible for my travel, and that a reclining seat is not guaranteed."
As a gesture, they did return a portion of my frequent flyer miles.
However, my question is this - doesn't the cost of my ticket include the full use of my seat, and a reclining one at that?
I'm just curious as to what my "rights' are as a paying passenger.
Thank you.
There is no right to a reclining seat. If there were, every seat on the plane would have to be a reclining seat, and quite a few don't, such as ones in front of the exit row, or at the back of the cabin. I don't see that you were denied "full use of your seat" - did you have to share the seat with someone? Give it up halfway through the flight? An optional feature of the seat, which is nowhere guarantee by the airline, was unavailable. The airline was generous in returning a portion of your miles.
Kiara likes this.
CDTraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 10:45 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: LAS
Programs: 3 MMer
Posts: 458
Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
There is no right to a reclining seat. If there were, every seat on the plane would have to be a reclining seat, and quite a few don't, such as ones in front of the exit row, or at the back of the cabin. I don't see that you were denied "full use of your seat" - did you have to share the seat with someone? Give it up halfway through the flight? An optional feature of the seat, which is nowhere guarantee by the airline, was unavailable. The airline was generous in returning a portion of your miles.
An inquisitional method of questioning a brand new poster is sort of unnecessary, don't ya think?

Hang around Kate, there are others that can assist you with your questions.
Two Bee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 10:56 pm
  #12  
Moderator: Midwest, Las Vegas & Dining Buzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 17,347
So if someone used the "knee defender" you would be okay with that?
iluv2fly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 11:04 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: STL
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA Plat, SPG/M P75 and few from CC
Posts: 334
Wasn't there a statement in the hemisphere mag?
"if someone preventing the full function of an equipment on board, notify united personnel immediately " or something like that
Juventini is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 18, 11:37 pm
  #14  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 356
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The FAA does require these be placed in window seats, not blocking anyone/s exit in an emergency.
One would think so, but that's not the case. I don't have my work phone in front of me but I believe the verbiage is that they are "preferred" in a window seat, "whenever possible" -- if it's not, the people sitting outboard of the seat must be in the same party, and their egress must not be blocked by the seat. You'll hear staff across many airlines shorten that and say it's "required".

While I'm on the topic, CRS cannot go in rear facing seats, exit rows, seats immediately forward or aft of emergency exits, or in seats with more than a certain amount of rotation (I know that excludes the new Polaris seats). Additionally, ACSDs can't go in any lie flat seats (they don't fit, iirc)

As for the OP, there's no specific guidance I can remember off the top of my head in this case. Though if you encountered the issue during boarding, I'd certainly bring it up to the working crew.
goodeats21 and wrp96 like this.
fezzington is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 19, 18, 12:03 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, TK Elite, DL Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, IHG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis First
Posts: 6,581
Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
There is no right to a reclining seat. If there were, every seat on the plane would have to be a reclining seat, and quite a few don't, such as ones in front of the exit row, or at the back of the cabin.
Whilst I agree there's no right to a seat reclining, United at least does call out non-reclining seats, such as those in front of the exit rows, as being non-reclining on their seat map.

Thus anyone that has selected a specific seat on the website and NOT selected one of those seats would certainly have a reasonable expectation that their seat would recline.

docbert is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread