9 out of 10 air travellers want to ban reclining seats

The dreaded moment when some bumheaded tosspot reclines their seat into your dinner on a flight is universally loathed, according to a survey by Skyscanner. 91% wanted reclining seats on short haul flights banned, or at least have a set ‘Recline time’ so that everybody can be horizontal at the same time.

Fight on plane over reclining seats

The survey of 1000 flyers also showed that we are a nation of selfish recliners, reclining willy nilly regardless of whether the person behind is elderly or pregnant. Nearly three quarters said that they would jolly well recline if they wanted to, even if the person behind them was crying or giving them the finger.

Women aged 18-25 are the most thoughtful recliners, while men over 35, who like to have as much room as possible for their MANLY STRONG LEGS AND GIGANTIC GONADS, are the least considerate. Reclining is also an etiquette minefield, with a third of people saying that they were too worried to ask permission from the person behind them if they could recline – in case they got a bad reaction.

The stewards apparently hate reclining seats too. Over 60% of international cabin crew said they were sick of getting into arguments with passengers about upright headrests.

Do you think we should get rid of them? After all, aren't short haul flights really uncomfortable anyway?


  • Roge
    Totally agree. Some selfish oaf gets a tiny bit more comfortable and your whole journey is ruined
  • Robert
    If the person in front of me relines there seat, they don't often do it for long, I make sure they realise it will be more comfortable for both of us if their seat remains upright.
  • Laurie
    Worst invention ever. They should be banned from economy long-haul too. If you want to fly lying down pay for business or first class. At 6' 2" not only does it mean someone's body weight crushing my knees but it normally lowers the seat-back screen below viewing angle so I'm not only uncomfortable but bored as well. All so some selfish twat can increase their personal space by 3" at the expense of mine. When I point this out some people are considerate enough to return upright, or at least partly upright. Those that don't tend to get a hot drink "accidentally" spilt on them.
  • klingelton
    it's not comfortable if the seat is reclined, it's not comfortable if it's upright. airline seats are the most uncomfortable things ever.
  • Frank
    @Robert - Well done for acting like a child, rather than being an adult and politely tapping the person on the shoulder and coming to an agreement.
  • Frank
    @Laurie – Well done for acting like a child, rather than being an adult and politely tapping the person on the shoulder and coming to an agreement.
  • Laurie
    @Frank - think I said I did if you read it properly, it's their response that decides what happens next
  • DerpaChief
    Cathay pacific has these new-ish seats that don't recline, the seat moves forward instead so it doesn't impede on someone else's space. Source: http://www.ausbt.com.au/photos-and-review-cathay-pacific-s-new-long-haul-international-economy-seats-for-boeing-777-747-and-airbus-a330 It's not very comfortable though but at least you won't get some angry mum standing up and giving you the evil stare when you tell them their seat is impeding your space!
  • Jerry
    where is the issue with reclining seats?? if the person in front of you reclines, you just need to recline your seat as well, and the distance is the same again. Problem solved ! Anyway, the seats go only back a couple of inches.
  • jim b.
    i hate when you are in the middle seat of 3. and the people on either side hog the arm rests - so i dont have anywhere to put me arms. grr
  • Chewie
  • gutted
    Makes me laugh when people moan about seats going back on a long haul flight. I pay for a seat, it reclines, so I will recline it. I dont do it when food is being served, only after when the plane is generally quiet as everyone is watching films and I fancy a sleep. Or in most cases when the person in front reclines theirs. Whats wrong with that? Had some bloke moan once and I raised it halfway as a compromise, he still moaned and started banging the seat every 30 odd seconds. Im not the biggest person but he soon bottled it when I got out of the seat to confront him face to face. All talk no trousers. And it may be childish, but if some twat 'accidentally' spilt a hot drink on me over a fucking seat reclining, the moment they stepped off the plane they'd wish they hadnt.
  • Whisky
    9 out of 10 want to ban them but 7.5 out of 10 will recline if they want to? Hypocritical wankers.
  • Duncan D.
    I look forward to the day that somebody forces airlines to give passengers enough room to exit safely in an emergency. I honestly believe it's a life-threatening hazard and unfortunately it'll take massive loss of life to get something done.
  • Dick
    If there is an emergency on a plane, then chances are you are dead anyway. Room to move or not.
  • Marcel R.
    Any fool that is over 6ft and books a seat in economy deserves everything that is coming to them.
  • Laurie
    @Marcel - Why? In case you haven't noticed 6ft is a pretty average height for European/American men, in fact I frequently see people far taller. I can fit quite comfortably until the seat in front reclines which is why I choose fixed seat airlines over reclining whenever possible. Maybe people who can't sit upright for a few hours, despite being able to in an office chair all day, should pay the extra cost for the additional space to be able to lie down.
  • Bagpuss
    Surprised our favourite Irish airline on this site hasn't twigged on to it as a chargeable option, "seat in front does not recline, €50"
  • dvdj10
    I always recline and don't mind those who do. It's there for a reason so I use it. You get the odd chump pushing on the seat for a bit but then they get bored and they realise that it doesn't really effect leg room much if at all due to the pivot point. The picture above if comically exaggerated. And the seat back screen argument is mute too as everyone I've been on has a tilt function for this VERY point. Get over yourselves and recline yourself. If everyone reclined we wouldn't have the problem.
  • dvdj10
    Bagpuss - I recently traveled with Ryanair and Easyjet and neither plane had the ability to recline so it is something that budget airlines are doing away with.
  • Marcel R.
    @ Lorry: My work chair fully reclines (and has a massage function). I also store my tennints in the built in fridge. Being a top executive and not some lanky streak of working class piss allows me these comforts. Vive la révolution!
  • Loafer1946
    The problem is the minuscule gap between your seat and the one in front. When they had decent gap between the seats there was no problem with reclining.
  • Sarah
    I always recline. You don't like it? Recline yourself.
  • Patrick
    you can always visit kneedefender.com - they sell a device that you put on the back of the seat in front of you which prevents them from reclining at all!
  • Logan
    The simple solution would be to design the reclining seat in a way that the person behind the seat controls whether or not it can be moved. Or Americans could just learn some common courtesy and ask the person on whom's personal space they are planning to encroach if it is okay.

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