Reclining Seats

Monday, 8 September 2014

Fortunately the air travel story in recent weeks has shifted from the tragic (crashed 777s) to the ridiculous (arguments over reclining seats). And for my money the villain of the piece is James Beach, the jerk who used the offending ‘knee defender’, he’s just one step behind the people who make the dumb device.

Ryanair seating 540▲ No arguments about reclining seats on a Ryanair flight, they don’t recline. You don’t get a seat pocket either, you can study the safety card all the way because the brace position, how to crawl through smoke when the aircraft is on fire and what to do when you land in the water is right in your face on the seat back in front of you.

Sadly what could happen is that more airlines – like Spirit and Allegiant in the USA or Ryanair in Europe – opt to have non-reclining seats. No arguments, no fights between passengers and no diversions. So even when there’s nobody sitting behind you and it’s going to make absolutely no difference at all to anybody if your seat is reclined you simply won’t be able to recline it. In which case we’ll be able to thank terrorists for putting us through today’s security rigmarole and Mr Beach for getting rid of one tiny little bit of comfort. Or perhaps we could suggest some people get a few basic lessons in manners and learn to ask people if they’d please not recline their seat?

For more on the seat recline question check the recent Ask the Pilot column by Patrick Smith.