(a national debate)
Should we recline in an airplane?
It began with punching.
A woman on an airplane flight ‘dared’ recline her seat.
Her action was met with soft punches, from the lanky man who sat right behind her.
It set off a national debate on whether it is ‘polite’ or not to recline.
I was personally confused by this question.
We should always strive for politeness, sure. But should we go above and beyond in situations where we ourselves may need that little stretch space?
I watched an interview of Delta’s CEO on Instagram, by news reporter and author Andrew Sorkin, and weighed in on the thread.
My thoughts included:
Should we also ask whether we can store our carry-on in the overhead luggage lest it take the space of someone else’s bag, I wondered, ‘aloud’.
Should we ask for permission to make our way to the bathroom should someone else plan to occupy that space?
The option to recline is there. If you want to recline, you should be able to do it. If there’s an issue, the person behind you can ask politely that you refrain. You then weigh your options.
But on that note, can we talk about the real issues at hand here?
Specifically, the elephant in the room is not about reclining or not, but about the continual squeeze of that seat space in the first place!
Also, while we’re at it, how about the exorbitant costs of purchasing that squeezed space in the first place?
Or being able to even choose a seat (one you pay for!), which is not even an option anymore?
How about the fact that we now pay for our luggage, and sometimes even carry-ons!
How about we shift the conversation from how passengers should treat each other to actually holding airlines accountable for that very itty bitty space which forces us to need to recline in the first place?
I know I’m not the only one who feels this.
What are your thoughts on this?