Airlines

Speaking of Reclining Seats, There’s Something Worse than Spirit

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seats in an airplaneSpeaking of the story where a fight broke out over a reclining seat causing a flight diversion…

The more I fly on Spirit the more I’ve moved to the “non-reclining” seat camp.

I used to hate not being able to recline my seat back even a little; but then I realized, if I can’t recline my seat back, neither can the person in front of me!

On Spirit, even though there is less leg-room, some (not all) of their aircraft have seats that do not recline back. Based on a previous experience we had on Vueling Airlines, we consider this a very good thing.

To give everyone a fair perspective on this, I need to tell you I’m short.

My husband, however, is average height for a man. On our Europe trip when we were flying from Rome (FCO) to Paris (Orly) we flew on Vueling Airlines.

This is one of Europe’s “low cost airlines” based out of Spain.

On this flight the person sitting in front of my husband decided she HAD to recline her seat as far back as it possibly could go. As cramped as Spirit’s seats can sometimes feel, for us, it was nothing compared to that flight.

When reclining a seat cuts –not just into your legroom– but into your head room.

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On longer Transatlantic or Transpacific flights I can see a need to recline your seat back, especially if someone’s trying to sleep. I just personally wish people would not feel the need to recline their seat all the way back the second we’re allowed to; especially if there’s a meal service on the flight.
On the Vueling flight we got the impression the girl sitting in front of my husband wasn’t feeling very well. We felt bad for her, which is why my husband didn’t ask her to move her seat up a bit.

I even offered to trade seats with my husband but he said it was a short flight so he could deal with it.

For the low-cost carriers that are known to have less space between the seats I support not having the seats recline at all. I think the benefit outweighs the inconvenience. That being said, I’m not ready to switch to non-reclining seats for all flights, but I do think we need to be have situational awareness and make it a point to extend common courtesy to those sitting around us.

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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.

4 Comments

  1. Shawn

    August 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I love this photo and I have had similar situations on flights! It is never good when you can sit forward and look down at the the top of the head of the person sitting in front of you!

  2. MIchael

    August 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    For seats that don’t have barriers to intruding (such as a business class seat) I prefer that seats are made stationary with a slight tilt back so that it’s not in the “forward and least comfortable position” – give everyone the same optimum slant.

    Of course on a long flight I’ll keep flying business class with my lay flat seat, nothing like falling asleep over the UK and waking up in Dubai.

  3. MaryE

    September 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I realized in 1989 when I flew to Europe from the USA that being a 6 foot tall woman in economy class was hell. Anyone who reclined their seat in front of my jammed my knees back cutting off circulation and i couldn’t sleep. Since my conclusion was that the airlines would not ever reconfigure their aircraft to accommodate the needs to taller than average people, I would have to figure out a way to fly and be comfortable. Fortunately the airlines devised business and first class. Unfortunately, the salary in my job does not allow me to afford these classes. But lo and behold, there are ways: collecting miles and points. The result is my height is accommodated and my budget is still intact.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      September 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Do you write on tall travel at all? My sister is just as tall as you!

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