Apparently, this is a big deal with travelers as I read about it all the times and I get asked to comment on it as well.
What say you?
If your seat can recline, you have the right to do so. It becomes an issue as on some airlines the legroom is not what it used to be as fares are lower cost are higher and the airlines have figured out how to add more seats to an airplane so they can make more money.
My suggestion to travelers is to read the information on the airline’s Web site before you travel. I’m not saying that I agree with what the airlines are doing, but everyone has their own business model and as travelers, when we buy a ticket we agree to these rules that are listed in the contract of carriage. Also, if you are an elite flyer, you can sit in the extra legroom section of the airline without having to pay. So there are options.
We also have choices. So if we want more legroom, we fly with a carrier that provides it. If we want low fares then we fly with a carrier that provides it knowing that the amenities may not be the same as another carrier.
I’ve flown 162 airlines, many of them low cost carriers. Sometimes I’ve had to turn sideways so I can fit and I’m 6′ 1″. Luckily the middle seat was empty. But I don’t complain as that’s what I paid for knowing that the seat pitch was very minimal on that airline. No point in complaining as nothing can be done on day of travel.
I even once gave up my Emergency Exit row seat to a fellow passenger as clearly he was not going to fit in his seat. He looked like he was about 6′ 8″ tall. He gladly accepted it. On that particular airline, you have to pay extra for the Emergency Exit row seat.
Condor – Economy Seats Pitch – Exit Rows – Airbus A320
I also see people get upset when the seat cannot be reclined. Now typically, the seats in front of the Exit row on select airlines cannot be reclined. But you know this by checking the airline’s Web site before you choose your seat. Now sometimes you can only get seats at the airport, so oftentimes you just have to take what’s left. The good agents will tell you that the seat does not recline before or as they assign them to you.
In all my flights, I’ve never seen any fights over seat recline. my seat has been pushed forward when I’ve reclined and I just suck it up as I think that’s rude and I don’t want to get into a fight with another passenger over a seat. It’s just not worth it. Besides, we will both get in trouble for it anyways, so what’s the point?
Now, there are options. The full service airlines have some kind of upgraded seating and even some of the Low Cost Carriers such as Scoot in Singapore and Norwegian in Norway. As an example, Delta Airline has Comfort, SAS has SAS Plus and United has E+. With these options you typically either pay or get the upgrade for free if you are an elite flier. I recommend this option as once you sit in a more legroom seat, you don’t really want to sit in the normal Economy seat.
What have you found in your travels? Should passengers recline their seats? What say you?