I’m sure everyone heard about the big “Knee Defender” story on a United Airlines flight from Newerk, New Jersey to Denver which had to divert to Chicago when two passengers got into such a heated argument about “reclining rights” that one threw a cup of water in the other’s face.
Well – a flight has been diverted AGAIN due to “recline rage” and this time someone was arrested.
The flight was going from Miami to Paris. A man on the flight grew very cross with the woman reclining in front of her, and reportedly blew a gasket over it. He got so angry that when a crew member tried to calm him down, he followed him and grabbed his arm.
Two air marshals ended up handcuffing the rowdy man and the flight diverted to Boston. State police arrested him, and he was brought to the hospital immediately for a health evaluation.
I haven’t weighed in on the big “reclining rights” debate but I do solidly land in the “if your seat CAN recline, you have the right to do so.” I feel like the reclining aspect of the seat I purchase is part of my contract with the airline.
Certainly, if the flight is short and the person behind me is seriously long-legged, I’m not such an ass that I can’t deal with being “recline-free” for an hour perhaps.
But, I specifically book only aisle seats, and only seats that recline. I purposefully do not book a seat in the row directly in front of the exit row because experience shows those do not recline (mainly because if there was an emergency a reclining seat would block the exit).
I know there are tall people who are crowded for space. I know there are folks who don’t want someone’s head in their nose. I know, I know.
But given the odd curve of an airline seat, I can’t sit with my back “rounded” for three, four or five hours. Just can’t do it.
I do find that by consolidating the majority of my travel on one airline, I at least gain some “status” in a frequent flier program so that when I book travel I can choose the slightly roomier “Economy Plus” seats when I’m traveling in Coach (ugh). I encourage everyone to do the same.
Valium is also a very useful additive to any travel day I find.
And, of course, more wine 🙂