Airplane Travel – To Recline or Not Recline?

Today I took off for New Orleans, and I found myself, while spending the day flying, having time to really contemplate all sorts of big and little issues.  As I slogged along with all my luggage at 4 am in the morning, I began wondering why I like to travel so much.  It doesn’t seem to matter to me if I am driving or flying and camping or staying in a luxury hotel.  I love it all and look forward to each adventure!

Now, don’t get me wrong, when I say adventure, just the act of leaving home is an adventure to me.  I am not a thrill seeker and so have no desire to jump from planes or anything dramatic. My home life really is very fulfilling so why do I like to leave it so much?!  I love returning home also, although not as much as my hubby does!  I don’t think I could ever get as excited as he does to see the airport parking lot full of Iowa license plates.  Traveling is very exhausting too, and I tend to worry constantly while away, although I have gotten a lot better at that!  When I begin to worry, I think of my college-age son David who never seems to worry (to the point where he needs to worry a bit more than he does) and loves to point out to me when he waits to do something up to the last minute and everything ends up roses…”Funny how things work out, huh, mom?”  For example, I hear him say that every time I find myself worrying I lost my boarding pass and so go to check for the 100th time!  I still check -ha- but I calm myself by hearing his voice and then figuring it would work itself out if I did happen to lose it.

Traveling does get me away from the every day distractions.  It lights up a part of my brain that doesn’t usually get stimulated.  It gives me an appreciation for diversity.  It does feel like it feeds my soul.  While this initial leg of the trip to New Orleans is by myself, my fellow co-workers will be joining me here and there once I arrive.  I do look forward to experiencing the different cultures and celebration of music that is New Orleans!

As I type this, I am sitting in the Dallas Airport waiting for my flight in 2 hours and watching the clouds roll in.  Sure hope it doesn’t start storming!  All the little luggage carts scurrying across the tarmac remind me of ants, seemingly small when compared to the jets, and just like ants, the carts don’t seem to really have a destination in mind as they scurry around, but they are bound and determined to get somewhere in a hurry.

Now, I will get finally to the subject in the title of my post.  On my first flight Des Moines to Dallas, the lady in front of me didn’t even look back and just pushed her seat back with authority to recline!  When she encountered my knee -ouch-, she just kept pushing all the harder against her seat back.  Maybe it is menopause because I don’t usually get so fiesty, but that pissed me off, so I just kept my knee there and every time she jammed it against my knee I just pushed back.  It was reclined as far as it was gonna get! This incident got me to wondering why in the world do airlines let their seat backs recline when there is already so little room!?  Then I thought why does she feel she has the right to push her seat back into my space without warning me or at least looking back.  I mean the gall!  Then I calmed down and thought what right do I have to stick my knee there so she could only go back so far.   I mean, I guess they make the seats do that on purpose.  I feel sorry for tall people, that is for sure!  When I posted this dilemma on Facebook, I was informed that it’s called the domino effect so I was supposed to recline mine also.   I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this issue as I did not come up with a good solution for this.  Do you recline your seat? Any thoughts on this or what is good etiquette for this dilemma?

4 thoughts on “Airplane Travel – To Recline or Not Recline?

  1. Recliners are evil people. Obnoxious, self-absorbed, rude, and downright nasty. There are plenty of ways to fight back. Position your air vent down on their head, push the buttons on the video monitor too hard, complain loudly to your seatmate about the depraved lives seat recliners are known to lead, induce a child to kick their seat, and get up, lean on their seat back, and try to slingshot them forward.

    I hope your next flight is better. I’m at 35,000 feet at the moment and happily the woman in front of me is not a recliner. I think I am in love with her even though she is old enough to be, well….nevermind.

  2. I’m 6 foot 2 and even trying to comfortably squeeze into an airplane seat without my legs buckling in an awkward position is hard without the person in front moving their seat backwards. The funniest had to be when I was trying to eat a meal on a flight over the pacific. I was in the process of moving my fork from my tray up to my mouth when the person in front pressed the recline button on their seat and I ended up shoving the food into the side of my face. Ha!!

    • Maybe if the airlines thinks it is so necessary to give that option, we could have them ask and put all the recliners in one row so the domino effect could happen…hehehe I really don’t know how you long-legged people manage at all.

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