If my Twitter feed is any indication, Slate writer Dan Kois’ new piece about his hatred of reclining airplane seats has tapped into a deep well of rage and anger among airline-riding Americans everywhere. His solution? Get rid of the recliners and make everybody on the plane equally uncomfortable.
Otherwise, he says, all it takes is one reclining passenger to begin to cause discomfort, scrapped knees, and reduced workspace for the person behind them.
Some European airlines have begun installing seats that are slightly tilted in their natural resting state, which, anecdotally at least, helps convince passengers they don’t need to tilt further. But that doesn’t go far enough. It’s time for an outright ban on reclining seats on airplanes. I’m not demanding that airlines rip out the old seats and install new ones; let’s just extend the requirement that seats remain upright during takeoff and landing through the entire flight. (Unlike the stupid electronic-devices rules, there is an actual good reason for this regulation: Upright seats are safer in a crash, and allow for easier evacuation.) To those who say such a rule is unenforceable, I respond: Kick. Kick. Kick.
Do you recline? Or are you reclined against?