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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Note to The Reclining Airline Traveler

I was talking to my friend Suzanne about our recent Spring Break trips. Her family flew to the East Coast and my family went to Mexico. As we exchanged highlights of our trips, we realized that we shared a similar air travel complaint. It wasn't about fight delays, or losing baggage, it wasn't about the fact that the meals (that is if you get one) are awful, or that some airlines are charging to check your bags. No, were both grumbling about those fellow travelers who choose to recline their seats--especially during a 4-5 hour flight!!

Let's face the facts, traveling in the cheap seats means limited space. It really seems as though the space behind the blue curtain is shrinking. There is barely enough room for a carry-on item (stored neatly under the seat in front of you) let alone your legs. You don't have to be 6' 4" to feel as though you are eating your knees even when all of the seats are in their upright positions. Even my 8 year old twins have a tough time maneuvering about with their backpacks and video players sprawled across their toes. But I've accepted this fact and know going into my journey that I may suffer from RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) better known as The Jimmys.

Now, I realize that the seats are designed to recline to help make the flight more relaxing and comfortable but come on do you really have to use them? Does reclining 3 inches, really make it easier for you to fall asleep? Do you realize that you are now encroaching on the comfort of your fellow passenger (me)? Do you even think about your fellow traveler?

So here is my plea, to you my fellow traveler, who feels as though it is o.k to recline into my lap on a 5 hour journey--PLEASE DON'T!! At least look and see if I have reclined my seat, before you push your magic button. And chances are, I have not. I only use the reclining feature if I know that the person behind me is also using it--kind of like a domino effect. Maybe if we all vow to abstain from reclining and just face the bitter truth that it is going to be a long, uncomfortable ride, we would all end up having a better one. At least I won't feel compelled to kick your seat as you lounge into my lap!


  1. Uh, guilty as charged! But I have to recline, I'm so exhausted from the laundry and cleaning to be ready to get on this plane. ;-) I hate the travelers who can't seem to stand up and get out of their seats without pulling on the back of mine (and my hair)! Can't you just push up from your own seat - do you have to pull on mine too?

  2. If you have your head in my lap, what choice do I have? :)


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