Give Me Space, Airplane Seat Etiquette


Looking forward to your next trip? Do you have your airplane seat assignment? What about the passenger that doesn’t want to follow airplane seat etiquette? Back in the day, you could usually count on the middle seat being empty. Red eye flights would allow you to have an entire row to yourself. Not so, anymore. As most planes tend to go out full, airplane seat etiquette is disappearing.

Give me space

About a year ago, I took a flight, where I had an aisle seat. The row was full and the person in the middle seat had one foot under the seat in front of me and the other foot under the seat in front of the person in the window seat. I understand the middle seat is not as comfortable as the other two seats, so I think they should get both armrests. But also taking part of my space where I can stretch my legs is encroaching on my space. So, what do you do? Luckily, when he moved to get something out of his bag, his feet moved and didn’t come back under the seat in front of me. But, what if they had come back, then what? A cramped seat for the entire flight?

Should you recline your seat?

Nowadays, whether to recline your seat or not has been up for some debate. I admit sitting up straight for the entire flight is not very comfortable. Reclining your seat also has its issues for the person sitting behind you. If they’re trying to use their tray with their laptop or eating a meal, the reclined seat tends to make it very difficult for them. Maybe a compromise, reclining the seat just half-way. They have more space to eat and work. You have a slight recline to take a nap while flying to your destination.

Have you ever been slowly falling asleep just to be woken up by the person behind you, grabbing your seat to help them stand up? When this has happened to me, it’s not enough to grab my seatback, normally they get a handful of hair as well. A better approach may be to push down on your own armrests to lift yourself up and out of your seat instead of pulling down on the seat in front of you.

Let’s not forget children kicking seats and dropping tray tables

Have you ever been on a flight where the child sitting behind you constantly kicks your seatback? Then if that’s not enough, they start unlatching the tray table, allowing it to drop over and over. What do you do? Turn around and ask the parent to have their child stop kicking your seat? You would think you shouldn’t have to ask!

I was on one flight where the person sitting next to me told me the following story. A lady was sitting in her seat where a child was constantly kicking the back of her seat throughout the flight. She turned around and asked the mother to please tell her child to stop. The mother told her the child was just playing and would soon stop. After an hour of this, she turned around again repeating her request to stop the child from kicking her seat. The mother’s response was “children will be children”. Finally, she got up, when to a child sitting behind the mother and told her she’d give her $20.00 to kick the mother’s seat the rest of the flight. $10.00 now and $10.00 at the end of the flight! As she walked back to her seat, she turned to the mother and said, “You’re right! Children will be children. Enjoy the rest of your flight”! Fact or Fiction? You decide!

I’m not recommending kicking someone’s seat to get your point across, but you can see how quickly tempers can flare making for a long flight. Have you experienced any of these problems on your flights.? How did you handle the situation? If everyone practiced airplane seat etiquette, it would be much more enjoyable for everyone.

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