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Flying etiquette: three potential rules

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Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Old 08-26-14, 09:25 AM
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Flying etiquette: three potential rules

I fly a fair amount for work. Flying is always an annoying schlep but it's often made worse by the lack of consideration some people have for their fellow travelers. I think it's time that we come to a consensus on certain etiquette rules, I have three in mind in particular. All of the following is up for debate, but in my opinion:

1. Don't recline, ever. It's really that simple. OK, maybe it's your "right" to recline, maybe the airlines are at fault for putting reclining mechanisms in seats in the first place, maybe your back hurts. For all of that, think about if you should recline. You're imposing your comfort on the person behind you, a person who is also just trying to get to where they need to go, a person who is also already uncomfortable. Reclining adds tension to an already tense environment. Seats and legroom these days are already ridiculously constrained, no one needs to lose another couple inches of space. Frankly, reclining is somewhat rude and inconsiderate especially as most people do it without even looking behind them and leave their seatback reclined for the entire flight. It's not going to be all that much more comfortable after you recline. We all need to get along in the plane. Please be conscientious, leave your seat back upright.

2. Don't take huge, stinky, messy meals onboard. Onion-filled subs, fish, linguini with clam sauce, deviled eggs, giant salads dripping with vinegar-rich dressing etc... these are not items to bring on a plane. Don't get me wrong, most food is perfectly fine. Ham sandwich, PB&J, bagel, yogurt etc... "Picnic food" is no problem. When picking food, please remember that you're going to be sitting about six inches away from a complete stranger in a tiny airtight tube. Remember that a plane is not a mall food court or a restaurant and that most other people won't be eating. Select food appropriately. To the guy next to me on the 5 hour flight last week: did you really just have to bring a big bag of hot wings slathered with blue cheese, accompanied by a big bag of waffle fries on a 3 pm flight? Did you really need to take a full forty minutes to eat it as soon as the flight took off (why didn't you eat it before?), savoring each bone while licking your fingers? (In fact, I would argue that unless you don't have the time before your flight, eat before you get on the plane. No one likes to watch other people eat.)

3. Be careful with your rolling bags. Too often, they are in other people's way. Too often, people run them into other people. OK, bag fees are a problem and you need to do carryon. Ok, you need eight changes of clothing for a three day trip because of the formal dinners. Just be more careful.

Last edited by Hiro11; 08-26-14 at 09:31 AM.
Old 08-26-14, 09:42 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

1. They make the seats recline for a reason. Use the recline feature, it gives you a couple of inches more wiggle room and the person that you're imposing on behind you can do the same thing and just "pass it on" to the person behind them.

2. Completely agree.

3. Sure, why not.
Old 08-26-14, 10:04 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Man, those clouds really piss you off son.
Old 08-26-14, 10:11 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
1. They make the seats recline for a reason. Use the recline feature, it gives you a couple of inches more wiggle room and the person that you're imposing on behind you can do the same thing and just "pass it on" to the person behind them.
Disagree. People can't change the length of their upper legs.
Old 08-26-14, 10:17 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

I'm a short dude, but I 100% agree with Hiro11 on the reclining thing. This is why I always try to get the seats right behind the emergency exit row... on some planes, they can't recline.
Old 08-26-14, 10:21 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

There's a gadget on the market that you can install in the seat in front of you to keep it from reclining.
Old 08-26-14, 10:22 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

found it!
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1EB65pWVmlg?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 08-26-14, 10:23 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

http://www.gadgetduck.com/goods/kneedefender.html
Old 08-26-14, 10:28 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

http://www.denverpost.com/business/c...reaks-out-over
Denver flight diverted after fight breaks out over "Knee Defender"

"The Federal Aviation Administration leaves it up to individual airlines to set rules about the device. United said it prohibits use of the device, like all major U.S. airlines."

Boo.
Old 08-26-14, 10:31 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

The Knee Defender can cause some serious problems...

http://www.9news.com/story/news/loca...nder/14595699/

I don't disagree about reclining. I'm a big guy and when the seat in front of me reclines it makes an uncomfortable situation more uncomfortable. On the other hand, I feel very uncomfortable sitting straight up. I think there should be a middle ground here and the seats on airplanes should be allowed to recline but not as much as they do now. A small recline can work for everyone. It gives your back some relief without being too intrusive on the person behind you.

I agree on the other stuff. I'd be so annoyed if someone brought a big smelly meal on board with them.
Old 08-26-14, 10:36 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Yeah that Knee Defender looks like it would cause a lot of completely avoidable problems.

Recline, don't recline. Who gives a shit, it's an extra inch. I'm a tall guy so airplane rides are uncomfortable to begin with but usually the only way I can even tell of someone else is reclining is because the backs of the seats in front of me aren't quite even. Otherwise the space difference is pretty unnoticeable.


To me the biggest etiquette rule should be don't hog all the armrests. There have been times where I've been in the middle and have gotten squat while the two assholes on either side of me are spreading their arms over both armrests like they're stretching for the Chicken Dance!

Last edited by GoldenJCJ; 08-26-14 at 10:56 AM.
Old 08-26-14, 10:42 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Originally Posted by Goat3001 View Post
A small recline can work for everyone. It gives your back some relief without being too intrusive on the person behind you.
So have it recline a half inch instead of the inch it reclines now? The seat barely goes back as it is. It goes back enough that you're not completely vertical but not to a relaxed level.
Old 08-26-14, 10:52 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
So have it recline a half inch instead of the inch it reclines now? The seat barely goes back as it is. It goes back enough that you're not completely vertical but not to a relaxed level.
It's called a compromise. Being behind someone that reclines all the way back sucks.
Old 08-26-14, 10:54 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
To me the biggest etiquette rule should be don't hog all the armrests. There have been times where I've been in the middle and have gotten squat while the two assholes on either side of me are spreading their arms over both armrests like their stretching for the Chicken Dance!
That should be a real rule that gets adopted by airlines. If you're in the middle seat you have the right to both armrests. No sharing. Those armrests are solely for the person in the middle.
Old 08-26-14, 10:59 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

I never recline unless I am in Biz or First. And god do I hate when someone brings smelly food on board.

ADD.

When you get up to stretch to go to the bathroom please do not use the back of my seat to get in or out of your seat.

And the obvious one, we all love the parents who thinks little Johnny kicking the back of the seat is 'cute' but seriously it's not.
Old 08-26-14, 11:01 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Originally Posted by Goat3001 View Post
That should be a real rule that gets adopted by airlines. If you're in the middle seat you have the right to both armrests. No sharing. Those armrests are solely for the person in the middle.
unfortunately, that's something that can never become a real rule because it would be impossible to enforce and/or the person in the middle would rarely speak up.
Old 08-26-14, 11:18 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

As a tall, big guy, I'm all for airlines having "Notorius B.I.G. Seats" for guys like me. Charge us more, but just let me be comfortable. I AM A HUMAN BEING! I AM NOT AN ANIMAL!
Old 08-26-14, 11:28 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

I pay good money for my ticket. I expect that my seat will recline. If someone used that device I will complain to the flight attendant.

Smelly food is bad etiquette.
Old 08-26-14, 11:30 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

I pay good money for my ticket. I expect that my personal space and comfort will not be diminished by the patron in front of me who decides he deserves more space than me.
Old 08-26-14, 11:35 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

I fly in a cramped helicopter with no AC everyday for work. I wish I had the same level of comfort as the average airline plane.
Old 08-26-14, 11:36 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
I pay good money for my ticket. I expect that my personal space and comfort will not be diminished by the patron in front of me who decides he deserves more space than me.
You paid for your ticket knowing the seats recline. You knew what you were getting into.

I say let them recline!


Old 08-26-14, 11:38 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
You paid for your ticket knowing the seats recline. You knew what you were getting into.
Old 08-26-14, 11:51 AM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

Here is another etiquette tip....don't be fat before you take your seat.

Old 08-26-14, 12:04 PM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

And one more tip....feel free to expose as much skin as you want on the plane.

Old 08-26-14, 12:05 PM
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Re: Flying etiquette: three potential rules

I've got long legs (I'm 6'4") and my knees just barely squeeze into the space as it is. When the seat in front of me reclines it actually causes real pain. If I can I always try to either get a row with the bulkhead in front of me, the emergency row, or if all else fails the aisle seat and stick my feet into the aisle.

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