If You Recline Your Seat on a Plane, You Are a Monster

White and Red Plane Beside Clouds Low-angle Photography

I’m currently 20 minutes into a four-hour flight from Nashville to Los Angeles. The people in front of me have just reclined. Not just a little. They have full-on reclined. They have nested.

They’ve left me about three inches of leg room and a seatback screen angled in such a way that only my boobs could comfortably watch TV. My traveling companion is only slightly better off, but only because her legs are shorter.

Look, I understand that airplane seats are capable of reclining, which seems to suggest some sort of invitation. I don’t buy it. My speedometer on my car goes up to 160 miles per hour. I don’t think Nissan is inviting me to drive that fast. I’m certainly capable of eating an entire bag of fun-sized Snickers bar. I shouldn’t, though.

If we want to live in a civilized world, I think we all need to agree that there is only one appropriate circumstance in which you are okay to recline your seat: When the plane is going down.

I’d also accept reclining a seat on an overnight flight (when everybody is reclining). If you recline in other circumstances,ย  it’s polite to ask the people behind you. I would have said yes. But at least I’d know these degenerate humans had some basic decency!

I should have known these two were going to be Recliners. I could tell by looking at them. They are in their 60s. He’s wearing jeans and a Patagonia sweatshirt. I didn’t see the title of the book he was carrying, but I’m positive it was The Art of The Deal. She has blonde highlights and a Louis Vuitton tote. She is currently using a cashmere scarf as a pillow. I know this because she casually left the tail end dangling over my seat screen. I’ve named them Milt and Mitzi.

They sleep like babies, waking only to order cans of LaCroix. They might be nice enough people off this plane, if you can get past the undeniable fact that they are heinous.

In a plane of 150 seats, they are the only Recliners. Even the guy wearing middle school gym shorts seated next to me has managed to stay upright.

In addition to felony reclining, here is a list of other things you should never do on a plane:

  • Have excessive body odor.
  • Take off your shoes (unless you are wearing socks).
  • Cough without covering your mouth.
  • Be surprised when your steamer trunk of a carry-on doesn’t fit in the overhead.

We are somewhere over Oklahoma right now. Mitzi has just dropped the arm of her sweater on top of my tray table where I am attempting to drink flat Diet Coke. I’d like to write on it with this pen in my hand, but I have more consideration than that.

I plan to shut it in my tray table.





21 thoughts on “If You Recline Your Seat on a Plane, You Are a Monster

  1. Forget not the prophesies of H. G. Wells. Most bipeds are evolving into Morlocks. Thanks for the list of what not to do on a flight. Being from the part of planet where evolutionary transformation such as mentioned before is on a hypersonic trajectory, I felt tempted to add to the inventory, but that would be equivalent of reclining in blogosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. limitlessmare

    Hahaha! I used to work for the airlines and had to ask someone to exit the plane due to body odor, good times! Love your writing style. Gracefully humorous ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I once sat next to someone with terrible body odor. I’m pretty sure he’d just come from a long outdoor trip. It was such a miserable flight for me, and I wondered if I had the right to say anything about it. I’m all talk, by the way. The reality is that I would allow someone to recline in my lap with body odor and no shoes without making a peep!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. limitlessmare

        Yes, you could have made a complaint for sure. We had videos in our training at the airlines all about handling smelly people. I was dying with laughter until I had to address it for real! EEK ๐Ÿ™‚
        Well, blogging is a GREAT way to get it all out on the screen…โ€ฆ.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s good to know. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to say something about smelly seatmates next time. I’m still anti-reclining, but I have a feeling I won’t get much sympathy for that one!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, I never gave reclining on a plane any thought and have no issues with it. I really don’t see the person in front of me as a monster (or myself).

    The real monster is the fidgeter. The person that constantly moves their seat from upright to recline and back to upright several times in a flight. That’s your monster. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. hinds2526

    Omg Iโ€™m always cautious of myself before I recline my seat! Specially doing my long flights from New York to the Middle East…. would never recline during a short flight๐Ÿ˜…!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Traveling While Being a Curmudgeon: My Case Against Carry-on Bags – Christine Seifert

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