Why airlines are scrapping reclining seats – it could be bad news for long flights | The Sun

MORE airlines are opting to remove reclining seats from their planes – meaning passengers are getting less and less choice about how to make themselves comfortable during flights.

Reclining etiquette is one of the main sources of anger on planes, with lots of people differing on their opinion of when seats should and shouldn't be reclined.

However, the choice is now being taken out of passengers' hands more and more.

Instead, pre-reclined "bucket" style seats are being introduced that in theory create more leg room for taller people, while also allowing planes to fit more people on board.

German seat makers Recaro are well-known throughout the industry and provide both the reclining and fixed position "pre-reclined" seats to airlines.

Their chief executive officer, Mark Hiller, explained why more airlines are opting to fill their planes with the non-reclining chairs.

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He told CNN: "The airline can choose a pre-defined backrest angle position within the seat configuration process. This helps to provide either more comfort via increased backrest angle or fulfil special layouts with specific passenger counts.

"The main advantage is increased living space, as a passenger's living space is not intruded by recline."

What also makes the non-reclining seats more attractive to airlines is that they're cheaper because they require much less maintenance.

He added: In addition, there's the low total cost of ownership — fewer moveable parts on the seat, improved reliability and simplified maintenance — and low weight and cost, with no mechanism, kinematics and so on required."

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Fewer reclining seats could be a problem for passengers, particularly on long-haul flights, which is when most people agree it is acceptable to put the seat back.

However, not everyone agrees. One man sparked debate online after he annoyed the passenger behind him by reclining his seat on a flight, despite it being a 10-hour journey.

The tall passenger revealed that he was trying to get comfortable during a recent trip, which caused the woman sitting behind him to complain, and slam the tray table into the back of his seat.

He reached out on Reddit to see if he had behaved unreasonably, or if he was in the right.

He wrote: "I’m 6 foot 5 and am always uncomfortable on airplanes. I try as best as I can to get exit rows or bulkhead to help out but sometimes there’s nothing left.

"I was recently on a 10 hour flight that started at 9am. As soon as the seatbelt sign turned off I leaned back my chair to relax and maybe catch a nap.

"I heard a DRAMATIC SIGH come from behind me. I overheard the lady loudly complaining about me saying, 'people are so inconsiderate' blah blah blah."

Most people were on the man's side, saying he was well within his rights to recline his seat on a long-haul journey.

One wrote: "The seats are designed to recline, so it is reasonable to do so…provided you do it slowly and carefully so as not to damage a computer or spill a drink behind you."

Another said: "Everyone’s uncomfortable on the airplane, just how it is unfortunately.

"However, she was being overly rude and childish, and the fact that she got mad at you for reclining and then also reclined is ridiculous."

In an article for the Points Guy, Julia Esteve Boyd, an etiquette coach and podcaster from Switzerland said: “It is completely reasonable to recline your seat if you want to.

“Don’t recline the seat too quickly."

This can make all the difference, which some people have found out the hard way.

One passenger was left fuming when his Apple MacBook Pro was destroyed during a flight – after the person in front reclined their seat too hastily.

Pat Cassidy was flying with Delta from Austin to Los Angeles when his computer was crushed by the seat going back onto it.

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And this six-foot-tall man divided opinion online when he kept trying to recline his seat.


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