Reclining Airline Seats Are an Evil, Needless Relic
Dan Kois: They make no sense on today's crammed flights
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2013 1:05 PM CST

(Newser) – We've all experienced it: that dreaded moment when the first person on the plane reclines his seat, forcing the person behind him to recline her seat, and so on, until suddenly you find yourself with your book or laptop shoved into your face and hatred simmering in your heart for the person in front of you. Reclining seats are "pure evil," writes Dan Kois on Slate, and though it's tempting to blame the person whose seat is currently inches away from your nose, it's really the airline that's at fault.

Reclining seats are a relic from decades past, when airlines were committed to swanky accommodations like footrests, ashtrays, and lots of space for passengers to spread out. As economy class grew and airlines started packing more people in, such luxuries disappeared—except the reclining seat, which obstinately stayed put. It's time to face facts: These days, "reclining seats make no sense," Kois writes. It's time for airlines to require that all seats remain upright for the duration of the flight, which would be safer in the event of a crash anyway. "To those who say such a rule is unenforceable, I respond: Kick. Kick. Kick." Click for his entire, amusing column.

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Feb 24, 2013 11:04 AM CST
All it does is to contribute to you and the person in front of you gettion in a spat
Feb 24, 2013 9:39 AM CST
Nobody but young people in good health should fly anymore. We're all too sheep to just say no to the airlines and stop flying until they clean up their acts. The airlines cram people in flying cans of purgatory because it makes money... as we all search for the cheapest fare... NO MATTER WHAT. We only have ourselves to blame. I'm one of the few who will dig deep to stay away from the worst airline offenders, (fill in the names here.) If more of us could bring ourselves to vote with our pocketbooks, the mess would soon fix itself. Alternate idea is petition Obama to require that all congresspeople by law must fly coach by law. FCIH, ha ha ha!
Feb 22, 2013 8:07 PM CST
The real problem is that airlines cram as many people as possible into seat rows spaced too close together. Back in the days of prop planes, seat rows gave passengers plenty of room. As for non-reclining seats, try flying coach class from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia in a non-reclining seat. Better call ahead for an ambulance.