Having just returned from a cross-country trip, the increasingly torturous task of traveling via airplane is fresh on my mind. Hotbed for cold and flu viruses. Lots of unmentionable odors. Dirty seat trays and pockets. Bad in-flight movies. (For chrissakes, why do I always get Julia Roberts movies?)
My biggest complaint is that unless I luck into an empty seat beside me, my back ends up wrecked due to [first, my mother's old mattresses, but also] 1) the lack of good lumbar support in the seat backs, and 2) the fact that the now-usually 100% full flights mean there's a person in the middle seat who owns both his armrests. If he's not conducive to allowing me to squeeze my arm in (i.e. the case during both of my 4-hour flights on a 757 last week), I end up sitting off kilter, my homeless arm too close to my side, or what-not ... and lose proper overall posture. Ergo, my back is shot.
The subject of this CNN article - Air rage: Is reclining your seat a right? is, alas, getting more attention than my issue.
I "do" look back to ascertain whether the person behind me will be disadvantaged if I recline, and then I recline only about 50% of the would-be allowable. However, I've got to admit that if I've got someone behind me aggressively pre-preventing me from reclining (knees pushing so much that I'm piked forwardare), I will recline just for the principle of it.
As for others, does the person in front of you generally slam back their seats the moment the "ding" sounds. Sometimes happens to me. Voila!, I've got a head in my lap! 'Sir, is this considered foreplay, or are you expecting a temple massage or something?'
To those who are "no recline! not here! not ever!", I say "shut up!". Plane seats are generally much too upright for comfort (or slumber). A good -- and I'd think relatively low-cost -- remedy would be for airlines to adjust the reclining capability of its seats to something less intrusive to passengers' back neighbors. As for new planes, I'm over the airline cited in this article which "pre-reclines" its seats.
What are your thoughts about the to recline or not to recline issue ... as they are?