Reclining Your Seat on an Airplane: The Do’s & Don’ts

There’s nothing more dreadful than having to squeeze into a plane’s tight economy seats – you shift around, looking for a comfortable position. You recline your chair to stretch out a bit, which unintentionally may annoy the person behind you. We’ve all been there, which is why we’re sharing this list of do’s and don’ts of reclining your seat on an airplane:

1. Do look back

It is your right to feel comfortable in your own space, but the same rule stands for all. So, always be considerate of your fellow passengers. Besides, he or she paid the same amount as you did. Take extra precautions, too, if the one sitting behind you is a tall person with very long legs.  

2. Don’t recline during meal time

For one, remember that the back of your seat holds a tray table for the person eating behind you. Tilting your seat back without a heads up may result to spilling their food, which is definitely a no-no.

3. Do recline slowly

Aside from eating, passengers use the tray table for using their laptops and tablets. They would surely appreciate if you recline slowly. Note: Never lean all of your weight on your seat before pushing the button. Push the button first and then gradually lean backwards.

4. Don’t take up too much space

As they say, anything excessive is bad.  Do not exaggerate relaxation. You do not need to tilt your seat the whole way. If halfway is good, stop there. That is why it is called an airplane “seat” and not a “bed”.

5. Do stay calm

If you accidentally reclined your chair a little too fast (and strong), expect that the person behind you will react. Stay calm, do not let your emotions take over, and apologize. Your co-passengers are your travel peers and you don’t want to spend the rest of your flight arguing with someone.

Given how cramped economy seats can get, if you can avoid reclining and sleep or sit as is, then do so. Everyone deserves a comfortable journey. But if you really need or want to recline your seat, then do so with the above tips in mind.

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