Airplane etiquette

It is now a day later, I am back in Australia and no one else has blogged since my own last post. Everyone really must be at the Mt Pelerin in Hong Kong. I was scheduled to go myself but I could not pass up this trip to France and the discussion on Say.

But let me say this about air travel which gets better and compared to the really old days is incredibly cheap. But there is this one thing. Which is why this story interests me so much:

Legroom rage: Why a gadget that stops plane seats tilting back is starting fights on airliners

My own solution was to bring a rubber hammer for the people in front and a plastic helmet to defend myself against the people in the row behind. But it is not a small matter when there is hardly any space to begin with and you have pulled your trusty PC out to do some work. So now someone has come up with a solution:

You know the moment all too well — and dread it. Just as you’re getting a modicum of comfort on a flight, the seat in front suddenly pushes back, depriving you of valuable inches of legroom.

All you can do is to glower in a silent rage at the head of the other passenger, who has decided that by reclining his seat, his comfort is more important than ours.

However, some passengers have decided to get even rather than mad, by investing £13 in a gizmo called a Knee Defender, which its manufacturer claims is as ‘devious as it is ingenious’.

On this flight, the couple in front played gin rummy until the sun went down and then we all went off to sleep with our seats pushed back. But in the day time, I can understand the fury of anyone already crammed into an economy seat having what room there is taken from them. I think of it as the same as talking on the mobile in a loud voice while sitting on the train (and soon on the plane as well).

My own rule:

No pushing seats back until after the evening meal

I understand that on airplanes people have woken early to catch the 8:00 a.m. flight, and others are connecting from flights where whatever it might say on the local clock, it is still past midnight to them. But it is more than courtesy and a kind of etiquette needs to be developed so that at least we can work out who is in the right before the fights break out.

There was a time you could smoke on airplanes as well. Let us hope for a day in the future when people remember the time when you could put your seat back in the middle of the afternoon which by then they will no longer be permitted to do.

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138 Responses to Airplane etiquette

  1. Ubique says:

    We once tried flying with Emirates from Perth to Manchester. We we’re put off the airline and the route for ever by intolerably rude Middle Eastern passengers on the Dubai – Manchester leg who threw their seats back as far as they would go during dinner; the mad stampede at Dubai to get on the plane by Middle Eastern passengers without children when the call went for people with young children to board first; the smoke filled Dubai airport; and the pitiful sight of rows and rows of young Filipino servant girls sleeping like kittens on the floor of Dubai airport.

  2. Clam Chowdah says:

    I agree with the after dinner rule.

    But I also think that cattle class is uncomfortable either way, that anyone who pays for a seat that reclines is entitled to expect it to recline, and that anyone who works on their laptop on a long haul cattle class flight and gets angry about seats reclining is an ignoramus.

    When I travel economy, I take a book or watch a movie: like a normal person.

  3. Fisky says:

    There was a time you could smoke on airplanes as well.

    I’m all for it. Smoking on flights nearly saved the Taiwan plane from going down in 2002. There were huge visible smoke stains around the cracks near the tail, but the maintenance crew didn’t bother to do anything about it.

  4. Yobbo says:

    If you recline your seat you are an arsehole, end of story.

    I almost got into a fistfight with some dickhead on a flight to Bali after I asked his kid not to recline his seat after he slammed it back so hard he almost fractured my patella.

    Airline seats should not recline, end of story. There simply isn’t enough room for most people to sit comfortably in them if the people in front recline.

  5. nerblnob says:

    You can’t go long haul without reclining, end of story.

    You wait till after the meals are cleared and lights go off, then everyone reclines gently.

    There was a time when everyone understood this, and cabin crew policed it in a firm but friendly way.

    Now they are averse to any kind of confrontation until things have gone too far, and here we are.

  6. Clam Chowdah says:

    Tough shit. After dinner I’ll recline and whoever is behind can suck it up.

  7. Gerry says:

    Once again the customer is being demonised for wanting basic comfort …..I had to negotiate with the steward and the passenger in front of me to deal with my small amount of personal space on the plane from Hawaii (Jetstar) recently ….all because the airlines are wanting to cram us in like cattle ….it’s their fault were feeling the pinch but it’s us that have to make a solution …

  8. Spider says:

    We once tried flying with Emirates from Perth to Manchester. We we’re put off the airline and the route for ever by intolerably rude Middle Eastern passengers .

    Ubique. I’ve found Emirates generally to be great for the price. Good meals, entertainment and they’re not stingy with the alcohol.

    BUT I would Happily pay $200 more say to have about 9 inches more leg room. I’m reasonably tall and the current seating configurations on most flights are torture defined.

    No pushing back until after the evening meal?

    I asked the attendant what meal I was having Breakfast, lunch or dinner? coming back from Europe recently and he said ‘It’s whatever you want it to be Sir!’

  9. sabrina says:

    In the days of cheap airfare, get used to increasingly shorter legroom. Don’t like it – pay up for the luxury.
    Anyway, welcome back from “Canadia”.

  10. Ash Gebranious, haven’t we seen this moron somewhere before?

  11. Alfonso says:

    Pfft….anything over the 2h 30m to NZ is Prem Economy for this little black duck. Why leave surplus money in the will.
    The notorious QF are making a big effort in that price range.
    It’s the shoulder width more than the leg room.

  12. JohnA says:

    Clam Chowdah #1438208, posted on September 4, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Tough shit. After dinner I’ll recline and whoever is behind can suck it up.

    Umm, the epitome of the Me Generation?

  13. Token says:

    Interesting discussion on social values in the place where we shoved together into a small space with limited toilet facilities.

    I’m surprised there are not more analysis by humanities professionals. I trust they choose not to as the cultural norms of so many groups are put into the spotlight.

  14. Token says:

    Tough shit. After dinner I’ll recline and whoever is behind can suck it up.

    Umm, the epitome of the Me Generation?

    If you show respect to your neighbours, why shouldn’t you be allowed to recline?

  15. Alfonso says:

    Love the smoke tar as the prospective dye crack indicator. Quality LAMEs is a better solution.

    Alas, in the days of cabin smoking numerous incidents of rapid decompression occurred worldwide due to an outflow valve auto running open when flow was restricted by a filter blocked by the delicious nutritious tar and crap.
    Happened to me in a DC9.

  16. Baldrick says:

    No pushing seats back until after the evening meal

    The answer is actually very simple and quite cheap … get yourself a pair of original Knee Defenders.

    It helps you defend the space you need when confronted by a faceless, determined seat recliner who doesn’t care how long your legs are or about anything else that might be “back there”.

  17. Empire says:

    Dissatisfied with the real estate? Buy more space and be grateful you have options.

    In the leftist utopia, everybody goes cattle and suffers equally.

  18. Ant says:

    I have no sympathy for the a-holes who recline their seats while the cabin lighting is on and would not urinate on them if they caught fire.

    Even if they caught fire on the plane!

    I would rather stand on principle and ‘go down with the ship’.

  19. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    Airline seats should not recline, end of story. There simply isn’t enough room for most people to sit comfortably in them if the people in front recline.

    With you, on that one, Yobbo. You want reclining seats, fly business. You recline your seat back into my space, you pay the consequences.

  20. Bill says:

    Perhaps you could just harden up a little?

    BTW, did the Australian taxpayer fund the French holiday?

  21. Combine Dave says:

    No pushing seats back until after the evening meal

    Good rule. I try not to recline excessively, but if you don’t want someone to recline in your face (or belt you senseless for preventing them from reclining) you need to fly better than economy class.

  22. Combine Dave says:

    I almost got into a fistfight with some dickhead on a flight to Bali after I asked his kid not to recline his seat after he slammed it back so hard he almost fractured my patella.

    Are you incredibly fat? Sounds like you should have booked two or three seats so you could lay sideways during the flight and avoid this (or book a better class).

  23. Oh come on says:

    But I also think that cattle class is uncomfortable either way, that anyone who pays for a seat that reclines is entitled to expect it to recline, and that anyone who works on their laptop on a long haul cattle class flight and gets angry about seats reclining is an ignoramus.

    Fully agree. You don’t have a right not to have the person in front of you recline the pitiful amount an economy seat allows. It’s not nearly as intolerable as some of you are making out. A minor irritant at best. I’m 186cm tall and I can live with it – and I usually fly budget airlines, which are even more cramped than cattle class in flag carriers.

    Toughen up, ladies. You want lebensraum, go pay 400% more for a business class ticket.

  24. Combine Dave says:

    Toughen up, ladies. You want lebensraum, go pay 400% more for a business class ticket.

    If Clive’s court cases and businesses continue to go awry he might have a few private jets he could sell you…

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulfstream_G650

  25. Oh come on says:

    They’d struggle to contain even Clive, I reckon.

  26. Slayer of Memes says:

    Do what I do when flying. When buying your tickets most (if not all now) agents give you the option of requesting a specific seat/row, so ask for one of the seats in the front row (usually 40A-K, 46A-C and 46 H-K, 47D-G, 58A-C and 58 H-K,

  27. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    You don’t have a right not to have the person in front of you recline the pitiful amount an economy seat allows.

    So what gives the person ahead of you the right to invade the pitiful amount of space allowed you?

    400% more for a business ticket? I’ve posted here about flying Garuda, which has cleaned up its act immeasurably in recent years – Executive class between here and Europe, for marginally more then cattle class, Qantas – and you can recline your seat back as far as you wish. Anything outside Australia, these days, I fly business.

  28. Slayer of Memes says:

    *bloody enter key

    Take 2:

    Do what I do when flying. When buying your tickets most (if not all now) agents give you the option of requesting a specific seat/row, so ask for one of the seats in the front row (usually 40A-K, 46A-C and 46 H-K, 47D-G, 58A-C and 58 H-K,63D-G).

    All of these seats have a bulkhead in front of them, and are set back far enough that you can stretch your legs out in front of you to full extension (or near-full extension, depending on your height) – No inconsiderate asshole leaning their chair back into you.

  29. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    so ask for one of the seats in the front row (usually 40A-K, 46A-C and 46 H-K, 47D-G, 58A-C and 58 H-K,

    Reserved for people traveling with children. Used to be that, if you booked through a travel agent, you got priority for such seats. Now reserved for those travelling with children,

  30. Slayer of Memes says:

    Bah!

    Should also have noted the above row/seat numbers apply to the 747-400RR .

    Other aircraft seating plans can be found here, allowing you to locate similar ‘bulkhead protected’ seats…

  31. Slayer of Memes says:

    Z2KA, really? when did they change that?

    I know I was able to book one of those seats only a matter of 8 months ago while flying solo to Europe on QANTAS… no mention by either the agent nor cabin crew about the lack of child…

  32. It would appear that even just talking about this issue is fraught with emotional baggage – there’s a lot of anger coming out here. I wonder if this is just the pressure valve being activated on many issues?

  33. Oh come on says:

    So what gives the person ahead of you the right to invade the pitiful amount of space allowed you?

    Actually it’s their space that you’re borrowing whilst their chair is not reclining.

    I’m glad business class is so affordable for you. Hardly worth the belly ache then, is it?

  34. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    I know I was able to book one of those seats only a matter of 8 months ago while flying solo to Europe on QANTAS… no mention by either the agent nor cabin crew about the lack of child…

    Three years ago, flying within Australia, we were advised by our travel agent (who I’ve used for twenty years)
    the bulkhead seating was reserved for those traveling with children. Don’t know about international travel, that’s when I fly business class.

  35. Slayer of Memes says:

    ZK2A, ah. From what I’ve been able to find out (quick Google search) that ruile does apply for internal Australian flights, but I can find no mention of it applying to longhaul overseas flights. I’ll double check with my usual agent to confirm though.

  36. Oh come on says:

    Ps ta for the Gsruda tip. Will get a quote off them next time I fly long haul.

  37. Driftforge says:

    So what gives the person ahead of you the right to invade the pitiful amount of space allowed you?

    Their ticket.

  38. Mr Rusty says:

    I know I was able to book one of those seats only a matter of 8 months ago while flying solo to Europe on QANTAS… no mention by either the agent nor cabin crew about the lack of child…

    QuaintArse sell the bulkhead seats for an extra ~$90 on most International flights.

    Thing I hate about reclining is that I observe all the unwritten rules; after lights out, gently etc. and as soon as I do it the cnut behind me usually thumps or kicks the back of my seat in anger! You know this is how it works and if you don’t like it then upgrade instead of sulking like a selfish twat.
    I am prepared to pay for Premium Economy but they don’t do it on some routes and they have really tightened up the rules on using points upgrades – like you can only do it on a day starting with ‘W’, when it’s not raining, the flight number ends in a prime number and you’re not booked in classes A-Y (and ‘Z’ class is only available for airline employees and their families.)

  39. Slayer of Memes says:

    QuaintArse sell the bulkhead seats for an extra ~$90 on most International flights.

    Must also be a new thing Rusty, because I paid the same price for a bulkhead seat as I was quoted for a non-bulkhead, knee-crusher seat…

    Maybe you need to see a different agent?

  40. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    Thing I hate about reclining is that I observe all the unwritten rules; after lights out, gently etc.

    Fair comment, but the last incident I had was little wiiminses, having a tanty because she couldn’t use her mobile, shoved her seat back into my kneecaps, and roundly abused me for being a bit slow in moving.

  41. Dr Faustus says:

    Garuda also offers a more interesting menu and doesn’t go short on serving the grog. By contrast the other cheap regional, Royal Brunei, is dry and gives you a blessing (I think it’s a blessing – it’s in Arabic and could be anything) from a video Imam before takeoff.

  42. dover_beach says:

    I’ll recline but never the full amount, and I’m attentive to whatever those behind me are doing.

  43. Token says:

    So what gives the person ahead of you the right to invade the pitiful amount of space allowed you?

    Their ticket.

    Hard to argue with that.

    I have been on flights where I have spent most of the time on my feet due to the body odour of my neighbour. That type of funk is so invasive you can get any respite from it.

  44. Giorgio says:

    In our next configuration of airplane design we are removing seats there will of course be straps to hang on to ,in economy.business class will be fitted with shelves for passengers to lie on .these measures will increse capacity so that airlines can make huge profits,this cnfiguation will also eliminate disputes about reclining seats.
    Dodgy Bros economy Airlines.

  45. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Some remarkable attitudes on display here!

    You buy a seat. It reclines. So do all the others. There’s not much room and it’s cheaper because of that. Then you want to throw your weight around to get more than you paid for, and want rules and intervention to achieve your ends. I thought this was a libertarian blog?

    If you want more space, pay for it (exit row, Premium or Business).

  46. 1234 says:

    You get what you pay for. Elementary on this site.

  47. Mr Rusty says:

    Must also be a new thing Rusty, because I paid the same price for a bulkhead seat as I was quoted for a non-bulkhead, knee-crusher seat…

    It’s been around a while for QANTAS FF. Perhaps your agent eats the fee. Really, it makes no sense that they would reserve bulkhead seats for children with families, it’s not as if they need the leg room. IMO families should be sealed in soundproof rooms at the back of the plane or pay for everyone else’s booze if their kids start acting up.

    Of course all this is just another of those first-world problem things.
    A generation or two ago the vast majority of people on planes were lucky to have the comfort of returning to their destination unharmed. If you were unlucky you were shot down and either died or ended up as a guest at the local Nazi PoW camp. If you were really unlucky you were shot down, captured and ended up as bayonet and beheading practice for the Japanese Imperial Army.
    I’ll try and remember that next time I feel like complaining about leg room or not getting a cooked breakfast.

  48. Ant says:

    Libertarian or not, common courtesy and decency is one thing that separates us from animals.

    If you want to recline buy the upgrade.

    There’s no rule against farting on an airliner either, but……….the civilized don’t need to say any more.

  49. Slayer of Memes says:

    The only piece of airplane etiquette I would like to see observed is the removal of baked beans from the breakfast menu options…. especially when that breakfast is served more than 8 hours before the plane lands.

    Any airline that chooses to serve baked beans to over 200 individuals in a locked, confined (and air recirculating) space should be charged with crimes against humanity for torture and the unrestricted use of biological weapons of mass destruction against a civilian population……

  50. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Ant:
    Common decency applies everywhere at all times – goes without saying. But your attitude, expressed as
    ‘If you want to recline buy the upgrade’ is not common decency. Everyone who buys a cattle class seat has bought the right to recline and has done so knowing that others have that right. If that bothers you, pay more for the privilege. In other words, if you buy one service, don’t go expecting rules to give you more than you have paid for – that would be rent-seeking behaviour, wouldn’t it?

    I have always found flight crew very helpful in asking people to bring seats upright during meal service, etc., and most people happy to comply.

  51. Wozzup says:

    I now refuse to fly Qantas internationally due to their policy of persistently reducing seat “pitch” – the distance between seats, over the years, till even with a relative short-arse like me, my knees are pressed hard and very uncomfortably against the back of the seat in front. Imagine that for an 8 hour or more trip OS. Almost as annoying, is the fact that the fellow in the row behind has his knees pressed hard against the back of my seat so every twitch of his legs is transmitted though to my back. Everyone in cattle class has the same problem.

    And as someone else pointed out Qantas now charge $90 per person per journey for an exit row seat. Sheer extortion. So, screw them they can go broke so far as I am concerned. If they wish to piss passengers off by treating them like sardines, that’s what they get. There are plenty of competitors who give better service for a comparable price so the “national carrier” can carry air instead of people. So I now cast around, do my research and will always fly another airline to try to get the best comfort as well as the best deal.

    When I travelled domestically almost constantly for work, my strategy for staying sane was to put my head down and sleep as soon as I reasonably was able to do so and this involved reclining the seat back soon as possible after meals were completed. I did not want to eat crap airline food (which has become consistently crappier and more perfunctory over the years – would you like a cracker with that stale miniature muffin sir?) and I did not want to pay excessive prices for crap airline wine (no longer free) – so I slept. Seats are designed to recline for good reason and that means that I and (as galling as it might be) everyone else has the right to recline to make themselves more comfortable.

    If some ignorant selfish arsehole put a seat blocker on my seat to prevent it reclining I think there would be some very, very harsh words said. And I might well need to contrive to buy one of those over priced airline drinks after all, then “accidentally” spill it on his head. Red wine, today I think, please hostess. I hate inconsiderate narcissists who think their “rights” are superior and scr#w everyone else.

  52. Ant says:

    I don’t agree. I would like to recline my seat also sometimes but am aware that it is annoying to the person behind. Hence, I don’t do it even though I’ve “paid for the privilege”.

    There is no reason to recline the seat if you’re awake. Have a bit of respect for others with whom you have to share a tight space with.

  53. Clam Chowdah says:

    So what gives the person ahead of you the right to invade the pitiful amount of space allowed you?

    Recline your own seat. Your total area is now as it was, problem fucking solved.

    Bunch of babies.

  54. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Ant:
    ‘There is no reason to recline the seat if you’re awake.’
    There you go, in touch with your inner authoritarian, dictating to others what their needs might be. Perhaps they’re only suffering from false consciousness. Their ‘objective needs’ should obviously be determined by the state and enacted in legislation.

    Until then, they’ve bought a reclinable seat, and are entitled to use it – subject to a polite consideration to others.

  55. Ant says:

    Wrong, AK. Not authoritarian – at all.

    I don’t make a fuss and make no complaint to the passenger ahead of me or to the flight attendant.

    Your assumption that I would dictate anything is I trust not revealing something about yourself.

    I also don’t recline my seat unless the cabin lighting is off, out of respect to the person behind me – even if it’s a child.

    However, I wouldn’t do any favours to anyone inconsiderate enough to recline their seat into my face either.

    Your line about “subject to polite consideration to others” seems to support my approach. But I could be wrong.

  56. Ant says:

    BTW, this is definitely a rich world’s problem.

  57. MikeS says:

    Saw mention of a seat design once where the top of the seat back is effectively the fixed reference point and the recline action means the base of the seat moves forward. So unless the passenger in front also reclines, you eat your own space, not your neighbours.

  58. Robert Crew says:

    The people who complain about seat reclining always start their argument by ignoring two fundamental issues: 1) if you recline your own seat, you get the space back; and 2) this only works if you haven’t crammed the underside of the seat in front with excess carry-on. The only rules are not to do it during takeoff/landing/meal time. The “seat stopper”‘s main use that I can see is to allow someone to recline while taking away that choice from the person in front, allowing the user to take more than their share of room.

  59. Infidel Tiger says:

    Sounds like all the pro-recliners are 5’8″ or worse. When you are a properly sized male, anyone reclining makes life torture for you and reclining your own seat makes no difference. It’s almost impossible to fit in the seats as is, let alone with some ego tripping short arse thinking he’s a German in a sun lounger.

    Anyone reclining on a shorthaul flight or during daylight hours is a cnut.

    Anyone reclining on a shorthaul flight or during daylight hours is a cnut.

  60. Clam Chowdah says:

    I’m not a short arse, so no that isn’t the explanation.

    Harden up, poofs.

  61. Infidel Tiger says:

    Harden up, poofs.

    My knees are very hard. If you can’t handle them massaging your spine, don’t recline until night time.

  62. Combine Dave says:

    Some remarkable attitudes on display here!

    You buy a seat. It reclines. So do all the others. There’s not much room and it’s cheaper because of that. Then you want to throw your weight around to get more than you paid for, and want rules and intervention to achieve your ends. I thought this was a libertarian blog?

    If you want more space, pay for it (exit row, Premium or Business).

    Pretty much this.

    On the other hand if it’s a short day time flight and you’ve no need to recline, leave the fatty behind with some more space?

  63. Chris says:

    I’m a recliner. Even on shortish flights of 2-3 hours. Like many others I don’t exactly enjoy flying, but I do have the ability to fall asleep fairly easily and quickly with the seat reclined. Being asleep for most of the flight is far preferable to me than watching the entertainment systems.

    I think I’m fairly polite about it all though. I don’t recline during meal services and I recline slowly so people who have laptops out get some warning. Though in most cases those who complain about not enough space for their laptop just have way too big a laptop. When I travel for work I have no significant problems using my laptop or tablet even when the seat in front is reclined. I don’t have a giant 15″ or 17″ laptop though. If you want to use one of those, get a business class seat and travel in style!

    And for those who are get aggro about their “space” being stolen – well just recline your seat and you get the lost space back!

  64. Ant says:

    I’m a “properly sized male”, 6’3″, and not fat.

    Seat recliners piss me off, but I contain my rage.

    The recline function is for the purposes of sleeping. If you want it for any other purpose go business or better.

  65. Oh come on says:

    People, you don’t have a god-given right to use your laptop on a plane with however much space you feel is appropriate.

    I think I’m fairly polite about it all though. I don’t recline during meal services and I recline slowly

    That’s about all you can reasonably expect in cattle class. Sounds perfectly civil to me.

    I almost got into a fistfight with some dickhead on a flight to Bali after I asked his kid not to recline his seat after he slammed it back so hard he almost fractured my patella.

    Who was being the dickhead here? Sure, complain that reclining in the way the kid did almost injured you. Perfectly reasonable. However, you had no grounds to ask the kid not to recline his seat. If I were his Dad, I would have admonished him for his carelessness, demanded he apologise to you and asked him to recline more thoughtfully. If you continued to insist he not recline his seat, I would have (politely) told you to fuck off.

  66. Oh come on says:

    The recline function is for the purposes of sleeping.

    No, it’s for the purpose of being comfortable. It’s you who should go business – you’re the one making unreasonable demands. And I speak as someone who is of your height, weigh about 95kgs, and have had plenty of experience of cattle class travel.

  67. Chris says:

    Those who are too wide for your standard airline seat are now encouraged to buy two seats. Increasingly airlines are getting more efficient at charging those who are too tall for a standard seat for extra space too – eg premium economy, bulkhead and exit row seats. Shorter people will find less value for money for those upgrades and airlines get to extract the maximum profit from their customers.

    One airline is even charging by total weight (person + luggage) which often will result in tall people getting charged more too. Something to look forward too – less cross subsidisation of those who are big/tall and those who don’t know how to travel light. User pays!

  68. Clam Chowdah says:

    My knees are very hard. If you can’t handle them massaging your spine, don’t recline until night time.

    If you could massage a little of your moisturiser into my scalp while you do my lumbar region, that’d be noice.

  69. Oh come on says:

    My knees are very hard. If you can’t handle them massaging your spine, don’t recline until night time.

    So what do you do with your knees at night time?

  70. Clam Chowdah says:

    I’m a “properly sized male”, 6’3?, and not fat.

    Seat recliners piss me off, but I contain my rage.

    The recline function is for the purposes of sleeping. If you want it for any other purpose go business or better.

    Yawn. Wake me up just before approach, please.

  71. Max says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2736320/Legroom-rage-Why-gadget-stops-plane-seats-tilting-starting-fights-airliners.html

    The Knee Defender was invented by 6’4 inch Ira Goldman in Washington

    Is there any conflict that these people wont inflame and exploit for profit !! FFS next week David Wolfowitz will start selling $14 seat lube to defeat the seat defender.

  72. Des Deskperson says:

    A few years back, I flew from Stansted to Falconara, Italy, by Ryanair. There were three interesting facts I remember about the journey:
    (i) there was no seat allocation. You boarded as you would a commuter bus and grabbed the seat that took your fancy
    (ii) the only beer you could buy in-flight was expensive and warm, and
    (iii) all the seats were immovably fixed in the upright position.

    The plane was full of Anglo-Celtic yobs. Falconara is the airport closest to Ancona, the ferry port for the Agean and Balkans Adriatic. I was going to Urbino and Jesi.

  73. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Ant:
    ‘Not authoritarian.’ – You miss the point. It is authoritarian of you to presume that you know the needs of others. Perhaps the person has had a sleepless night. Perhaps they have a chronically bad back. Who knows? They do! That, after all, is the basis of the market system. If you don’t like one product, you buy another. And you don’t presume to dictate to others what their needs are, nor interfere with their enjoyment of the property and rights they have acquired by legal means. You want more room? The pay for it in Premium or Business.
    MikeS:
    My experience in Cattle on A380s is that the seat does something like this: the base slides a little forward and the back moves less.
    I must confess that I am always amused by the size of the Business class area in flights to and from Canberra – about double that on non-CBR flights to accommodate not just the MPs, but the bureaucrats. Actual business travellers are more parsimonious. One large company I know of allows Business class only on journeys over 2hrs. It would be more appropriately called ‘Bureaucrat Class’.

  74. Des Deskperson says:

    “I must confess that I am always amused by the size of the Business class area in flights to and from Canberra – about double that on non-CBR flights to accommodate not just the MPs, but the bureaucrats”

    And yet, here’s the travel class policy for the Department of Human Services, the largest Commonwealth agency:

    “Non-SES employees may only travel Business class in exceptional
    circumstances with the prior written approval of the employee’s SES Band 1
    officer (or higher), supported by a documented business case.

    SES employees must travel Economy class for flights on the Canberra/Sydney or
    Canberra/Melbourne route for single leg trips. Business or Premium Economy
    class may be selected for all other domestic routes, if available.”

    While there may be minor variations, my experience is that this policy is pretty much universal across APS departments and agencies.

  75. Woolfe says:

    I am now flying 1500 km per week in cattle class so am qualified to comment.

    If the person in front reclines their seat i will ask the attendant to ask them to place their seat upright when the swill is served. Have never recently had a problem with this. Saying that I did once have someone that did not so I had the sudden urge to go to the toilet and accidentally smacked them in the side of the head with my elbow when I got up and again when I returned to my seat. I was most apologetic to the person after the incidents.

    My pet hate is being seated next to some obese slug that flows over the arm rest and onto you, and believe me there are loads of these on the routes I fly.

    Oh and if you fly Ryan Air the seats do not recline.

    Yes and last week i had the joy of sitting next to a dunk who spent 50 minutes throwing up into their jacket.

    Malaysian are also offering some cheap business class flights to Europe.

  76. Yobbo says:

    Are you incredibly fat? Sounds like you should have booked two or three seats so you could lay sideways during the flight and avoid this (or book a better class).

    No, but I am 6’4″ tall. I can barely fit into airplane seats when they are not reclined. It is literally impossible for you to recline your seat if I am being behind you, all you can do is cause me pain, your seat won’t move.

  77. Aussiepundit says:

    Airline seats should not recline, end of story. There simply isn’t enough room for most people to sit comfortably in them if the people in front recline.

    This is correct.

  78. Infidel Tiger says:

    No, but I am 6’4? tall. I can barely fit into airplane seats when they are not reclined. It is literally impossible for you to recline your seat if I am being behind you, all you can do is cause me pain, your seat won’t move.

    Doesn’t stop them trying, and somehow we are denying them their property rights by refusing to have our knees smashed.

  79. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Des Deskperson:
    1. And yet there is double the Business space on CBR flights.
    2. Have you looked at the size of the SES? (There’s a nice graph in the Commission of Audit report).
    3. Many are connecting through SYD or MEL.
    4. Many, of course, are state public servants.

  80. outsider says:

    ‘If you recline your seat you are an arsehole, end of story.’

    Absolutely, no matter how far the flight is, and if you do, don’t shove the bastard all the way back in one giant push into the face of the passenger unfortunate enough to be seated behind a rude prick.

    I deal with fatter subcontinental types doing this quite often, I push back with my knees every so often, let em know it won’t go smoothly. At meal times, it means calling the staff to sort them out.

  81. Des Deskperson says:

    Aynsley Kellow

    Yeah, I’m aware of the size of the SES. I’m also aware that 88% of them are located in Canberra, Melbourne or Sydney

    I agree that some SES business class flights may be connecting through Melbourne or Sydney

    As for state/territory public servants, well, here’s the NSW policy:
    “Economy class travel is to be used for all official travel in Australia. CEOs, Senior
    Executive Service Officers, Statutory Officers, Senior Officers and Chairpersons
    of NSW Government boards and committees may fly business class or premium
    economy to Western Australia and the Northern Territory.”
    Again, in my experience, this policy is fairly typical of State/territory jurisdictions.

    So who are all these people flying to and from Canberra business class? Assuming your observations are correct, my guess is Ministerial staff and lobbyists.

  82. Alfonso says:

    Goodness, is this chattering aggression typical in Steerage Class?
    Avoid it like the plague.

    Pay more or suck it up plebs.

  83. Clam Chowdah says:

    Pay more or suck it up plebs.

    Exactly.

  84. . says:

    “My pet hate is being seated next to some obese slug that flows over the arm rest and onto you, and believe me there are loads of these on the routes I fly.”

    I was seated next to a dude who literally was so fat it was a miracle he wasn’t constantly dying of multiple heart attacks. He MUST have been over 160kg.s

    It was on a domestic regional flight.

    That was bullshit.

  85. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Des Deskperson:
    My guess would be a combination of :
    1. Government purchasing processes.
    2. Purchase of fully flexible tickets, late in the day (sometimes when only Bus is available)
    3. Accumulated status points that give them Gold or better FF status and frequent upgrades.

  86. Infidel Tiger says:

    Pay more or suck it up plebs.

    That’s exactly what I say to the silly prick who thinks he can recline his seat into my knees. My knees have never lost a battle.

  87. Chris says:

    3. Accumulated status points that give them Gold or better FF status and frequent upgrades.

    I thought that public servants are not allowed to use ff points accumulated through government trips until they have retired?

    That’s exactly what I say to the silly prick who thinks he can recline his seat into my knees. My knees have never lost a battle.

    In business class you’ve paid good money for the in-seat massage which feels like someone’s knees in your back. Sounds like it economy you can get it for free!

  88. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    Dr Faustus
    #1438397, posted on September 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Garuda also offers a more interesting menu and doesn’t go short on serving the grog. By contrast the other cheap regional, Royal Brunei, is dry and gives you a blessing (I think it’s a blessing – it’s in Arabic and could be anything) from a video Imam before takeoff.

    Royal Brunei isn’t dry up the pointy end -they actually employ non – Muslims to serve infidels the evil drink.

  89. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B. says:

    Don’t like it – pay up for the luxury.

    Or, as above, ‘pay more or suck it up’. Economy flights are OK if you don’t mind. Just don’t mind.

    I’ve rarely done long-haul First Class, but might consider it again when Spending the Kids’ Inheritance comes up. Currently it goes to school fees or fast cars or other sorts of fun for us, so it’s Business Class when alone together, Premium Economy when with da family (of variable size), but Da Hairy Ape will go Business, with us in Premium Ec, if he’s working. Kindly visiting us from time to time. I’ve done Economy quite a bit before I met Da Hairy Ape. He scorns it. I’m small and didn’t mind too much.

    Children in Business Class are bad news; too far away for you, too close for everyone else.
    Go Premium Ec with kids. Never go for the bulkhead in Economy if you want to avoid kids. It’s the Playschool, and the Gym. Look, shudder and avoid. Legroom is not worth the loss of headspace.

    Kids in Emirates in all levels are always spoiled little brats; an ethnic trait. So we’re wondering about our loyalty program there. Qantas is now basically Emirates. Same applies.

    Food in Premium Ec and Economy is for the Two Day Fasters. Go on fast days.

  90. Chris says:

    Currently it goes to school fees or fast cars or other sorts of fun for us, so it’s Business Class when alone together, Premium Economy when with da family (of variable size), but Da Hairy Ape will go Business, with us in Premium Ec, if he’s working.

    No, no you’ve got it all wrong. When travelling with the kids you fly first class and leave the kids in business class with the nanny 🙂

  91. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Chris,
    It’s the status credits that get you the upgrade. Chairman’s Lounge if you really fly (eg diplomat, politician). I’ve been a guest a couple of times – better class of nuts, food, and wine!

  92. Chris says:

    It’s the status credits that get you the upgrade. Chairman’s Lounge if you really fly (eg diplomat, politician). I’ve been a guest a couple of times – better class of nuts, food, and wine!

    Ah, I’ve never flown enough to get status credit upgrades. Only ever used ff points.

  93. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Ironically, Chris, you get max Status Credits flying a lot domestically – ideally at fully flexible. I had Gold Status for a few years when I was doing so, and got a nice upgrade coming back from Santiago after a four night stay. I’m back to mere Silver now, alas!

  94. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    No, no you’ve got it all wrong. When travelling with the kids you fly first class and leave the kids in business class with the nanny 🙂

    Cite you one bright spark who suggested that he fly business class because of his bulk, while his wife and children flew economy, because he couldn’t afford for them all to fly business….

  95. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Accumulated status points that give them Gold or better FF status and frequent upgrades’

    Here’s what the Public Service Commissioner says:

    “…it is government policy that APS employees are not to obtain a personal benefit from points accrued while travelling on official business. This includes upgrading travel unless authorised by the agency to do so”.

  96. Andrew says:

    The seats recline. The law is not during takeoff and landing. If they announce “no recline till 8pm” then fine – put it on the ticket conditions. Meantime, I recline where legal to do so. I try not to smash the guy’s laptop by slamming it back, I go slowly. But the seat goes as far as the airline designed it to.

    I was twice seated in non reclining seats. Only 4 hour flights. I have a terrible back injury. One time I was in pain for a few days. The other time I was so troubled on arrival that the Chinese police decided I must be a drug mule given my obvious distress so I was taken out into the drug room to be done over for another 90 minutes.

    If my reclining bothers you, go fuck yourself.

  97. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B. says:

    Our au pairs are part of the family; all in together in Premium Economy. One of them did go on to London with the children recently; we parted company in Dubai to fly to Moscow (over Donetsk in June).

  98. Oh come on says:

    Agree with Andrew.

    Zulu: as far as I’m concerned, the major drawback to flying Royal Brunei is that you’re forced to have a stopover in Brunei, which must be one of the most boring places on earth.

  99. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    Zulu: as far as I’m concerned, the major drawback to flying Royal Brunei is that you’re forced to have a stopover in Brunei, which must be one of the most boring places on earth.

    It may well be, but we have only ever done the long haul to Europe once by Royal Brunei, which was a novelty, but a novelty I don’t want to repeat, particularly since, as you say, Brunei is one of the most boring places on Earth. Once was enough.

  100. Leigh Lowe says:

    I am appalled at the configuration of some new jet airliners.
    I recently bought a Business Class fare only to find that economy passengers had a separate entrance to the jet.
    FFS!
    One of the key reasons one buys a Business Class fare is to bolt onto the plane, arm oneself with a large glass of French and smugly watch the great unwashed file past to their cramped fate up the back.

  101. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    One of the key reasons one buys a Business Class fare is to bolt onto the plane, arm oneself with a large glass of French and smugly watch the great unwashed file past to their cramped fate up the back.

    Flying Business class, one had the experience of watching the great unwashed file past, and one of the children of the swampies asked “Is this where we sit, Dad?” “No, not this time. This is where the rich people sit.” I did raise a glass….

  102. Leigh Lowe says:

    Flying Business class, one had the experience of watching the great unwashed file past, and one of the children of the swampies asked “Is this where we sit, Dad?” “No, not this time. This is where the rich people sit.” I did raise a glass….

    One can still have wretched luck up the pointy end, of course.
    On the most recent sojourn abroad, just before take-off, as I leaned forward to check the mechanism on my 180 cm flat bed, I bumped my drinks tray and split a whole glass of Bollinger over my designer jeans.
    Oh, the humanity!

  103. Oh come on says:

    You two are betraying your nouveau riche, bourgeois breeding. One never wishes to sully one’s self via contact with the toothless.

  104. Oh come on says:

    For god’s sake, man. It’s why one employs a butler.

  105. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    On the most recent sojourn abroad, just before take-off, as I leaned forward to check the mechanism on my 180 cm flat bed, I bumped my drinks tray and split a whole glass of Bollinger over my designer jeans.
    Oh, the humanity!

    On one of the first sojourn’s abroad, flying Malaysian Airlines Business class across the Pacific, the enchanting cabin staff had the utter mortification to report that they had run out of American red wine, and they could only offer French red wine all the way from Kuala Lumpar to Los Angeles. God, the horror of it all….

  106. Oh come on says:

    On the most recent sojourn abroad, just before take-off, as I leaned forward to check the mechanism on my 180 cm flat bed, I bumped my drinks tray and split a whole glass of Bollinger over my designer jeans.
    Oh, the humanity!

    Now I know you’re bullshitting. JC never flies commercial.

  107. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    You two are betraying your nouveau riche, bourgeois breeding. One never wishes to sully one’s self via contact with the toothless.

    One saw Leo McKern – the immortal Leo McKern of “Rumpole” fame in Perth years ago, in “Boswell for the Defence”

    “The children of the lower orders? What care I for the results of the casual couplings of the lower orders?”

  108. Leigh Lowe says:

    You two are betraying your nouveau riche, bourgeois breeding. One never wishes to sully one’s self via contact with the toothless.

    I am reliably advised that occasional formal (but not familiar) contact with the servant classes benefits both parties.
    A fleeting contact in the aisle of an airliner affords a perfect opportunity for such contact.

  109. Oh come on says:

    One saw Leo McKern – the immortal Leo McKern of “Rumpole” fame in Perth years ago

    You mean the colonial? harrumph! Perth, you say? One doesn’t venture up to Scotland much since the old Greek bugger’s been laid low. One misses Balmoral.

  110. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    I am reliably advised that occasional formal (but not familiar) contact with the servant classes benefits both parties.

    Off topic, I know, but which minor sprig of the English aristocracy fell from grace for seducing of his mother’s parlormaids? “The gel had to be replaced, but dammit, the boy cost us a damn fine palormaid? “

  111. Leigh Lowe says:

    Since the War, daddy impressed upon us the importance of feigning compassion for the lower classes, lest they become all uppity, like the insufferable Irish.

  112. Oh come on says:

    They are simply ghastly.

  113. Oh come on says:

    Didn’t Nelson have the blighters pegged with those magnificent, unforgettable words…I say old chap, don’t suppose you recall the phrase?

  114. Chris says:

    Cite you one bright spark who suggested that he fly business class because of his bulk, while his wife and children flew economy, because he couldn’t afford for them all to fly business….

    Is he still married!?!?!!!

  115. Clam Chowdah says:

    One of the key reasons one buys a Business Class fare is to bolt onto the plane, arm oneself with a large glass of French and smugly watch the great unwashed file past to their cramped fate up the back.

    Have you never heard of the euphemism, “crop dusting”?

    By the way, I agree with Andrew. All of the whiners and internet faux-hardmen can go fuck themselves.

  116. Oh come on says:

    Have you never heard of the euphemism, “crop dusting”?

    I haven’t, but it makes a lot of sense.

    By the way, I agree with Andrew. All of the whiners and internet faux-hardmen can go fuck themselves.

    Yep, me too. All of these tall guys who are claiming it’s physically impossible for them to allow the seat in front to recline – you’re talking bullshit. I know, because I’m the same height as you. Secondly, you are perfectly amenable to them reclining at times of your choosing. During these times, the anatomical realities plaguing you which prevent the seat in front of you reclining suddenly vanish.

    Honestly, your expectation that action should be taken in response to a recliner who you deem impolite or whatever is just as preposterous as someone complaining to an air stewardess about your dandruff, with an expectation that something be done there and then about the tardy state of your scalp.

  117. Combine Dave says:

    No, but I am 6’4? tall. I can barely fit into airplane seats when they are not reclined. It is literally impossible for you to recline your seat if I am being behind you, all you can do is cause me pain, your seat won’t move

    If it’s a short trip I’ll keep that in mind… for a longer one ‘never say never’. You may find your knees are more malleable then you think.

  118. Des Deskperson says:

    Oh, and one last word on privileged public servants flying business class.

    The bulk of QANTAS flights between Canberra and Sydney use DHC Dash 8 aircraft. the bulk of QANTAS flights between Canberra and Melbourne use Dash 8 or Boeing 717.

    There is no business class on a Dash 8. The 717s are usually configured for economy only.

    I’ve seen Kim Beasley sitting in economy on a Dash 8.

  119. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    Have you never heard of the euphemism, “crop dusting”?

    The prospect of a proper reclining seat, in business class, drinking top quality French red wine, and I’m supposed to be devastated because someone tries to fart in my general direction, as they proceed to cattle class? Up the Workers! Right up!

  120. Combine Dave says:

    I’ve seen Kim Beasley sitting in economy on a Dash 8.

    Sitting or wedged in there? He’s a big boy. Oh the all important question, did he recline the seat?

    (I am assuming the unfortunate in front would not have been able to recline due to IT’s granite-like-knees Buckets Beasley’s girth).

  121. Clam Chowdah says:

    The prospect of a proper reclining seat, in business class, drinking top quality French red wine, and I’m supposed to be devastated because someone tries to fart in my general direction, as they proceed to cattle class? Up the Workers! Right up!

    I much prefer the Emirates A380 approach to business and first class. That way I never see the plebs except when you pass the stairs at the front in first and see them milling around the chain at the foot of the stairs. (Shudder).

    Also, less plebeian faecal coliform wafting into your champers.

  122. Yobbo says:

    Meantime, I recline where legal to do so. I try not to smash the guy’s laptop by slamming it back, I go slowly. But the seat goes as far as the airline designed it to.

    Again, physically impossible to recline your seat with a tall person sitting behind you. And citing the manufacturer’s blueprints for the seat wouldn’t stand you in good stead with an angry 6’4″ person, just FYI.

  123. Yobbo says:

    If it’s a short trip I’ll keep that in mind… for a longer one ‘never say never’. You may find your knees are more malleable then you think.

    I doubt it, kneecaps aren’t really very flexible. Nose cartlidge on the other hand is renowned for it’s malleability.

  124. Clam Chowdah says:

    I doubt it, kneecaps aren’t really very flexible. Nose cartlidge on the other hand is renowned for it’s malleability.

    The love call of the internet faux-hardman. Give me a fucking break.

  125. Infidel Tiger says:

    Give me a fucking break.

    He will – your septum.

    What sort of prick would deliberately recline his seat onto someone’s knees causing them gross discomfort and then strut around claiming to not do so was an infringement of his rights?

  126. Ant says:

    You guys still going?

    OK. Anyone who reclines their seat while the cabin lighting is on is an a-hole.

    Just my opinion. Maybe they’re really not a-holes and have a good reason for doing it. I’ve never cared to ask but I will next time:

    “Scuse me, I notice that you have reclined your seat and the cabin lighting is still on. Is this because:
    a.) You’re an a-hole?
    or
    b.) You’re not an a-hole but have a medical condition that permits you to sit but only if you are in a reclined position?
    or
    c.) You would like to me to throttle you with the headset cable?”

  127. caveman says:

    I always book the emergency rows for short flights . Pay the extra coin for Bus.Class on long flights. And to the earlier poster re Garuda…big thumbs up for Bus/ First Class totally agree.

  128. Yobbo says:

    What sort of prick would deliberately recline his seat onto someone’s knees causing them gross discomfort and then strut around claiming to not do so was an infringement of his rights?

    Exactly, you’ve have to be a special kind of fuckwit.

  129. Oh come on says:

    Again, physically impossible to recline your seat with a tall person sitting behind you

    I am an inch shorter than you, Yobs, and I know you’re wrong. The only way it would be impossible is if you deliberately positioned your legs with the express purpose of preventing the seat in front of you from reclining.

  130. Oh come on says:

    What sort of fool would not just move his knees slightly (and please don’t tell me this is physically impossible, yobbo – unless your legs lack joints) to avoid said gross discomfort? And then strut around demanding others not recline their seats however they please just because they’re too stupid to move their legs slightly to accommodate the miniscule recline of the cattle class seat in front?

  131. Clam Chowdah says:

    I would never recline myself onto someone’s knees, causing them pain. That’s because there’s ample room for us tall blokes. This whinge about knee space is total horseshit, as is the faux hardman shit about the repercussions. Bunch of fantasy fabricating pussies.

  132. Clam Chowdah says:

    “Scuse me, I notice that you have reclined your seat and the cabin lighting is still on. Is this because:
    a.) You’re an a-hole?
    or
    b.) You’re not an a-hole but have a medical condition that permits you to sit but only if you are in a reclined position?
    or
    c.) You would like to me to throttle you with the headset cable?”

    “No mate. Dinner is over and I’m watching a movie. Now sit down like a good little boy.”

  133. Leigh Lowe says:

    I’ve seen Kim Beasley sitting in economy on a Dash 8.

    Yes, you’d need Kim pretty close to the C of G.

  134. Oh come on says:

    as is the faux hardman shit about the repercussions.

    Goes without saying. Although, apparently some of the posturing hardmen here haven’t woken up to the fact that it’s patently obvious they’re being tedious blowhards who wouldn’t actually say boo to a goose in those occasions in which they claim they’d happily conduct some gratis facial panel beating on the offending recliner.

    You are full of piss and vinegar. You never have arced up in the way you claim, and you never will.

  135. Yobbo says:

    As if you have a fucking clue what I have and have not ever done. You don’t know me from Adam.

    But by all means, feel free to keep trying to deliberately injure people on airplanes. I am sure they’ll accept your “I have a right to recline” defense, fuckwit.

  136. Combine Dave says:

    If it’s a short trip I’ll keep that in mind
    … for a longer one ‘never say never’. You may find your knees are more malleable then you think.

    I doubt it, kneecaps aren’t really very flexible. Nose cartlidge on the other hand is renowned for it’s malleability.

    Now now, you be careful now. I don’t want to see a sob story in future were you end up in a Thai prison for causing an inflight ruckus. ~~ you may end up with both wobbly nose and wobbly knees, and that would just be unpleasant (google kneecapping for further details).

    Taking this stance with little Thai guys might work a treat but eventually you might fuck with someone you really shouldn’t*

    *Not a threat, I’d always within reason respect the recline/girth space of yourself, Kim and IT. I am just a nice kinda guy but the next one might not be.

  137. Clam Chowdah says:

    Honk honk. Blah fucking blah.

    Oxygen bandit.

  138. Oh come on says:

    As if you have a fucking clue what I have and have not ever done. You don’t know me from Adam.

    Is that why you’re stuck in Thailand? You’re on the no-fly list for smashing someone who wouldn’t accept your obvious lie that you can’t move your legs slightly to accommodate the miniscule recline of the chair in front?

    I think not. Tell your bullshit hero story walking, blowhard fuckwad.

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