Seats Reclined For Eleven Hours Straight

March 11, 2010

in Seat Stories

Last summer, my sister and I were part of a larger group of people who were heading to Egypt to do some missions work for a month. The first part of our trip was an 11 hour flight from LAX to Heathrow. Since the group didn’t book tickets together, we had picked two seats, one next to the window and the other directly next to it. When we arrived at our seats we realized two things: 1. the bathroom was behind us so we couldn’t recline and 2. that someone was sitting in one of our seats. There was a family of four, two teenage boys, the mom and the dad. The mom and the two boys were sitting in three seats in front of us and the dad decided to sit in our window seat. When we asked him to move, he politely did so and we took our seats, with the mother coming to sit next to us on the aisle seat instead.

As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the father and the two boys in front of us reclined their seats ALL the way back, leaving me, my sister and even their mom in an extremely small space since we couldn’t recline. They kept their seats back for the entire 11 hour flight including when it came time for the meals which was extremely annoying! Every time we had to go to the bathroom or needed to get up to stretch our legs, we would all have to get up and and lean awkwardly to try to pass their seats so as to give them a taste of how uncomfortable we were. Every time we would try to get out we would use the top of their seats to lean on which would end up bringing them further back and then whiplashing them up. They more than deserved it.

Moral of the story: NEVER lean your chair into full recline when in coach or when you KNOW the person behind you doesn’t have much room. Don’t expect that they won’t retaliate either. I’ve flown dozens of times and that is my BIGGEST pet peeve while flying.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare March 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm

They do have a right to recline their seats. At the same time, do you know for certain that they were aware that you couldn't recline your seats? I haven't flown in awhile and I wouldn't personally know which seats are able to recline vs those that can.


Hugh March 12, 2010 at 12:22 am

Most seats in airplanes recline. Get over it. People recline them to get a little more space and to be a little more comfortable. Next time, don't get seats which back up to hard surfaces or or in front of an exit row, as they won't recline. Deal with reclining seats….sheeeesh.


MomOf2 March 12, 2010 at 4:55 am

How bizzare is it that the mother didn't say anything to them the whole time…. since she was affected too! I agree that they were entitled to recline their seats as they wished, but common courtesy would be to bring them at least somewhat upright when the meals were served (unless maybe they were sleeping and unaware of the meal service). I'm sure the next time you choose your seats, you'll choose more carefully!


Esmarelda March 12, 2010 at 6:30 am

So you are advocating retaliation and you were on your way to do missions work??? Sounds about right…


Increasedosologist March 12, 2010 at 9:03 am

Retaliative mission worker in Egypt. Isn't this how Mohammed Atta – the main 9/11 terrorsit – got his 'mission' started.


the logger March 12, 2010 at 7:16 am

Probably the people in front of them had their seats reclined as well, ad infinitum to the front of the plane.

Deal with it or book f/class.


non March 12, 2010 at 8:51 am

stfu and in the future don't pick a seat that doesn't recline.


MJ March 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

Seriously, it seems like the lesson here would be to always choose seats that can recline.


D-Money March 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

I flew from LAX to LHR last year and was seated in front of a restroom. Fortunately, the seats DID recline, and my section only had 2 seats between the window and first aisle. 🙂 Gotta love Airbus. 🙂 I think it was an A-340 (600 series).


rerere March 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

What aircraft/airline?


Lon March 12, 2010 at 11:27 am

Glad to see the responders put you in your place. People have the right to recline, and it's not their fault you got the crappy seats.


David March 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm

The a340 from lax to lhr would most likely be a virgin Atlantic, they are configured with 2 seats next to the windows

airbus are alot more comfortable than boeing


madachode March 13, 2010 at 7:53 am

Recline this, buy the seat blocker and your reclining problems are over. Or just claim torrets syndrome, scream and yell for 10hrs in their reclined ear.


Chuck Male March 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I've been in that row on a flight to Narita from DC via Detroit, it sucks. Further more I was in the isle seat so everyone that walk past whacked me. It sucked. Never again will I take a seat that backs up to a bulkhead or is in front of a bulkhead as there is no place for small personal items (that can go under the seat ahead of ya.)


Greg March 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

lets just get rid of reclining seats……if some lazy slob can't fly for 3 hrs without having to lay on the couch, then to f@#king bad…


Hugh March 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm

I'm sure then, that you have NEVER reclined a seat…right?


David March 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Greg I frequently fly long distance (12 hours) so let's keep the sears…..if you have a prob either find another way to your destination or don't go at all


Common Courtesy March 17, 2010 at 8:05 am

People have absolutely no common courtesy on airplanes. F/U all that said she should fly first class or not fly at all, you're all idiots.


Hugh March 17, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Wow, hard to disagree with such a well put together argument. You are truly an asshole.


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