Reclined Seat Leads To Decline In Civility

July 5, 2008

in Seat Stories

June 14th, ’08, I flew back from DCA to STL in seat 24E. After we reached cruising altitude, the gentleman two rows in front me, and one seat to the left, reclined his seat. About a minute later the guy directly behind him (in the row in front of me), we’ll call him “D.B.,” starts violently shaking the reclined seat with both hands. He stops, then nothing happens. Again, less than a minute later, he does it again, prompting the gentleman in said seat to turn around and ask, “Is there a problem?” To which D.B. responds in a rude tone, “I’m trying to work; put your seat up.” The gentleman responds that he is trying to rest, and to contact a flight attendant if there’s a problem. D.B. shoots back, “You contact a flight attendant,” then grabs the seat again with both hands and starts violently shaking it. Believe it or not, the gentleman in this seat remains extremely calm, then puts his seat up halfway to straight (I was flabbergasted that he gave in to the rude and hostile behavior).

Anyway, nothing else happened the rest of the flight, which was amazing to me. Except when we landed, waiting to deplane, and of course D.B. has to rudely reach across the gentleman’s face to pull his jacket out of the next overhead bin (which was unnecessary since we were still 2-3 minutes from being able to move forward in the aisle). The gentleman stared him down, and then D.B. wisely waited a good two minutes to leave the plane after him, I assume so as not to get his body smashed into oblivion by the guy he was purposely harassing. I admire the poise of the gentleman in the shaken seat, as he handled the situation perfectly, but it’s a true shame that this violent behavior was allowed to go unchecked. Someone does need to teach this old D.B. that he is not the only person in the world, and that such behavior is unacceptable.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jeffrey July 24, 2008 at 8:17 am

I think, in situations like that, though I wouldn't react at ALL with the same poise….it's best left to karma to deal with D.B….and it will, especially in the world of air-travel.


bill January 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I'm a flight attendant, please feel free to call on us. If I had been involved, I would have told D.B. to knock it off or his next conversation would be with the local police. I don't and won't tolerate that kind of behavior on my plane. To all of you D.B's out there, when are you going to learn that flying today is nothing more then mass public transit in the air. Coach is crammed, there is no food etc etc, this is reality, get used to it. If you want more space, then pay for it by flying first or chartering a jet. If you can't affort it, then face it this is reality folks.


Denim April 2, 2009 at 11:23 am

The proper way to fly, given what Bill said, is to avoid it if at all possible. Flying these days is not worth the trouble.


Please April 2, 2009 at 11:34 am

Was on a flight where the man behind me did not like that I folded my jacket and wedged it between my window seat and the window. It wasn't touching him or in his way. So, throughout the flight he would reach forward and push my jacket. I called the FA but she did nothing. She gave me a knowing look on the way off the plane though. Why do some people reserve their tantrums specifically for travel situations?


Glenn April 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I'd love to see D.B.'s face when the plane hit a bit of turbulence, just as I was walking past his seat with a cup of cola. Especially after I 'accidentally' spill half the cup onto his laptop. Hmmm, I guess he wouldn't need the seat back up to work after that


jennie w August 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm

i would have clobbered him on the plain


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