Knee Defenders? Reclining In Economy Class Should Be Banned Altogether

The five inches or whatever it is adds nothing to your comfort, pisses off the person behind you and is generally a nonsense...
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The five inches or whatever it is adds nothing to your comfort, pisses off the person behind you and is generally a nonsense...

#493586061 / gettyimages.com

So there was a story in the paper a while back about two men who ‘almost came to blows’ on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Manchester.

Apparently one fella put his seat back so that he could sleep just as the guy behind him was about to eat his dinner. Words were exchanged and they had to be stopped from knocking each other’s lights out by the stewardess.

I have to say my sympathies are with the guy sitting behind and here’s why… In economy the seat “reclines” approximately five inches, not to a full flat bed, and what difference that five inches makes to your ability to sleep or even be more comfortable is way beyond me.

I travel A LOT and with the very rare exception, it’s always in economy. I can honestly say that whether my seat is straight upright or “reclined” makes absolutely no difference to the general experience of being packed into a small space for a long time like a frigging veal calf.

My heart sinks when I’m about to embark on a 10 hour flight and the wanker in front of me puts his seat back as soon as we’re in the air. I’ve tried wedging my knees up to stop them  (and worse but I won’t go into that here) - but nothing works. Worse still is the asshole who feels the need to recline on a flight from London to Glasgow, if you’re that tired try going to bed earlier!

Whenever possible I book emergency exit seats, not for the extra legroom but because it means that whoever is in front of me is so far away that when they click their seat back it won’t affect me.

The guy in the article reckons that there should be a ‘sleeping section’ of economy class where everyone can recline their seats but I’d go for something far more radical - no adjustable seats in economy at all. If you really can’t sit up straight for the duration of the flight then pay the extra for business or first or find some other mode of transport. That few inches makes no difference to your comfort, all it does is piss off the person behind you.

@MissJoJoSmith