Lessons for life
May 6, 2011
Many of our readers are up in arms about the diminishing space and lack of plane etiquette practiced by fellow passengers on airplanes. Here were some of the comments we received in e-mail in response to our plane etiquette quiz.
"I understand that some people are broader than a typical airplane seat, but I feel it's unfair to assume that they can take precious inches away from a stranger in the next seat, even if that person is smaller," wrote Katie. "If you pay for one seat, you get one seat—arm rest to arm rest—regardless of your size or ability to intimidate the person next to you."
"I really think it's up to the airlines to just make it so all seats can't recline," said Steve. "Unless you are extremely petite or a child, there is no way you will be comfortable if the person in front of you reclines their seat. Even if you recline your seat too, there's still no space for your thighs and knees."
Mary disagreed with our expert that a polite approach is the way to go. In regards to the woman who reclined her seat all the way so the woman behind her had trouble working on her laptop, she wrote, "I have been in both positions (the person working on the laptop and the person desperately needing rest) and would turn the table on you. There is nothing preventing the laptop user from reclining his or her seat and continuing to work!"
"I am a big man, and my legs just don't fit in planes these days," said Robert. "If someone reclines on me, I'm toast. I have no other option but to ask that they not don't recline, otherwise they'll get a knee in the ribs the entire time."
From the "I can't believe they did that" file, Helena wrote, "I had the aisle seat on a three-seat row on a flight to San Diego. The two guys sitting next to me didn't know each other but became fast friends when one of the two pulled out his portable DVD player and started to watch hardcore porn, complete with audio. I couldn't avoid it. I went to the flight attendant and she put those two in their place and after that they read the in-flight magazine."
"I hate it when people want to talk on an airplane," wrote Hugh. "When people ask me, 'What do you do for a living?' I always say I'm a tax auditor. That shuts them up!"
"If you kick my seat, I will kick you back," said Eric.
And finally, Virginia had her own quiz for us:
"On a 100 percent booked flight from California to Chicago, the airline attendants escort two very large passengers into the two seats adjoining my window seating. They were literally 'locked' into their seats with the arm rests … . What were my options, besides booking another flight?
1.) Sit sideways against the airplane window;
2.) always reserve aisle seating;
3.) request seating reassignment; or
4.) suffer in silent for the four-hour flight."
What would you do?