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Do You Have the Right to Recline in a Crowded Airplane Economy Seat?

Seat reclining does not improve your leg room.

That’s just one of the underappreciated truths about airplane seats that seems like it needs to be said repeatedly out loud for traveler’s benefit as we head into the busy Spring and Summer travel seasons. If you have suffered through having an unexpectedly reclined seat shoved toward your face, or fought a silent battle over whether reclining your own seat is somehow against common airplane social etiquette, this article is a necessary read.

Among the commonsense suggestions in the article are the advice to warn someone before reclining (so you don’t crunch their laptop or send their drink flying), choosing NOT to recline on short haul flights less than three hours and unreclining your seat during meal services. Most come down to common consideration between people, which is increasingly lacking amongst travelers … perhaps because actual “rules” like these don’t really exist. Which is sad, since clearly we all need them. 

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