I’m a travel writer and I recline my seat EVERY time: Here’s why I disagree that leaning


  • Some say that reclining in economy is rude – but Sophie Foster disagrees 
  • Flight attendants will take the side of those with their seat reclined, she claims 
  • Do you think reclining is right or all-out wrong? Take our poll below… 
  • READ MORE: Would YOU pee in a hotel pool? Mum confesses that she does

Millions of holidaymakers are set to fly abroad this summer and, as with every getaway season, a great divide will open up.

On one side – those who think reclining their plane seat is a sin, the purview of entitled folk who don’t care about the comfort of those around them. On the other side? Those that think it’s a right they’re allowed to exercise.

Arguments fly every tourist high season on X, formerly known as Twitter, and forums such as Reddit and Mumsnet, about holidaymakers bashing seats into knees, stealing leg room and knocking over iPads by pushing their seat into the reclined position.

But, I have to admit – I make use of that little button to creak my economy seat back a few inches every time I fly. 

Why? Well, because I see it as part of the package – and with so little luxury left in many economy class cabins, it’s frankly something I’m going to take advantage of.

Sophie Foster (above) says she creaks her economy seat back a few inches every time she flies

Sophie Foster (above) says she creaks her economy seat back a few inches every time she flies

When booking most budget seats, you’ve paid for a place to sit down, a tray table, a seatbelt, transport and, yes, the ability to recline a bit so you can relax, take a nap, or even just take the pressure off your bum so it doesn’t go completely numb while you hurtle through the sky in a tin can.

In many cases, anything else costs extra – from luggage to a cabin bag, food, drinks and even headphones. So why wouldn’t you enjoy the last snippet of luxury an airline offers those in the cheapest seats? 

I certainly will, because I want to and I’ve paid for it.

And I’ll never begrudge the person in front of me if they want to lie back a bit while in cattle class (in business class or premium economy the issues surrounding reclining dissipate, because everyone gets a big slice of cabin real estate).

I’ll just recline in turn and take back my space from those behind me.

'There are a few points in the flight when I would always jolt my seat back into an upright position (I'm not a total monster),' writes Sophie, 'during take-off and landing (as these are a requirement) and at meal times.' Above - file image

‘There are a few points in the flight when I would always jolt my seat back into an upright position (I’m not a total monster),’ writes Sophie, ‘during take-off and landing (as these are a requirement) and at meal times.’ Above – file image

Let me guess, you’re grumbling and curling your fists asking ‘what about those of us who are tall or need the extra space’?

Well, frankly, take it up with the airline that made the seats so cramped. 

Humans are getting bigger, and seats smaller, and if it’s something that negatively affects so many why are those complaining not taking action, posting letters and railing at CEOs until something changes? 

Alternatively, book the exit row or extra legroom seats at the bulkhead.

If you’re 6ft 7in, like a pal of mine, you can even ask a crew member at the boarding gate and as they look up at you, from several feet down, they will often move you to a more spacious seat for free if one is available.  

I should note that there are a few points in the flight when I would always jolt my seat back into an upright position (I’m not a total monster) – during take-off and landing (as these are a requirement) and at meal times.

Preventing someone from dining on delicious extra-salty tomato pasta and a dry roll is something I would never do – partly because it would annoy the crew.

But they’ll be on your side if your reclining prompts an argument at any other time.

Still not convinced you should recline to regain some space?

You never know, it might relieve some of the stress you’re evidently feeling.



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More