Reclining Seats On Airplane: 41 Percent Believe It’s Rude

Reclining seats on an airplane is a symbol of rudeness for 41 percent of fliers, according to a new SurveyMonkey Audience poll commissioned by the FiveThirtyEight blog.

Inspired by a number of recent events in which cranky airplane riders have been at odds with one another over the common behavior, the website wanted to know just how bad it really was.

That led to the poll, which was carried out on August 29 and 30.

Of the 1,040 respondents, 874 admitted that they’d flown before, while the rest were yet to take that first airplane trip.

“Let’s first tackle the question of reclining seats,” said contributor Walt Hickey. “Of 858 respondents, 16 percent always recline, 20 percent usually do, 14 percent recline about half the time, 30 percent do only once in a while, and 20 percent never recline.”

Hickey called it a “remarkably even split,” adding that half of the respondents “recline half the time or more,” while half do so “once in a while or never.”

“So, we’re at a bit of an impasse here,” he said. “Only 41 percent of respondents thought it was very or somewhat rude to recline your seat during a flight.”

As it turns out, most people like to reserve the option of reclining seats (70 percent), but 64 percent confessed that a passenger should not recline if the person behind them objected.

And lately, there have been objections.

On August 25, The Inquisitr reported on a fight that broke out between patrons on a Denver flight over one flier’s use of the Knee Defender, a $22 product designed to prevent the person in front of you from leaning back against your knees.

A man, seated in the middle row of aisle 12, used this device so he could work on his portable computer unabated. The female passenger in the seat in front of him tried to recline, but because of the Knee Defender in use, was unable to. She contacted a flight attendant, who then asked the man to remove the device. The man refused. The woman then got up and threw a cup of water on the man. There was no word if she also got water on the man’s portable computer.

Upon this action, United Airlines flight 1462 from Newark, New Jersey to Denver was immediately diverted to O’Hare airport in Chicago, where the man and woman were removed from the plane. After an investigation, the flight and the remaining passengers were allowed to continue on to Denver, where they arrived much later. The two passengers in question were detained in Chicago, but eventually released and never arrested.

Still, you never used to hear about this kind of thing happening. Thank you, technology.

Do you think reclining seats on an airplane is rude?

[Image via ShutterStock]