Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rant: Recling seats in Economy Class

There has been much debate on flyertalk and blogs as to whether reclining seats in economy class is a right or not. I usually try to be courteous about this and will only fully recline when it's sleep time. On low cost airlines like Air Asia where the seat pitch is horrible, I tend to not recline and it is usually not a big deal since the flights are relatively short anyway.

I ran into a not so pleasant encounter on the seat recline issue on my recent Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Kuala Lumpur. This was a red eye flight leaving Doha at 8pm arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 7am. I was already somewhat tired from the long day and right after take-off, quickly fully reclined my seats right even before the seat belt signs going off. The guy behind me quickly tapped my shoulder and I assume he was just bothered I was reclining before I could. After the seat belt signs went off, I reclined again and he once again tapped my shoulders. I looked behind asking what his problem is and he said my reclined seat was hitting his knees.

Now this really annoyed the hell out of me. The seat pitch was Qatar Airways was a comfortable 34" and one of the most comfortable economy class seats I've been on. Would have understand if this was on United or Air Asia but Qatar... come on.. The guy wasn't even that tall (guessing he's around by height ~5 ft 10ish) so I couldn't understand what the big deal was. Yes, the seats might have touched his knees but with "clever" seating, he should be able to manage. He also had the seat next to him empty.

Needless to say, I just left my seat in recline and didn't feel his knees at all. What would you guys have done?

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