Major airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tigerair and Jetstar want you to know; stop griping about other passengers who recline their seat because the function isn’t going anywhere.
A representative who spoke to news.com.au said:
“We know how important space is to our customers, and our seats are designed to maximize the room available for each passenger,” the spokesman said.
“We wouldn’t support or permit anything that might restrict a passenger’s ability to recline — including attachments like the Knee Defender (which locks the seat in front).”
Qantas says it wants to make it clear to all passengers that the reclining ability is here to stay. In fact, the airline has been prompt in responding to customer complaints.
@kfisme The ability to recline your seat is something all our customers value & we wouldn’t support any measures to restrict that. Rach
— Qantas Airways (@QantasAirways) September 3, 2014
Recently, passenger James Beach was involved in a midair brawl after using Knee Defender, a device that fastens to your tray table. After Mr. Beach employed the gadget, the traveller who attempted to recline became irate, a drink was tossed at Mr. Beach and a fight broke out between the two. The flight had to be diverted.
Mr. Beach later said: “I’m pretty ashamed and embarrassed by what happened,” says Beach. “I could have handled it so much better.”
Though the Knee Defender is not illegal, numerous airlines forbid its usage on their flights.
“I put them in maybe a third of the time. Usually, the person in front tries (to recline) their seat a couple of times, and then they forget about it,” says Beach. The device comes with a courtesy card to tell passengers that you’ve blocked them, but he doesn’t use it.
“I’d rather just kind of let them think the seat is broken, rather than start a confrontation,” Mr. Beach said.
What are your thoughts? Should reclining seats be removed from airplanes or, are they a necessity especially on long flights?