Woman fumes after mum with child swears at her for reclining seat on long flight

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The mother says she’d “tried very gently reclining it a little at some stage”, before noticing the child behind her. However, she was met with angry swearing from the other woman and felt she had no choice but to sit upright again.

Because of her back issues, she’d paid quite a lot more to sit in the exit seat, but was left frustrated after it became clear she wouldn’t be able to recline throughout the duration of her flight.

According to the Mirror, the ticked-off passenger recently took to Mumsnet for advice on exactly who was being unreasonable in this situation. She wrote: “The woman behind me had quite a big child on her lap during the flight and was sat next to the child’s father.

“Because of this, I was unable to recline my seat for the entire flight. I tried very gently reclining it a little at some stage (before I had seen the child) but she was angry and swore, so I put it upright.

“Who was unreasonable here? Or do we generally think anyone reclining their seat is unreasonable? I tend to recline my seat on very long flights when the lights are dimmed for sleeping, as do most others on those flights. I don’t recline on short-haul flights.”

Although the incident happened a few years back, the unnamed woman – who goes by the username @planerider – is still “annoyed” by it, and was prompted to share her experience after reading a similar online thread.

Some commenters could completely see where the woman was coming from, sympathising that she wasn’t able to recline as she would have liked. One person wrote: “I would have reclined my seat, given no f**** at her swearing, and asked the air stewards to explain to her that if she chose to restrict her own space by not paying for a separate seat for her child then that was her lookout.

“I don’t trade my own comfort for somebody else’s penny-pinching. But, I’m good at speaking up for myself and appreciate not everyone is.”

Another said: “I recline on long haul flights and neither consult nor inform the person behind, or complain if the person in front of me reclines. She should have paid for a seat for her child.”

However, others took a different view entirely, feeling as though she shouldn’t have been reclining in the first place. A third person sighed: “Reclining seats are the bane of economy class (and short-haul business if using the same seat spacing). More airlines should remove the function.

“If someone in front of you reclines their seat, move the ventilation nozzle above you so that it’s pointing at the top of their head and turn it on full blast.”

A fourth agreed: “It’s only socially acceptable to recline your seat on an overnight flight when the person behind you has also reclined theirs. Any other time means you’ll burn in the fiery pits of hell.

“It’s like cooking fish in the office microwave – just because you technically can, doesn’t mean you should.”

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