Flight attendant settles debate on whether you can ask person in front not to recline

Plane seats
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

There are two kinds of people in this world - those who recline on flights and those who are filled with rage when it happens to them.

Long-haul flights in economy aren't comfortable at the best of times, so sometimes people might use the recline function on their seats to make more space - especially if they are trying to sleep.

As we all know, this can be incredibly annoying for the person behind you - particularly if they are trying to eat. But how entitled are you to be annoyed, and can you do anything about it?

In order to settle the debate on the subject, a cabin crew member who has worked onboard flights for over eight years, took to TikTok.

As a cabin crew member, she has had to "split up grown adults" who were arguing about whether or not they can recline their seats on multiple occasions.

"For some reason, I don't know why, this is such an issue on flights," she added in the recent video. And she is firmly on the side of the people who want to recline their seats.

According to the cabin crew member, this is what she says to people who ask her to tell someone to stop reclining their seat: "If the seat function has a seat recline, they are allowed to recline it."

However, she acknowledges that it is 'common curtesy' during the meal service, when people will want to use their tray tables to eat, to not recline. Therefore she says it's normal to ask someone, or be asked, to recline your seat during this time.

Sharing her thoughts, she said: "A lot of people ask me, 'do you mind asking that person to put their seat up while we eat', that's just polite. But at any other time in the flight, that's not the meal service, recline away."

She further added: "I think it's really unfair, and really unnecessary to ask someone not to recline their seat for a 14 hour flight. Even a seven hour flight, if that seat reclines, you can recline it."

The comment section was divided about the comments. One disgruntled commenter wrote: "The problem is the plane design! Created to cram as many people in for profit now over passenger comfort. Reclining on some planes now, means you can't see your screen properly and/or legs crushed!"

Another chimed in: "Some seat reclines are ridiculous though. Way too far back in your face."

However, there were those who agreed with the cabin crew member's stance. One supporter commented: "Totally agree. I HOPE the person ahead puts it forward for [meal service] but even if they don't, thats their choice and tough luck for me I guess. I'd pay more to sit at the front if it really bothered me." While another added: "Absolutely agree. during the meal service no, any other time yes."