The vast majority of travellers are decidedly un-laid back about fellow passengers reclining their seats on an aircraft.
According to a new poll by travel search site Skyscanner, an overwhelming 91% of air passengers believed seat reclining should be either banned or limited on short-haul flights. The survey of more than 1,000 flyers also found that 43% of people even felt that long-haul flights should implement set times when passengers are permitted to recline their seat. Almost a third of those surveyed said a reclined seat had caused them discomfort, and 3% revealed they’d even suffered an injury.
Skyscanner also revealed that the idea of banning seat reclining would be welcomed by cabin crew – more than 60% of international cabin crew surveyed said they have witnessed arguments between passengers on the subject of reclined seats.
“The effect of people reclining their seat can result in various negative emotions such as anger, stress, anxiety, frustration and upset for the passenger behind them. This emotional impact can result in a whole range of unhelpful behaviours, including air rage,” explained psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman.
And this “unhelpful behaviour” appears to be worryingly common. The survey found that 70% of people would still recline their seat if sat in front of a pregnant woman, and 80% wouldn’t care if the person behind was elderly. Men over the age of 35 were more likely to exhibit such selfish characteristics.
And while the problem could often be solved simply asking a fellow passenger’s permission to recline a seat, the study found that most people (64%) have never done so.