Qualifying my yes with a couple things, namely that going back like one or two notches is okay and feel free to go nuts if there actually doesn't happen to be anyone behind you. If, however, you decide to do even that small amount of leaning back during a part of the flight where the person behind you has a drink on their tray, you are an asshole.
I say asshole, but it needs a qualifier. Overseas/long flights will have a "night time" when they turn off the lights and shutter the windows. Everybody reclines and grabs whatever semblance of sleep they can. This is the intended time for the recline function of your seat. Outside of this "night time", at least ask the person behind you first if it's OK if you recline.
I now have a chair right in my fucking face for the next few hours, my legs are even more restricted, i'm also getting a close up of this dudes scalp and if I need to go to the bathroom and I dont have an aisle seat I better hope to god the person next to me is awake and/or a professional contortionist.
A lot of it depends on the plane and the degree to which they recline, but anyone who's been on a lot of planes will have a horror story that makes them hate the the fact that the seats are built that way at all.
As someone who has flown to Australia and back to the UK, with people having the chair back most of the way, yes you are an asshole.
Agreed. Especially if they don't do at least the cursory apology or look first. Being tall I'm stuffed. I find I just hit my knees into the seat quite hard and they get the hint. I never recline as it's a dick move.
If it's daytime and the person leans back without checking with the person behind them first, then yes they're an asshole.
If, however, it is night, you're on a long flight, and you want to get some sleep, then you are not, in any way, an asshole if you lean your chair back.
If you fly (decent) business class, or first, it's not being an asshole.
Overnight flight with sleepy time? - not an asshole.
Leaning all the way back while they are serving food? - asshole.
Normal conditions? - not cool, but calling the person an asshole for that is going too far (even if I don't like it, nor do it personally). But then I'm generally a nice guy.
I always ask before I do it, and if it looks like it the person is going to be really pissed off then I probably won't. However its there to use so most of the time I will, however I don't mind if the person in front of me uses his. The planes I have been on it never seems like that much of a big deal - I don't really get why it would piss people off so much.
FART RYAN DAVIS
It's built in, use it. And then, smile at that person every couple of hours. :)
Your smile would just make me angrier.
I believe that is fully the intention in this situation, and yeah, I would be more pissed off with each subsequent smile too.
Yes, 100% yes. They're the fucking worst. Especially if you have a laptop out and are trying to work, and some asshole decides he's going to spend the entire 8 hour flight leaned back, so you can only work with the laptop shoved into your gut.
I've it happen twice now where someone's leaned back so hard and fast that they almost broke my laptop with the seat back.
Also it's always me who ends up with the stupid fuck who leans back, I always encounter them.
I tend to just channel my inner child and use my knees to prop up the seat. I kick too and take lots of bathroom trips if they're trying to sleep. When assholes lean their seat back on me, I use it as an opportunity to take out all my frustrations with air travel in general on one poor soul. Maybe next time I'll bring a mechanical keyboard and clackety clack my way through the whole flight.
The last time I was on a plan was when I was five years old so I really have no perspective in regards to this issue, but people should be thoughtful of the person behind them. If leaning back the seat would hinder their enjoyment of the flight, it should not be done.
Simple stuff here, folks.