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Edited 1 year, 4 months ago

Poll: Leaning Back On Airplanes = Asshole? (542 votes)

Yes 70%
No 30%

Hold the fuck on. Ryan's declaration that leaning the seat back on planes makes you an asshole confounded me. First of all, it's a built-in feature - is there some unspoken agreement that no one is allowed to use it? Second of all, it's like 5 degrees of lean-back - I don't know how that could possibly be that offensive to the person behind me.

Am I misunderstanding something, or is Ryan the asshole for being a control Nazi?

#101 Edited by ch3burashka (5017 posts) -

Now that we've built up enough vitriol, how about we discuss the etiquette of tipping?

#102 Edited by Jimbo (9775 posts) -

Saying 'airplane' is bad enough.

#103 Posted by Gooddoggy (409 posts) -

I'm 6 feet tall, so leg room is at a premium for me on airplanes. If the person in front of me leans his seat back, that does not impact my leg room, nor does it prevent me from using my tray to eat or drink. The people complaining about this are overreacting.

#104 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I'm 6 feet tall, so leg room is at a premium for me on airplanes. If the person in front of me leans his seat back, that does not impact my leg room, nor does it prevent me from using my tray to eat or drink. The people complaining about this are overreacting.

I call BS on that. It's possible that you just have a larger torso and smaller legs than people of similar height, but I'm six one and my legs are already pressed up agains the end of the seat with no lean-back at all. If the person leans back, my legs are crushed.

The asshole nature of it comes from the fact that it's no legitimate increase in confort for the person in the seat and it creates a CONSIDERABLE amount of discomfort for the person behind you.

I asked one jerk as politely as is humanly possible if he would put his seat back up because he was crushing my leg. He basically said no, as smarmily as he could and then his friend put his seat back in front of my mom. I spent the rest of the fight visualizing how I was going to take them both down and my mom literally made me wait for the entire flight to deplane before I left because she knew I was going to start a fight.

Only time in my life I've ever been that close to really starting something. And with two guys, no less.

#105 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@carryboy said:

I cant imagine Ryan is good person to be near in a plane... he is a pretty huge guy.

and seemingly getting bigger on teh time. It's like he's made out of some kind of expanding foam that keeps getting larger to fill in all the availble space around him.

#106 Posted by tourgen (4427 posts) -

@marcsman said:

Don't fly coach. If you do suffer the consequences.

#107 Edited by zoozilla (978 posts) -

Wait, so are you guys flying with the seat in the perfectly upright position? 'Cause that's tough.

#108 Posted by Ninja (521 posts) -

In seats and busses the back seats can't lean back and so there is no way for everybody to fairly have the same amount if room as each other unless nobody leans back. So yes, you're an asshole. To me the feature is only there for situations where a vehicle is half full.

#109 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@jdh5153 said:

Leaning back on an airplane makes you an asshole.

Being fat on an airplane makes you an asshole.

having kids on an airplane makes you an asshole.

Having oversized baggage on an airplane makes you an asshole..

We finally agree on something, for the most part. Kids don't bother me as much as people who bring their babies on board. Seriously having a baby on an airplane must be bad for it's ears or something and it makes you an asshole. Also, people who bring their fucking babies to the cinema. What the fuck.

#110 Edited by jkz (4003 posts) -

Yes. As someone who, with family and work on two continents, has to do a lot of flying back (and who has unfortunately long legs with proportion to the rest of my body): yes. I never touch the recline button in flight (unless there's no one behind me) because simply doing so fills me with enough guilt to make falling asleep a more difficult task than it already was. When someone DOES lean back my knees without fail get jammed in against their seat; I can't stretch them out to straighten them because there's no more room beneath the seat in front, and I can't put them in the aisle because then I'm being a dick to flight attendents (if I fall asleep; obviously if I'm awake I use the area to stretch and just make sure no one's walking by).

In short yes; my knees fucking hurt you guys

#111 Edited by ProfessorEss (7281 posts) -

If you're ever sitting in front of me on a plane, go for it friend, put that motherfucker back as far as you can because in my opinion only a self-centred asshole would complain about the person in front of them reclining their seat.

#112 Edited by TheHT (10914 posts) -

but what if everyone leaned back at the same time?

#113 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

I'll only do it if the person behind me is leaning back.

#114 Edited by Deathpooky (1379 posts) -

Asshole. Even if the person in front of you is leaning back, that's just you taking it out on the person behind you. Me losing my already meager leg space is far worse than the small comfort of a moderately leaned back seat for either of us.

#115 Posted by ch3burashka (5017 posts) -

@tourgen said:

@marcsman said:

Don't fly coach. If you do suffer the consequences.

Also, let them eat cake.

#116 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

I am leaning as soon as takeoff is complete and if the person behind me has a problem with that they are free to hop out the emergency exit from 30,000 ft.

#117 Edited by RenegadeSaint (1526 posts) -

NO WAY! The seats are made to be leaned back and it barely reduces your space. I say sally forth and lean back!

Also, it is hilarious how worked up people are getting about this. I love GiantBomb.

#118 Edited by theguy (796 posts) -

Absolute dick move.

#119 Posted by Nivash (241 posts) -

Unless you're flying first class, then yes - you're being an asshole. The way most airlines operate is that they cram as many seats into coach as possible which leaves anyone who is of average size or up with precious little room to begin with. If you ask me, the seats shouldn't be reclinable to begin with. But I guess then they would lose customers who are pissed they aren't allowed to be assholes anymore.

#120 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

As others said, only lean the seat back during the "sleep" period. If you just feel like reclining on the plane at the expense of the guy behind you, you are a massive asshole.

#121 Edited by FierceDeity (358 posts) -

Rationalize it all you want, OP, but we all know you're a lean-back-in-seat asshole! ]:-(

#122 Edited by Sumbog (481 posts) -

I always get a seat in the Emergency row so that there is no one sitting in front of me, and at the same time, I lean my chair back. I do what I want.

Also you cannot complain about someone else leaning back, the chairs are meant to do it, there is no assholery involved.

#123 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

As others said, only lean the seat back during the "sleep" period. If you just feel like reclining on the plane at the expense of the guy behind you, you are a massive asshole.

So the airline should decide how and when you may sleep?

I also have to wonder how much of an issue leg-room really is if you're sitting next to a 400-pound dude on your flight. I mean, if this thread is about infringing on other people's personal "airplane" space through inconsiderate behavior....

I am quite surprised that so many people are seemingly concerned about the functionality of their fold-down tray, as if they are doing important work while flying in the cargo section - or is it that they just want to wring the best possible dining experience out of eating airline food on a lap tray while enjoying the wonderful entertainment on the in-flight television system?

#124 Edited by Akyho (1585 posts) -

@dagbiker said:

I usually buy two seats when I fly, because I am fat, So am I an asshole, for being fat? Or am I the nicest guy ever for saving the guy next to me from total discomfort for the next 5 hours?

I feel like that and I only take up one seat. Same with the bus, I am edged on the seat almost in the aisle and shift for people coming down or smashed against the walls. Since I dont want to invade peoples space.

Also leaning back is an asshole move.

#125 Posted by CodeHero (134 posts) -

I am 6'4" if the person in front of me leans back my legs just do not fit and I have to spread them out which makes the people next to me uncomfortable too. One person leaning back ends up making at least 2 people uncomfortable, so that makes them an asshole.

#126 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@donkeycow said:

As others said, only lean the seat back during the "sleep" period. If you just feel like reclining on the plane at the expense of the guy behind you, you are a massive asshole.

So the airline should decide how and when you may sleep?

I also have to wonder how much of an issue leg-room really is if you're sitting next to a 400-pound dude on your flight. I mean, if this thread is about infringing on other people's personal "airplane" space through inconsiderate behavior....

I am quite surprised that so many people are seemingly concerned about the functionality of their fold-down tray, as if they are doing important work while flying in the cargo section - or is it that they just want to wring the best possible dining experience out of eating airline food on a lap tray while enjoying the wonderful entertainment on the in-flight television system?

If i am on a long flight yes i do want to be able to enjoy the in flight film, be comfortable while eating and have leg room. Flying is already an unpleasant experience, why have it made worse by some entitled asshole? Also some of us don't like having something just a few inches from our face.

#127 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@donkeycow said:

As others said, only lean the seat back during the "sleep" period. If you just feel like reclining on the plane at the expense of the guy behind you, you are a massive asshole.

So the airline should decide how and when you may sleep?

I also have to wonder how much of an issue leg-room really is if you're sitting next to a 400-pound dude on your flight. I mean, if this thread is about infringing on other people's personal "airplane" space through inconsiderate behavior....

I am quite surprised that so many people are seemingly concerned about the functionality of their fold-down tray, as if they are doing important work while flying in the cargo section - or is it that they just want to wring the best possible dining experience out of eating airline food on a lap tray while enjoying the wonderful entertainment on the in-flight television system?

If i am on a long flight yes i do want to be able to enjoy the in flight film, be comfortable while eating and have leg room. Flying is already an unpleasant experience, why have it made worse by some entitled asshole? Also some of us don't like having something just a few inches from our face.

Everyone is having an unpleasant experience, being considerate would be recognizing that fact and making the sorts of allowances for others that you would hope to receive yourself. People crying about others leaning the seat back the full inch and a half that it's designed to recline are just being intolerant crybabies. If that one inch of "leg room" (let's face it, it's more upper-body room) is so important to you then you'd buy a better class of ticket, pick a better seat, or politely ask the person in front of you not to lean back - that they're whining about it on a message board instead of making appropriate preparations or assertive action at the time smacks of social impotence or simply enjoying complaining more than needing all that space that they're being robbed of.

My recommendation for solving the life-shattering problem of "other people, on my flight?!" is to choose seats which back up against a cabin divider. They typically don't lean back themselves but usually have more leg room in the leg area (where it is most useful for the legs!) Failing that, there's the emergency door seating, failing that there's buying an upgrade. Of course, there is also the hidden, secret option of not being a sociopath.

#128 Edited by Butano (1728 posts) -

Maybe it's because all I usually fly is Southwest (haven't been on one for about a year, plus it's like 2 inches tops), but I really don't see the fuss in leaning back. It's a built in function for everyone to use....

Now, going slow/speed limit in the fast lane on highways - THOSE are assholes.

#129 Edited by YoThatLimp (1880 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@donkeycow said:

As others said, only lean the seat back during the "sleep" period. If you just feel like reclining on the plane at the expense of the guy behind you, you are a massive asshole.

So the airline should decide how and when you may sleep?

I also have to wonder how much of an issue leg-room really is if you're sitting next to a 400-pound dude on your flight. I mean, if this thread is about infringing on other people's personal "airplane" space through inconsiderate behavior....

I am quite surprised that so many people are seemingly concerned about the functionality of their fold-down tray, as if they are doing important work while flying in the cargo section - or is it that they just want to wring the best possible dining experience out of eating airline food on a lap tray while enjoying the wonderful entertainment on the in-flight television system?

I would say the fat dude is fat, no matter what. You leaning your chair back is a dick choice you are making.

For anyone leaning back in front of me, don't mind me open mouth coughing on to your head, you are a terrible person.

#130 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

I would say the fat dude is fat, no matter what. You leaning your chair back is a dick choice you are making.

For anyone leaning back in front of me, don't mind me open mouth coughing on to your head, you are a terrible person.

You'd rather have Dom DeLuise sitting next to you than Chevy Chase sitting in front of you? Really? Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally? I find it difficult to process the idea that the space in front of you is sacrosanct but having a dude occupy the same physical space as you is okay. To me, that seems weird.

#131 Posted by jsnyder82 (728 posts) -

If someone in front of you leans back in their chair, be an adult about it and politely ask them if they'll put their seat back up. If you do nothing, and instantly hate the person in front of you just because they're doing something that they totally have the right to do, that would make you the asshole, not them.

#132 Posted by YoThatLimp (1880 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@yothatlimp said:

I would say the fat dude is fat, no matter what. You leaning your chair back is a dick choice you are making.

For anyone leaning back in front of me, don't mind me open mouth coughing on to your head, you are a terrible person.

You'd rather have Dom DeLuise sitting next to you than Chevy Chase sitting in front of you? Really? Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally? I find it difficult to process the idea that the space in front of you is sacrosanct but having a dude occupy the same physical space as you is okay. To me, that seems weird.

See for me I don't think either option is great, but one person is choosing to invade your space and the other is not. I am sure the fat dude knows he is an asshole and feels terrible, where as the guy in front of you is choosing to be an asshole and feels great about it. That lounging son-of-a-bitch, hah

#133 Edited by itsVASH (172 posts) -

If your using the Giant Bomb metric for whose an asshole... then you are an asshole... hell everyone on this website = asshole...

....that includes me

#134 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@yothatlimp said:

I would say the fat dude is fat, no matter what. You leaning your chair back is a dick choice you are making.

For anyone leaning back in front of me, don't mind me open mouth coughing on to your head, you are a terrible person.

You'd rather have Dom DeLuise sitting next to you than Chevy Chase sitting in front of you? Really? Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally? I find it difficult to process the idea that the space in front of you is sacrosanct but having a dude occupy the same physical space as you is okay. To me, that seems weird.

See for me I don't think either option is great, but one person is choosing to invade your space and the other is not. I am sure the fat dude knows he is an asshole and feels terrible, where as the guy in front of you is choosing to be an asshole and feels great about it. That lounging son-of-a-bitch, hah

Well, if they're both assholes then I guess that's consistent enough. XD

This thread is odd to me because I've never cared about people leaning back or ever seen anyone make any kind of fuss over it. That said, I'm usually asleep face-first against the seat in front of me so it's kind of a moot point. Really, the only thing that bothers me while flying is being woken up by the cabin crew so that they can offer me some congealed mess masquerading as "food," whoever manufactures that crap - they are the ones who are the assholes.

#135 Edited by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@donkeycow said:

@rebgav said:

@donkeycow said:

As others said, only lean the seat back during the "sleep" period. If you just feel like reclining on the plane at the expense of the guy behind you, you are a massive asshole.

So the airline should decide how and when you may sleep?

I also have to wonder how much of an issue leg-room really is if you're sitting next to a 400-pound dude on your flight. I mean, if this thread is about infringing on other people's personal "airplane" space through inconsiderate behavior....

I am quite surprised that so many people are seemingly concerned about the functionality of their fold-down tray, as if they are doing important work while flying in the cargo section - or is it that they just want to wring the best possible dining experience out of eating airline food on a lap tray while enjoying the wonderful entertainment on the in-flight television system?

If i am on a long flight yes i do want to be able to enjoy the in flight film, be comfortable while eating and have leg room. Flying is already an unpleasant experience, why have it made worse by some entitled asshole? Also some of us don't like having something just a few inches from our face.

Everyone is having an unpleasant experience, being considerate would be recognizing that fact and making the sorts of allowances for others that you would hope to receive yourself. People crying about others leaning the seat back the full inch and a half that it's designed to recline are just being intolerant crybabies. If that one inch of "leg room" (let's face it, it's more upper-body room) is so important to you then you'd buy a better class of ticket, pick a better seat, or politely ask the person in front of you not to lean back - that they're whining about it on a message board instead of making appropriate preparations or assertive action at the time smacks of social impotence or simply enjoying complaining more than needing all that space that they're being robbed of.

My recommendation for solving the life-shattering problem of "other people, on my flight?!" is to choose seats which back up against a cabin divider. They typically don't lean back themselves but usually have more leg room in the leg area (where it is most useful for the legs!) Failing that, there's the emergency door seating, failing that there's buying an upgrade. Of course, there is also the hidden, secret option of not being a sociopath.

I don't see how letting other people be selfish makes me selfish. You should be considerate of those around you, and thus not intentionally invade their personal space (which is already dreadfully limited on a plane).

#136 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@donkeycow said:

@rebgav said:

@donkeycow said:

As others said, only lean the seat back during the "sleep" period. If you just feel like reclining on the plane at the expense of the guy behind you, you are a massive asshole.

So the airline should decide how and when you may sleep?

I also have to wonder how much of an issue leg-room really is if you're sitting next to a 400-pound dude on your flight. I mean, if this thread is about infringing on other people's personal "airplane" space through inconsiderate behavior....

I am quite surprised that so many people are seemingly concerned about the functionality of their fold-down tray, as if they are doing important work while flying in the cargo section - or is it that they just want to wring the best possible dining experience out of eating airline food on a lap tray while enjoying the wonderful entertainment on the in-flight television system?

If i am on a long flight yes i do want to be able to enjoy the in flight film, be comfortable while eating and have leg room. Flying is already an unpleasant experience, why have it made worse by some entitled asshole? Also some of us don't like having something just a few inches from our face.

Everyone is having an unpleasant experience, being considerate would be recognizing that fact and making the sorts of allowances for others that you would hope to receive yourself. People crying about others leaning the seat back the full inch and a half that it's designed to recline are just being intolerant crybabies. If that one inch of "leg room" (let's face it, it's more upper-body room) is so important to you then you'd buy a better class of ticket, pick a better seat, or politely ask the person in front of you not to lean back - that they're whining about it on a message board instead of making appropriate preparations or assertive action at the time smacks of social impotence or simply enjoying complaining more than needing all that space that they're being robbed of.

My recommendation for solving the life-shattering problem of "other people, on my flight?!" is to choose seats which back up against a cabin divider. They typically don't lean back themselves but usually have more leg room in the leg area (where it is most useful for the legs!) Failing that, there's the emergency door seating, failing that there's buying an upgrade. Of course, there is also the hidden, secret option of not being a sociopath.

I don't see how letting other people be selfish makes me selfish. You should be considerate of those around you, and thus not intentionally invade their personal space (which is already dreadfully limited on a plane).

Ironically, I anticipated your reply and addressed it in the post that you replied to.

#137 Edited by clush (410 posts) -

I don't even have room for my legs when the seat in front of me is upright. Seeing people in here going all "I'm 6 feet tall, I NEED the space"... you don't need shit, lol. I'm 6'6'' and not particularly skinny either... a lot of people in front of me on a plane have tried leaning back, none have succeeded.

#138 Edited by Nictel (2380 posts) -

If you are wondering if you're an asshole. You usually are.

#139 Posted by StarvingGamer (8028 posts) -

As a man of slightly above-average height, I have never had my flight experience hindered by the person in front of me leaning their seat back. Maybe I am a magician.

#140 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4602 posts) -

As a man of slightly above-average height, I have never had my flight experience hindered by the person in front of me leaning their seat back. Maybe I am a magician.

nah, just not fat.

#141 Edited by Fearbeard (824 posts) -

yeah, it makes you an asshole... the biggest problem with planes is that there is not enough leg room and if you want to remove someones legroom just so you can slightly lean back then you are an asshole.

#142 Posted by Nightriff (4915 posts) -

Anyone who leans their seat back into another person's lap is an asshole, period.

#143 Edited by chocolaterhinovampire (1288 posts) -

I am pretty tall so I say asshole

#144 Edited by Dinosaurs (35 posts) -

@butano: Car lanes are an interesting subject. While it can vary from place to place the "fast lane" is generally reserved for overtaking only and not for your convenience of breaking the speed limit. It is also often illegal not to yield the right of way for someone who wishes to overtake in the passing lane. Seems to me both of the people in your scenario are at fault for being inconsiderate to the rules of road, though again this can depend on where you are geographically.

#145 Posted by madmidknight (24 posts) -

@amatureidiot said:

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.

And hitting your knees into their chair instead of just asking them nicely is a bigger dick move. I personally am tall and have a bad back. I NEED to recline after about an hour or my back will go numb and I won't be able to stand.

#146 Posted by Silver-Streak (1339 posts) -

So I'm not sure what planes you guys are flying on, but I've flown with Airtran, Allegiant, Delta, and American Airlines multiple times over the last decade.

On all the flights I've been on, save 1 through Delta (Which used some crazy tiny 1+2 row only plane), leaning back does not affect the person behind you's tray, as they are attached using separate through bars that come out of the lower back of the seat, rather than the old school folding down from the seat back alone. So leaning back shouldn't remove usage of the tray.

That being said, the times that I've reclined, I always ask the person behind me first. That whole "I'd rather ask forgiveness than permission" BS is a line of thought assholes use who don't like being told no. If someone is uncomfortable with me reclining, I don't. But time and time again people are fine with it, or are already leaning back themselves.

Maybe that's just me.

#147 Posted by Iodine (543 posts) -

I am already way too tall to ever feel comfortable on an airplane, the last thing I want is for someone to is someone to make me even more so

#148 Posted by yakov456 (1899 posts) -

Anything more than a slightly relaxed position does, if you're in coach. You are an elite asshole if the person behind you has the seat that is against the back wall. If someone does it me I just put both knees together and keep them shoved as hard as I can into the seat.

#149 Edited by Captain_Insano (1528 posts) -

@captain_insano said:

@amatureidiot said:

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.

And hitting your knees into their chair instead of just asking them nicely is a bigger dick move. I personally am tall and have a bad back. I NEED to recline after about an hour or my back will go numb and I won't be able to stand.

In which case, I would hope that you show some common courtesy and at least give a heads up to the person behind you that you're going to recline.

I am quite tall also and find that on a 15 hour flight + a 7 hour flight to the UK, having someone recline into me doesn't do great things for me either. Thus, the simple courtesy of a heads up and them not reclining THE WHOLE TIME is quite fine by me. The awareness that other people exist on a flight is not a terrible trait.

The recline function is there to use, but not to completely screw up someone else's journey. That's why 'common' courtesy and decency should prevail. If you truly need to recline I get that, hence a heads up would not go astray.

#150 Posted by shepdelonge (16 posts) -

I won't lean my chair back if it's a daytime flight but if it's a night flight and I need sleep then I will lean it back slightly, not all the way because I would be pissed if someone leant fully back in front of me, but just enough so I can limit the amount of back pain I get from sitting in the same place for 8 hours.