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Reclining seats are all the rage

October 2, 2013 Social Media No Comments Email Email

91% of travellers say that seat reclining should be banned, or at least allowed only during set times on short haul flights, according to an international survey by leading global travel search site Skyscanner.

The survey of over 1000 travellers found that 43% felt even long haul flights should implement set times for when passengers are permitted to recline their seat.

60% of cabin crew from around the world report either being involved in, or having witnessed, heated arguments between passengers on the very touchy subject of reclined seats.

Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman (UK) offers some explanation as to why reclining seats increasingly fuels passenger ‘air rage’:

“It’s partly because there are two general personality types while travelling,” says Dr Spelman.

There’s the ‘Altruistic Soul’, who is considerate of others, and the ‘Selfish Ego’, who will look to increase their own comfort at the expense of others.

And what the survey found is an alarming amount of ‘Selfish Egos’ amongst the crowd, with 70% of people admitting they would still recline when sat in front of a pregnant woman, and 80% saying they wouldn’t care if the person behind was elderly or frail.

Women aged from 18-24 were the most likely to display ‘Altruistic Soul’ tendencies, while men over the age of 35 were more likely to exhibit ‘Selfish Ego’ characteristics.

Almost a third of those surveyed said that someone’s reclined seat had caused them major discomfort and 3% revealed that they’d even suffered an injury.

‘A reclined seat can negatively impact upon a person’s overall flight experience, especially if the person in front is being particularly inconsiderate’ says Dr Spelman.

The survey also found that a third of passengers played safe Sally when travelling, with 64% admitting they had never reclined their seat because they were too worried about the reaction they’d receive.

Dave Boyte, Market Development Manager Australia and New Zealand said, “When you’ve got two very different personality traits crammed into a confined space for long periods of time, there’s always a chance head-to-head clashes will take place. Having set times to recline your seat might make for a more peaceful flight for everyone.”

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