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Recent United Airlines flight adds fuel to seat reclining rage

Wow what a week for inflight rage. Two major incidents occurred over reclining seats and well the Diva has to add her two-cents. First of all, it is this traveler’s opinion that when passengers pay for a seat on a plane it is theirs for the ride to recline or not. Travelers who prefer more space should upgrade their seats to economy-plus, premium, business or first, or else just put up with it.

The broken seat recliner button on United
Patti Pietschmann

A good one to talk, Richard and I enjoy putting out seats back especially during long flights so we use mileage, money and even smiles to upgrade our seats to a higher level where seats are more comfortable. However we recently had a not so good experience on a United Airlines flight from Maui to Los Angeles. My First Class seat’s recliner button was broken and the seat wouldn’t budge an inch back. The cabin was full so there was no place to move. The flight attendant actually asked if anybody wanted to change seats with me, duh, a no-brainer, whom among us who use money or mileage are going to swap for a broken seat. Nobody of course. The flight attendant did call maintenance but they couldn’t fix the seat or the window shade that wouldn’t pull down.

I didn’t go into a rage but was rather upset by the situation having to fly for six hours sitting up straight. I did complain to United and after going from normal customer service to a top rung executive was able to get a travel certificate for a nice but not overly-substantial amount—which is bothering me now because I need to fly from Los Angeles to New York and should have held out for a roundtrip ticket.

An article on AOL today reminded me to write about my United flight. The piece began, “Just when you thought that the fight over someone reclining back on a Newark-to-Denver flight earlier this week was bad, better brace yourself. Only, don't do it against the seat in front of you because it sounds like people are getting squirrely” The story is about another fight on another plane over another attempt to recline a seat back, according to WHDH-TV. This time one of the passengers, a 61-year-old French national by the name of Edmund Alexandre, was charged with interfering with a flight crew and detained by authorities, as WBZ-TV reported.

The recent altercation was on an American Airlines Flight 62 that was underway from Miami in route to Paris Wednesday night when a woman in the seat in front of Alexandre leaned back. He began arguing with the woman and "became disruptive," according to a press release from the District of Massachusetts US Attorney's Office.

As earlier stated we pay for a seat it should be ours to recline or not, and if we want to go back farther, then we need to upgrade, but make sure the recliners. I’ve taken to checking mine the minute I take my seat.

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