I’m also a relatively small person—5-foot-7-inches tall and 130 pounds—so the reprieve I gain from reclining my seat is presumably minimal compared even an average-sized person who’s inherently more squeezed than me.
Turn your head into the tiny crevice between the seats and say, “Excuse me, do you mind if I recline my seat? ” While the passenger behind you might request that you wait until they’re done eating, or until they can reposition their laptop or drink, or maybe ask that you not recline all the way, few will probably give a hard no.
Guardian columnist Owen Jones recently polled people on Twitter (a social network that makes you a dick simply by using it) about the shittiness of reclining your airplane seat all the way back on a long-haul flight.
Reclining your seat without considering the person sitting behind you, however, makes you a dick.
But if you’re the person sitting behind a recliner, having your bubble of personal space burst by a tilting seat-back feels like an insult to your very existence.
And that’s true—if we all had a reasonable amount of legroom, losing a few inches to a reclining seat wouldn’t even register.
Naturally, that means many of us want to maximize the piddling comfort of the roughly 3. 7 square feet of space airlines give us by slapping on a neck pillow, leaning our seats back, and enjoying some mid-quality in-flight entertainment.