Survey says it’s not fine to recline

The leading causes of mid-flight conflict between passengers has been highlighted in new research by online travel agency

Reclining seats into a fellow passenger’s seat/leg space topped the poll of 2,332 of UK respondents. Those travelling on flights to/from holidays to America are most likely to end up having a row with a fellow passenger on board, the survey found.

Participants were asked what the cause of the conflict or argument was (regardless of who initiated it), to which the top answers were reclining seats into my/their space (27%); excessive noise (22%); kicking my/their seat from behind (16%); drunkenness (13%); waking me/them up, either accidentally or on purpose (9%).

Those respondents who admitted to having an argument with a fellow passenger on a flight in the past were asked if the cabin crew/airline staff had ended up having to get involved in any way (to calm the situation, for example) to which 13% said ‘yes’.

According to Chris Clarkson, managing director of, “Starting or ending a holiday with a big row during the flight with a fellow passenger is not ideal and is going to leave both parties with a bad taste in their mouth. If you’re planning to recline your seat, ask the person behind you if they’d mind first. They might be watching something on their screen or using their fold down table. If the person in front of you reclines their seat, ask them nicely if they wouldn’t mind putting it back forward and don’t be tempted to fly off the handle.

“It’s just common sense really; stay calm and think before you react or act, so that an argument never arises.”

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