Evil Week: The Passive-Aggressive Way to Stop Someone From Reclining Their Seat on a Flight

Evil Week: The Passive-Aggressive Way to Stop Someone From Reclining Their Seat on a Flight

Welcome to Evil Week, our annual dive into all the slightly sketchy hacks we’d usually refrain from recommending. Want to weasel your way into free drinks, play elaborate mind games, or, er, launder some money? We’ve got all the info you need to be successfully unsavory.

An airplane is a petri dish of etiquette quandaries. Which passenger has the right to close the window shade, access to the first-class bathroom, and the ability to deplane first? But perhaps no subject has caused more controversy than the debate over whether you should recline your seat on a flight.

Some people believe that if your seat has the ability to recline, it’s your right to use that ability. The rest of us are good people. Unfortunately, this common sense is hardly universal.

How to get someone to stop reclining their seat on a flight

Here’s a trick by way of Reddit that might solve your problem: “If the person sitting in front of you on a flight reclines their seat all the way back and leaves you with no room, turn on the air con above you to full blast and point it at the top of their head,” u/medievilmusician writes.

In other words, let your passive aggression out by forcing the passenger in front of you to endure the wrath of your freezing-cold airplane air until they relent. Of course, there’s a chance they might ask you not to do that, but the odds that they’ll adjust their seat to avoid a confrontation are likely higher.

If that doesn’t work, or the seat in front of you reclines just a few inches short of your air conditioning’s path, it might be time to get a little more aggressive. “…. the second I see it start to recline I try to put my knees up against it and so they can’t recline it and it’s funny to watch them struggle with it wondering why it won’t work,” u/drudown49 writes. If that fails, the occasional kick to the seat in front of you, or a case of feigned restless leg syndrome, might earn you an extra inch or two, at least.

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