New readers from BBC WM 95.6FM and BBC Hereford and Worcester – Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond. This is a follow-on article from what I talked about on the Malcolm Boyden show this morning (11amish BST, 22nd May 2017).
I was asked for my viewpoint on Should You Pay to Recline Your seat… and here are my thoughts.
Firstly the report itself suggests that given the option, passengers would demand around $41 (£31) from the person behind them not to recline their seats – however, those sitting behind them would only be willing to pay $18 (£14).
It’s interesting people actually want to pay in these times to give themselves more room. But there are of course – real world practicalities.
- How would you enforce such a policy? Go on. If an airline can make a revenue model that works for this, I’d be amazed. Airlines are pretty darn good at monetising anything in the air (all bar the small room – however many times a certain Irish Airline has threatened to do this). Monetising the concept would be tough to do.
- Would a “Pay to recline” system work? Highly unlikely. Whilst it’s easy to do with things like in-flight power (Scoot uses such as system), paying to unlock a seat mechanism is a bit more difficult to say the least.
- Will we have the issue of people reclining into you aboard short-to-medium haul flights in the future? This is perhaps the bigger issue. The answer to this is turning into no rapidly. Why? Airlines are adopting seats (such as the Recaro SL3510) that don’t even have a recline function built-in (rather, they’re pre-reclined).
Recaro SL3510 – an example of a pre-reclined seat – Image, Economy Class and Beyond.
Already low-cost carriers such as airlines such as Ryanair, Spirit, Monarch, EasyJet and Cebu Pacific have installed such seats on their planes. Legacy carriers such as TAP Portugal have installed them as well. Even stalwarts such as British Airways and Iberia will be installing such seats. On the shorter segments, I would expect this problem to vanish as airlines seek to replace their seats.
- Long Haul Seat Recline – This where the problem will persist in the long-term. Long haul flying in Economy and Premium Economy isn’t exactly fun as airlines continue to pinch in terms of legroom and seat width.
A reclined seat in Premium Economy (aboard a British Airways Boeing 777 in World Traveller Plus) – Image, Economy Class and Beyond.
Will we see progress here? It depends. There are some interesting designs out there, which try to address this issue.
- Some airlines choosing a fixed shell style seat where the seat slides forwards, and the seat back remains fixed.
- Other manufactures (such as Lift by Encore) are adopting new seats with a cradle mechanism.
How can we avoid the situation? Sadly, there’s only one way out normally, and that’s to buy your way out of the situation – and going long haul, that means business class seats.
British Airways Club World Seats – one way of getting more space on a plane.
So what to do? Well manners are everything. It doesn’t hurt to turn your head and ask if you can recline your seat. If the person behind you says no, please be polite… and don’t recline your seat. I know that sounds tough, but remember, everyone is sharing limited space on a plane.
Manners don’t cost a lot in the air – and is just a very polite thing to do.
Remember – space on a plane is a shared space. If you want more space on a plane – expect to pay more and travel in premium classes for your desired space.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.