I know flying is uncomfortable, especially in coach.  But given the premium on space in today’s standard commercial airliner, it seems a little common courtesy towards your fellow traveler might be in order.  I know airplane seats come with recline buttons for a reason.  But that recline can stop anywhere between none and fully reclined.

I’m sitting in First Class right now on a Delta 757.  The pitch on these airplanes is not overly generous, even in First.  The person in front of me decided to pop their seat back into my lap a few minutes ago.  That’s her right, but to say she was aggressive about it would be an understatement.  By not “easing” her chair back, she managed to recline right onto my laptop screen.  Had I not acted pretty quickly, I would be looking at a broken laptop right now.  These seats have video screens in the seatback, and that screen propped itself right onto my laptop screen making it impossible to move the laptop out of the way without pressing against the seat in front of me to pry it out.  I’m sure it’s difficult to imagine the scenario I’m describing, but it happened.

Moral of the story: recline away, but be thoughtful of your surroundings.  And if the person behind you is using a laptop, you might think about giving them a warning before you recline or do so slowly.