The Internet loves a good plane fight


You have got to love the Internet.

It is a place filled with conspiracy theories, fake profiles, bucket loads of whining and more arguing than divorce court. It can be a mess.

Take the reaction to a recent story about woman who reclined her seat on a plane and the man behind her – in the plane’s last row and unable to recline himself – punched the back of her seat. Repeatedly.

This, of course, is raw meat for the arguing masses online, and boy, was it fun to read the comments. From legitimate news sites like the Washington Post to tabloid sites, the comment sections were loaded with support and disdain for both sides when it comes to reclining seats on planes.

I wrote about airplane etiquette not that long ago, and I fall firmly on the side of not reclining your seat on a plane. I am nearly 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weigh more than I should, so someone in front of me reclining their seat pretty much insures that my knees will be broken, and I will have to crawl off of the plane.

But that doesn’t mean I would punch the seat of the person in front of me who did it. In my mind, of course, all bets are off. But in the real world this is a childish move. Simply ask the person to not recline so far. As this man could not recline, he had the right to be annoyed, but not be a complete jerk.

This was a flight that took less than an hour and a half, so this woman didn’t need to recline her seat. When she did, and the man reacted, she started shooting video of the seat puncher. She didn’t, I might add, move her seat up.

The woman called this an assault, which I find completely laughable. Some in the buzzing online comments on this story say the man should have been arrested when the plane landed.

Oh please.

This is not an assault. It is a male passenger being a child. It is a female passenger playing the victim card for all it is worth. Both of them should be sent to a timeout for being children instead of handling this like adults.

The issue, to me, is that airplanes simply do not offer enough legroom. The complaints have become constant and deafening, but two years ago the Federal Aviation Administration decided not to regulate the size of airplane seats despite all of the complains. Your government in inaction, folks.

Judging by the comments – and I do hope you had a chance to read some of them – this issue is more divisive than the 2020 election. The online arguments were epic and personal and incredibly nasty. Yes, over a reclined seat on an airplane.

Look, I say just don’t recline your seat on an airplane. There is not enough room already, and a reclined seat makes it nearly impossible for many people on a plane to be even a little comfortable.

But if you must recline your seat, ask the person behind you. And if you want to make sure the person in front of you does not recline their seat, ask them – nicely – not to. Most people will be fine with it.

But punching seats and recording videos? Sure, it makes for some juicy online comments sections, but it ultimately proves that you are probably too immature to fly in the first place.

Next time take a train.