Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Welcome to the Party, Y'all

Re:  Seat reclining on flights, either long or short.

Really, I have nothing to add, except to relate how I dealt with it recently...

(And for the four Constant Readers that keep emailing me "Was it you?" emails.
No. And it never will be. I'll suffer through someone else being an ass before I screw up everyone else's travel plans.)

On a recent flight from Austin TX to JFK, I had the displeasure of being seated behind an old asshat, get-off-my-lawn, nasty curmudgeon. The flight was full- and I (of course) was unable to get a bulkhead seat.
Nothing was right with this guy... He bitched because his wife wasn't sitting next to him, he complained about having to put his bags under the seat in front of him, he complained because it was too cold on the plane. - All items that he could have avoided- pre-select your seats when you book your tickets, get on when your section is called- not at thte last second, and ferchrissake- we're in Texas in the summer- they have to crank the AC while the door is open waiting for you, dumbass.

About30 minutes into the flight, the Curmudgeon decided to lay his seat down as far as he could... Which is not far, since my knees were holding the seat up...
So he starts banging the seat against my knees.

Yours Truly: "Hey- you're breaking my kneecaps."
Curmudgeon: "Well, I wanna lean my seat back!"
YT: "There is nowhere to lean back to. Please stop doing that."
C: "You can just move your knees! This is my seat and I'll sit in it any way I want."
YT: ""
His wife just shut up- she wasn't getting involved.
He rang for the Flight Attendant (who had already had enough of his shit).-
C: "Thatguy behind me won't let me recline!"
FA: (To me) "Sir, are you using a device to block the seat from reclining?"
YT: "No... Not unless you count my knees as a 'device'."
She had a look- seeing there was zero inches between the seat and my knees.
FA (to the Curmudgeon): "Sir- he's not using a device to block your seat. That's his knees you are banging your seat against."
Curmudgeon's position was that it was his seat, to be used in any way he saw fit.
The FA said that if there was a device being used (ie KneeDefender) the Captain would come back and confiscate it. But since it was just a physical issue, he'd have to deal with it.
He pushed and pressed and banged away- and finally got a couple inches of recline, mostly by reducing my patellas to a fine powder.


You want to play fuck-fuck, we can play fuck fuck.
 I took my overhead AC nozzle, opened it full and swiveled it until it pointed it at the top of his head.

When to cold air hit his bald noggin he jumped up and turned around.

Curmudgeon: "What the hell are you doing!?"
YT: "It's my AC nozzle. I can use it whatever way I want."
He buzzes for the FA again.
The FA says there is nothing she can do- it's my nozzle and I can use it any way I want.
He asked for a blanket and the FA turned him down. She said that blankets were only for the Business class passengers and they'd all already been distributed.

He fumed and fussed- his wife came up with a scarf he tried to cover his head with...

After about 30 minutes later he gave up.
He lifted his seat to almost full upright- then glared at me, then at the AC vent.
I reached up and cranked it back closed and pointed it to me...

He settled back down muttering to himself.

The capper was as the flight ended and I got up to get my bag from the overhead-
the guy was all of 5'2"- I looked down at him with my best "I'd crush you like an insect but I don't have time for the paperwork." glare...
He quickly looked away, busying himself with important post-flight activities in the seat pocket in front of him.
I could hear his wife-"I didn't know he was so big!" she whispered to him..
I supressed the urge to throw a "That's what she said" on her...
The FA gave me a nice smile and wink as I got off the plane.

I hope it was sincere- For all I know she was tired of my shit too...

The lesson of the story- United will confiscate Knee Defenders from you.
Or throw you off the plane.



Anonymous said...

Not quite as tall as you but run into the same problems.

It's amazing how fast I can develop a nervous twitch -- tapping my foot on the seat back for example - when someone wants to lean their seat back too far.

I don't want to mess up other people's arrangements either -- I'll suffer but I'll also admit to remembering and not forgiving as quickly as I should.

Bob S.

Old NFO said...

On Qantas today from PER to SYD, couldn't recline either... Big guy (not quite your size) behind me, one either side of me your size, we had to alternate who got to sit back and who had to sit forward... Thankfully only a four hour flight. Would have spent it standing up in the back, but it was a 'tad' bouncy...

Teke said...

At 5'7" on a good day I do not share your issue with seats killing my knees and while I do have more sympathy for the tall person behind me it still drives me nuts sitting straight up on a plane or bus. I will not however bang the seat repeatedly into your knees. There is a happy median that can be achieved.

Now if your jelly roll is flowing over the arm rest into my seat or you are 5'8" or shorter and I am hitting your knees too damn bad. Loose weight or sit your butt up.

I used to ride a bus that had a little guy that would lay down in his seat with his knees on the back of the seat in front of him, recline his seat all the way back and build a fort with his backpack nest to him. 3 seats for his sorry rear end. I actually enjoyed when the seat in front of him was mine because he would get so pissed as I pushed the seat back and turned min into a human pretzel.

I also had a coworker that was pissed for similar reason to you on a flight except it was 1/4 to 1/2 full. So empty i had a row to myself. In his case I had no sympathy for him when he griped to me. I told him there were plenty of empty seats where he could have had no one infront of him. His argument that he was in his seat had no meaning to me.

Murphy's Law said...

Here's where a prosthetic leg is a good thing to have. I can wedge mine up against the seat ahead of me and prevent it from coming back a little or at all, however I see fit. And let the pilot try to confiscate that. heh.

Tam said...

I feel your pain. (Well, about 95% of it. :D )