Nine in 10 airline passengers want reclining seats banned, poll shows

It's one of the most common causes of mid-flight fury.

One weary passenger wants to put their seat back in a bid to catch some much-needed shut eye during their long-haul flight, much to the anger of the person behind them.


It's a battle that can spill over into a full-on physical fight.

And now, passengers are even willing to sacrifice their own comfort to put an end to the tension, according to a survey by travel website

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It found that nine out of 10 travellers want reclining seats banned - or only allowed during set times on short-haul flights.

The survey also found that more than half of cabin crew have been involved in, or have witnessed, heated arguments between passengers on the issue.

Psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman, from the Private Therapy Clinic London, explains the reclining seat rage phenomenon.

"It's partly because there are two general personality types while travelling," Dr. Spelman said.

"There's the 'altruistic soul', who is considerate of others, and the 'selfish ego', who will look to increase their own comfort at the expense of others."

And what the survey found is an alarming amount of 'selfish egos', with 70 per cent admitting they would still recline when sat in front of a pregnant woman, and 80 per cent saying they wouldn't care if the person behind was elderly or frail.

Women aged from 18-24 were the most likely to display 'altruistic soul' tendencies, while men over the age of 35 were more likely to exhibit 'selfish ego' characteristics.

Almost a third of those surveyed said that someone's reclined seat had caused them major discomfort and 3 per cent said they'd even suffered an injury.

"A reclined seat can negatively impact upon a person's overall flight experience, especially if the person in front is being particularly inconsiderate," Dr. Spelman said.

It's an issue that worries many travellers, with 64 per cent admitting they had never reclined their seat because they were too concerned about the reaction they'd receive.