RECLINING seats on planes is a thorny subject for travellers, with some all for it and others dead against it.

However, there are ways to go about reclining your seat that can be more courteous to the people sitting around you.

Nobody wants to have the person in front of them whip the seat back really quickly, smashing the back of the chair into their knees.

While others appreciate a heads-up from the person in front before they choose to drop their seat back.

That's why, in an article for the Points Guy, etiquette experts and passengers explained how to recline your seat while causing minimal annoyance to the person behind.

One of those, Julia Esteve Boyd, an etiquette coach and podcaster from Switzerland said: “It is completely reasonable to recline your seat if you want to.

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“Don’t recline the seat too quickly."

This can make all the difference, which some people have found out the hard way.

One passenger was left fuming when his Apple MacBook Pro was destroyed during a flight – after the person in front reclined their seat too hastily.

Pat Cassidy was flying with Delta from Austin to Los Angeles when his computer was crushed by the seat going back onto it.

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He wrote on Twitter: "@Delta small note for the suggestion box, maybe have a little warning sign or someway to prevent my laptop from being destroyed when the person in front of me reclines their seat."

One person asked Pat: "Who are all these folk reclining instantly at maximum velocity?"

So not only will the person behind you think you're a more courteous individual if you recline slowly, it could also be the difference between you having to buy someone a laptop.

Meanwhile, passenger Lisa Blossat Harrison said she always checks who's behind her, before not reclining all the way.

She said: “I’ll look behind first, then gently go back a little just to relieve my back."

This is backed up by frequent-flyer Ben Schlappig, who wrote in a blog post on One Mile at a Time: "If you are going to recline your seat, do so slowly, and make sure the person behind you knows. No matter what, don’t be a jerk."

Reclining your seat all the way back might not only be uncomfortable for the person behind, but it could also cause problems for your back.

Andrew Lawrence, president of the Chiropractors Association of Australia, says the most conducive position for snoozing in economy is only “slightly reclined."

Passengers should then put a cushion at the base of the spine to help maintain the lumbar curve and reduce pressure at the junction of lower back and pelvis.

He said: “The best position for reclining is about halfway, which gives assistance with holding the head in place but doesn’t put too much backward pressure on the hips."

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And this six-foot-tall man divided opinion online when he kept trying to recline his seat.


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