Travel

The Man in Seat 1A : Where etiquette crosses cultures, nations and languages

You take off, and all goes back to a sense of calm. The
lights dim, the headphones go on and the first of
what may be many movies begin. Then, it happens.
It’s not the passengers’ fault that Mr Boeing put this
stupid little button that collapses the back of your
seat. Does that 25 degrees of recline really turn your
journey from torment to a pod of bliss? No. It just
hacks off a whole load of people. The folks at the front
of the plane have ‘first class problems’ of course, like
the bread selection is missing the ciabatta. At the
back of the plane though, once Barry in front of you
decides to push that seat back shunting your dinner
tray into your chest, you wouldn’t mind settling for a
focaccia as your primary worry. So what do I do? Well,
I switch on my stealth mode. I’ll recline my seat by
five degrees, every five minutes. I’ll be gentle in my
invasion of space, to regain the value of my paid seat;
but I wish I didn’t have to.

You take off, and all goes back to a sense of calm. The
lights dim, the headphones go on and the first of
what may be many movies begin. Then, it happens.
It’s not the passengers’ fault that Mr Boeing put this
stupid little button that collapses the back of your
seat. Does that 25 degrees of recline really turn your
journey from torment to a pod of bliss? No. It just
hacks off a whole load of people. The folks at the front
of the plane have ‘first class problems’ of course, like
the bread selection is missing the ciabatta. At the
back of the plane though, once Barry in front of you
decides to push that seat back shunting your dinner
tray into your chest, you wouldn’t mind settling for a
focaccia as your primary worry. So what do I do? Well,
I switch on my stealth mode. I’ll recline my seat by
five degrees, every five minutes. I’ll be gentle in my
invasion of space, to regain the value of my paid seat;
but I wish I didn’t have to.

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