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Who is the a-hole in this situation?
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iMOTOR
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Aug 26, 2014, 12:42 PM
 
     
reader50
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Aug 26, 2014, 12:47 PM
 
Sounds like a funny airline commercial. All you need is the passengers switching airlines in the air, until they find the "right one" with plenty of legroom. Then send the annoying announcer back to the worst airline they tried.
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 12:54 PM
 
Not sure on that one. The device is banned on United Airlines flights (and other US carriers), according to the article. But, the FAA bans its' use during taxi, takeoff and landings, when tray tables and reclined seats aren’t supposed to be in use anyway.

So, maybe the initial "idiot" is the TSA, for allowing the device (obviously in the passenger's carry on luggage) to pass through. Beyond that, it is first and foremost the man being a complete jerk. He needed to remove it when UA flight attendants asked him to remove it (article does not say that they mentioned to the man that UA does not allow such devices on any of their flights).

Next, of course, would be the woman for throwing a cup of water at the man (although that should have cooled him down!).
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:05 PM
 
The dude. Reclining your seat is a grey area in social etiquette given its not consequence free, but since airlines continue to provide seats that do so regardless of unfavorable opinion, I can't blame a customer taking advantage of the feature. Meanwhile this dude spent $20 to prevent people from using their seats in the manner provided. That's asshole status.
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
The dude. Reclining your seat is a grey area in social etiquette given its not consequence free, but since airlines continue to provide seats that do so regardless of unfavorable opinion, I can't blame a customer taking advantage of the feature. Meanwhile this dude spent $20 to prevent people from using their seats in the manner provided. That's asshole status.
Yes, the guy is certainly the a-hole in this case. But, as I mentioned earlier, the device is banned on all UA flights, so maybe the guy needed to be aware of that prior to going through security.

The TSA has quite a number of items on their banned list, so this one could be on there. But, that would be one more slow down going through security.

Conclusion: the dude, as you said. But, he needed to be aware of the UA policy (not sure how well publicized that is). Beyond that, yes, he is an a-hole, exactly for the reasons you stated.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:11 PM
 
It doesn't matter if it was banned. The device exists to limit the ability of another passenger to use their seat. That's not his right.
     
subego
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:11 PM
 
The dude.

Against regs and asked to stop by someone in authority.
     
subego
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Conclusion: the dude, as you said. But, he needed to be aware of the UA policy (not sure how well publicized that is). Beyond that, yes, he is an a-hole, exactly for the reasons you stated.
I doubt it's UA policy not to allow possession. What if he had a connecting flight on another carrier?
     
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:37 PM
 
Different levels. If I had to judge, the dude should have removed the device when asked by staff, but pouring water on him for not doing so is a massive escalation, and I would say a bigger problem.
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turtle777
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:47 PM
 
The guy was at fault, but there's no excuse for the woman to escalate.

If the guy had continued to refuse, there would have been two options/ he gets kicked off, or United would have offered the woman some compensation.

United is quite generous in compensating passengers that were inconvenienced. I once sent a complaint email, not expecting much (it was about boarding procedures). Next, I get an apology email with a $250 travel certificate.

-t
     
iMOTOR  (op)
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:54 PM
 
I'm convinced that seats should be prohibited from reclining where a risk of hitting the rear passengers knees exists. So I actually think United is the asshole.
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
It doesn't matter if it was banned. The device exists to limit the ability of another passenger to use their seat. That's not his right.
Yes, it does. If it's banned from being used, then it's banned from being used. He thus needed to obey that ban. There are other bans that airlines impose on flights that people must obey, why not this one?
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2014, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
I'm convinced that seats should be prohibited from reclining where a risk of hitting the rear passengers knees exists.
How do you manage that? Have stewardesses go seat-to-seat and check? And how do I, as a passenger, try to guarantee myself I will be allowed to recline my seat?
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2014, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Yes, it does. If it's banned from being used, then it's banned from being used. He thus needed to obey that ban. There are other bans that airlines impose on flights that people must obey, why not this one?
I didn't say he didn't need to obey the ban, I said the ban had no impact on his actions being unreasonable to begin with.
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I doubt it's UA policy not to allow possession. What if he had a connecting flight on another carrier?
Good point. Hence, the TSA is not at fault here. But, since the device is banned for use on the flight, the man MUST obey that (just like other bans airlines have on flights).

Hence, it is OK for him to possess it, but not use it, since it is banned by UA. If the connecting flight allows it, fine. If not, then he would need to obey that other airline's rules.
     
BadKosh
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Aug 26, 2014, 02:19 PM
 
The seat and its clearances were purchased by the nice lady for her flight.
The dude was limiting her use of the seat she bought, and the few inches behind her seat needed for reclining.

Why didn't the dude put his laptop IN HIS LAP instead of his tray?
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I didn't say he didn't need to obey the ban, I said the ban had no impact on his actions being unreasonable to begin with.
My bad. I should have stated my response better.

Yes, you are correct. It's too bad there are so, so few considerate people in this world, that even without the ban, the a-hole would have complied.

In any event, the number 1 thing is the ban on the use of the device. Whether the idiot likes it or not, the ban must] be complied with. Beyond that, there is the a-hole behavior by the jerk.
     
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
How do you manage that? Have stewardesses go seat-to-seat and check? And how do I, as a passenger, try to guarantee myself I will be allowed to recline my seat?
Have a seat where the axis it reclines around is above the knee line, and a seat that is connected to the back and slides forward - like most planes I have been in for the last several years. If you want to recline the seat, you reduce your own knee space, not that of the person behind you.
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akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
The seat and its clearances were purchased by the nice lady for her flight.
The dude was limiting her use of the seat she bought, and the few inches behind her seat needed for reclining.

Why didn't the dude put his laptop IN HIS LAP instead of his tray?
If it were a laptop, the woman could still have reclined her seat. The "knee defender device" the guy had prevents one from reclining the seat.
     
subego
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:21 PM
 
How much authority does a flight attendant have? Can they call for someone to be ziptied, or does the captain have to make the call.
     
Shaddim
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:23 PM
 
It's a banned device on that airline, as soon as the moron refused to remove it, he was at fault. If he refused to take them off, I'd probably push back until his locking doodads broke, then play the world's smallest violin for him.
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The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Have a seat where the axis it reclines around is above the knee line, and a seat that is connected to the back and slides forward - like most planes I have been in for the last several years. If you want to recline the seat, you reduce your own knee space, not that of the person behind you.
That's certainly not the way I've been hearing it discussed on other forums. Basically a bunch of 6"+ guys saying people who recline inevitably hit their knees.
     
And.reg
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:24 PM
 
Who is the a-hole? I say the man who used an illegal device and refused an order from the flight attendant to store it. However the fit of throwing a projectile at another passenger also makes the lady an a-hole.

Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
If it's banned from being used, then it's banned from being used. He thus needed to obey that ban.
Ditto. "United Airlines and other U.S. carriers have banned the device."
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
It's a banned device on that airline, as soon as the moron refused to remove it, he was at fault. If he refused to take them off, I'd probably push back until his locking doodads broke, then play the world's smallest violin for him.
That could set off a HUGE lawsuit, given how sue happy the US is!
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 03:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How much authority does a flight attendant have? Can they call for someone to be ziptied, or does the captain have to make the call.
Excellent question. Even if the flight attendant explicitly states that the man violated a rule (ie, an item that is banned), and thus needs to remove it, but if the passenger refuses? What recourse does the flight attendant have?
     
And.reg
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Aug 26, 2014, 04:25 PM
 
Flight attendance first should consult another attendant, then both should go over to the offender and say "That needs to be stored away." If disobedience continues, attendants should silently write up the offender, report it to the TSA and United, and ban him from the airline for some time frame.
     
iMOTOR  (op)
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Aug 26, 2014, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
How do you manage that? Have stewardesses go seat-to-seat and check?
There is probably a slot somewhere that they could insert a locking pin or short of that, tack weld the part that reclines. Seat design really hasn't changed in the last 40 years. When those seats were originally engineered, mounting seats this close together was unheard of.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
And how do I, as a passenger, try to guarantee myself I will be allowed to recline my seat?
First class.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2014, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
There is probably a slot somewhere that they could insert a locking pin or short of that, tack weld the part that reclines. Seat design really hasn't changed in the last 40 years. When those seats were originally engineered, mounting seats this close together was unheard of.
I was talking about judging who can't be reclined upon and who can.

Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
First class.
Follows with the general trend of flying
     
akent35
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Aug 26, 2014, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
Flight attendance first should consult another attendant, then both should go over to the offender and say "That needs to be stored away." If disobedience continues, attendants should silently write up the offender, report it to the TSA and United, and ban him from the airline for some time frame.
That is all well and good, but it does not resolve the immediate situation, in this case. The woman has every right to recline her seat, and the man behind her is not permitted to restrict that.

As for silently writing up the offender, I'd be inclined to have the flight attendants let the passenger know that is what they are going to do, and clearly state that the passenger is violating a specific rule. (The same thing would apply if the passenger did not fasten their seat belt when required to do so, nor put their tray table in the upright position when they are required to do so.) Maybe after doing that, the passenger would do the right thing.
     
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Aug 27, 2014, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
That's certainly not the way I've been hearing it discussed on other forums. Basically a bunch of 6"+ guys saying people who recline inevitably hit their knees.
6 inch guys complaining someone hits their knees? I had heard that seat spaces were getting extremely cramped in the US, but this seems extreme.

Seriously though, this might be different between regions. I fly mostly in Europe and haven't been to the US in years. Most flights I have been on over here have the pivot axis high up these days. For reference, I'm 6'2".
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 27, 2014, 07:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
The dude. Reclining your seat is a grey area in social etiquette given its not consequence free, but since airlines continue to provide seats that do so regardless of unfavorable opinion, I can't blame a customer taking advantage of the feature. Meanwhile this dude spent $20 to prevent people from using their seats in the manner provided. That's asshole status.
^^^ This.
ebuddy
     
BadKosh
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Aug 27, 2014, 07:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
If it were a laptop, the woman could still have reclined her seat. The "knee defender device" the guy had prevents one from reclining the seat.
Yes, and the guy was working on his laptop, with it in his tray, not his lap. That is why he was using the Knee Defenders to protect his laptop.
     
OreoCookie
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Aug 27, 2014, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I doubt it's UA policy not to allow possession. What if he had a connecting flight on another carrier?
Who cares? It's not allowed on United flights and he was asked by flight attendants to remove it. He is to blame.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
turtle777
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Aug 27, 2014, 10:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Yes, and the guy was working on his laptop, with it in his tray, not his lap. That is why he was using the Knee Defenders to protect his laptop.
If that was the case, he should have removed the knee defender upon request.

There is no guarantee by the airline that working on your laptop in Economy will always be possible.

If you need that option, fly business class.

-t
     
subego
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Aug 27, 2014, 11:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Who cares? It's not allowed on United flights and he was asked by flight attendants to remove it. He is to blame.
I wasn't addressing blame, I was addressing whether United could push the TSA to confiscate them before you're allowed through the gate.
     
OAW
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Aug 27, 2014, 12:55 PM
 
Personally I think everyone is the asshole in this situation. The guy using the Knee Defender knowing it is banned by every major airline. And even if he didn't by refusing to remove it when asked by the flight crew. The lady for trying to recline her seat on a crowded flight in the first place. I mean ... who does that? The marginal comfort one might gain from reclining an inch or so just isn't worth laying on top of the person's lap behind you. And last but not least the airlines for creating such conflict by squeezing seats so close together and still enabling the recline feature on the seats. If they want to pack us in like sardines to make an extra buck ... ok fine. Just disable the recline feature on all the seats which clearly isn't feasible anymore. Problem solved!

OAW
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 27, 2014, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
he lady for trying to recline her seat on a crowded flight in the first place.
What is a crowded flight? A flight where someone is behind you? What percentage of flights are not crowded? Like 0%?
     
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:29 PM
 
I think that what we need is some sort of star rating for airplane seats, similar to the star rating of hotels. There is first, business, economy and various "economy plus" variants, but you don't know what you get when you buy one. Make it clear how many inches of legroom you have (etc) and let people buy the seats they need. The various ticket search engines only serve to hide this further.

As for assigning blame... I don't blame him much for bringing the device and trying to use it. I didn't know that it was banned by many major airlines, and I have certainly skirted airplane rules when they annoy me ("Please make sure that all electronic devices are completely turned off during taxi, takeoff and landing." - Nope, I leave them in flight mode, because those bootups take forever, and you just say that to avoid people sitting with a laptop in their knee). Where he goes wrong is when he refuses to remove it when told by staff - at that point, he should have folded, pardon the pun. Pouring water on someone over that transgression is probably even worse, though.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Pouring water on someone over that transgression is probably even worse, though.
I wonder how many problems throwing water in someone's face has solved over the course of history. Not many, particularly if you exclude people whose faces are on fire.
     
subego
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I wonder how many problems throwing water in someone's face has solved over the course of history. Not many, particularly if you exclude people whose faces are on fire.
I'm sure some actors who have had it done on-screen solved problems with the check they got.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm sure some actors who have had it done on-screen solved problems with the check they got.
I just imagine an arc, and probably the guy stumbled backward.
     
subego
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:46 PM
 
Back, and to the left.
     
subego
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:46 PM
 
Too soon!
     
reader50
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:48 PM
 
You guys want your posts moved to the right thread?
     
The Final Dakar
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Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
You guys want your posts moved to the right thread?
Who's the a-hole in this situation?
     
subego
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:52 PM
 
Too soon!
     
akent35
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
As for assigning blame... I don't blame him much for bringing the device and trying to use it. I didn't know that it was banned by many major airlines, and I have certainly skirted airplane rules when they annoy me ("Please make sure that all electronic devices are completely turned off during taxi, takeoff and landing." - Nope, I leave them in flight mode, because those bootups take forever, and you just say that to avoid people sitting with a laptop in their knee). Where he goes wrong is when he refuses to remove it when told by staff - at that point, he should have folded, pardon the pun. Pouring water on someone over that transgression is probably even worse, though.
Yeah, I "cheat" sometimes too, regarding the rules (when we flew back on Iceland Air to Seattle, I did not stop watching one of the in-flight movies while the plane was descending. I also sometimes leave my laptop on after the first such announcement about "Please make sure ...", etc.) But, as long as one "cheats" and it does not bother and/or restrict anyone else on the flight, then it's OK. (I know I am considerate of other people, especially on air planes. The space is tight enough! No reason to make things more uncomfortable).

Where the man first went wrong was using the device that subsequently restricted the woman from reclining her seat. It was "possibly" OK, as he (most likely) did not know about the ban. But, as you said, once the airline staff told him to remove it, most likely in a kind way, he needed to remove it. I still wonder, though, if they informed him that such an item is banned from usage. I see no problem in him possessing it (would be difficult, at best for the TSA to "take it" from him, especially considering the FAA's policy about such devices). But, he needs to be aware of any restrictions from using it (hopefully, he'll remember this incident, and behave accordingly the next time.

Finally, as you also stated, the woman throwing water at him is probably worse (although we don't know if he said anything detrimental to her. If he did, then it could be somewhat justified).
( Last edited by akent35; Aug 27, 2014 at 02:18 PM. )
     
Shaddim
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Aug 27, 2014, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Too soon!
Damn you, Executus!
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OAW
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Aug 27, 2014, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
What is a crowded flight? A flight where someone is behind you? What percentage of flights are not crowded? Like 0%?
Pretty much yes ... with the exception being someone behind you in an exit row. I just never recline my seat if someone is seated behind me. It's just not enough space to do so without cramping the other person IMO. I find that when I fly people rarely recline the seat in front of me either. Not because I ask them not too. I just think it's a matter of common courtesy given how the airlines are dead set on restricting leg room to the bare minimum possible.

Now I'm 6' in height. Pretty tall but by no means will I be mistaken for an NBA player. And it is rare that my knees aren't pressed right up against the back of the seat in front of me. Maybe an inch of room on certain planes. The only relief is if I can slide my feet underneath the seat in front of me ... which is not always possible if the overheads are full and you have to put a bag there. Since I don't want someone leaning back on top of my knees I just don't do it to anyone else. Golden Rule and all that jazz.

OAW
     
el chupacabra
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Aug 28, 2014, 12:22 AM
 
Government is the a-hole; for not having a regulation that limits how dangerously close the seats can be to each other. In case of a crash-landing, now days, no one can even get into the position pictured on those safety cards.

But then again people should know what they're getting into when they travel - if they don't like it, don't travel. The flight attendant should have called the lady aside and told her to be patient with the guy and she'll receive a $50 voucher. Standard procedure from there would be to have the police waiting at the gate to detain the man for disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace etc..

If I wanted to save leg room I'd offer person in front of me lunch or drink to not put their seat back.
     
 
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