Being tall has it’s benefits, and there are many: seeing above people’s heads in the movies/theater, being able to keep your head about the crowds in the subway, reaching items high on a shelf, and having the one-up in physical activities. Many of these items I take for granted. There is, however, one area where height has it’s downsides and nothing is taken for granted. Commercial airliners. A recent article , The Recline and Fall of Western Civilization, debates the necessity for reclining seats in modern aircraft.

Blaming the battle on recliners vs non-recliners ignores the larger problem. From the article,

The problem isn’t with passengers, though the evidence demonstrates that many passengers are little better than sociopaths acting only for their own good. The problem is with the plane. In a closed system in which just one recliner out of 200 passengers can ruin it for dozens of people, it is too much to expect that everyone will act in the interest of the common good. People recline their seats because their seats recline. But why on earth do seats recline? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if seats simply didn’t?

I think, first, we all have to come to the same consensus about flying and how the airlines treat their customers. Me…

We are on this airplane for this variable amount of time and this distance and during this time we will need to be cordial, even polite to one another because the airline companies maximized their profits by using the space available in their cabin to pack as densely as possible the most amount of passengers we will tolerate on the plane. Basically, we are a commodity to be passed around. Think of it like a piece of fruit being shipped around the country.

And so, it’s not reasonable to assume reclining your seat and thereby taking the very limited space we have on a airplane, isnt going to cause some sort of conflict. And given this conflict will take place in a confined space, can we just forgo reclining for the betterment of our humanity? Add to this being tall and I can’t help but make your flight miserable if you decide to recline. Let me give you some facts. At six feet two inches, I take up nearly the entirety of the coach class seat. My knees mash directly into the seat back when I’m relaxed. My head nearly hits the overhead when I’m seated and the width of my shoulders overhangs into the adjacent sent. If I need to get up and you’re reclined, I will use your seat as a push-up. If you recline and I’m in an aisle, I will move my legs around into your seat area. I’m not an overly large guy nor overweight. I’m tall, the airplanes are not made for me. I do my best to keep my parts and pieces to myself. I can only ask that my fellow passengers accept our fate as commodities for the airline companies and forgo reclining their seat.