Travel news

Would you pay to recline your seat on a flight?

One study says it will PREVENT arguments on the plane...

By Amber Elias
Flying can be a complete pain in the butt (literally), whether you're travelling long-haul or domestic. But there is nothing more satisfying than reclining your seat and settling down for a movie. Well, until the person in front of you does the same thing.
But would you go as far as paying the person in the row in front of you not to recline their chair? Or indeed pay to recline your own seat?
A study in the US says that you should give and receive payments for the privilege and sorry, nope, we ain't buying it.
Anyone who travels to and from Australia knows that reclining your seat on an international flight is a blessing not to be messed with.
hol56wxuWmRrO.gifPowered by GIPHY
This hotly contested issue was the subject of a study by New York-based law professors Christopher Buccafusco and Christopher Jon Sprigman, who proposed that a monetary fee would reduce arguments between passengers over reclining theirs seats.
The pair discovered that people would demand on average $18USD (about $25AUD) to stop the person in front reclining their seat, and claimed this bargaining could even be done through the purchasing of on-flight snacks.
When they asked if passengers would be willing to accept a snack or drink in exchange for not reclining, the study found that 78 per cent of the people in front were willing to accept it, with 36 per cent of the people behind willing to make the offer.
A good flyer knows not to recline during meal service, and you can inwardly roll your eyes at a person who kicks back between Sydney and Melbourne, but passengers have to draw the line somewhere, right?!
This idea of charging people for what seems like your right to recline your seat continues the trend of airlines adding fees to previously free services (like checking in your bag or in-flight food).
Not only does it add extra costs to flying, it unfairly targets budget travellers. If anything, we think this could add to friction between fellow passengers.
The fear that airlines will start charging you to recline your seat is gaining momentum, so let's hope our Aussie carriers don't stoop so low as to takeaway this little luxury in economy.