Passengers’ fight sparks major debate about reclining plane seats

An intense 12-second clip has reignited a fierce debate about whether it is acceptable to recline your seat on a plane.

In the video posted to social media two passengers can be seen in a heated argument upon landing after a frustrated woman claimed another passenger had pushed her seat the entire flight.

“The whole trip she pushed my seat,” the fed-up American woman told a male passenger in the row behind. “You seen it. You know she did.”

Rising from her seat, the woman yelled repeatedly: “I’m allowed to put my seat back.”

The video, which is understood to have originally been posted on TikTok and re-emerged on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday, has been viewed more than 8 million times.

Ian Miles Cheong, who posted the video to the platform, wrote: “She’s allowed to put her seat back. You don’t get to kick it repeatedly just because you want more space.”

Many praised the woman for standing her ground.

“If the seat is reclinable, recline it,” one person wrote.

“You are allowed! Period! You want space in front of you instead of pushing the seat, buy a seat with extra space or get your ass to business class. Reclining was put there for a reason,” another said. That traveller added: “She was patient enough to wait till flight landed”.

But others claimed there was an unwritten rule that you should not recline your seat, especially on a short-haul flight.

Some travellers blamed the airlines and said they should scrap the ability to recline altogether.

“Putting your seat back in coach is an unspoken thing most people don’t do. It’s really the airline’s fault because they’ve made coach so cramped and tight that putting the seat back shouldn’t even be an option,” one person wrote.

“I’m noticing everyone has their own rule about what’s allowed when it comes to the seat reclining. They should really just do away with it. The extra inch of space is insulting.

The polite thing to do would be to ask the person behind you if it’s OK, but ew to that,” stated another.

“Really it’s the airline’s fault for cramming so many people in such a small space. They don’t call it cattle class for nothing,” a third pointed out.

“Airline seats simply shouldn’t be able to recline. It intrudes on the already very little space a person has on the plane for the person behind them,” a fourth penned.

It is certainly not the first time an argument over reclining plane seats has prompted a passionate debate on social media.

In August, a passenger on a 12-hour flight refused to let the woman in front of her recline her seat — telling her to “respect the person behind you”.

Last year, another woman went viral after she told the Fitzy & Wippa radio show she finds the move “inconsiderate” and immediately exacts revenge by facing all the vents in her fellow passenger’s direction.


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