So I am currently in sunny Florida for the holidays, but the weather is not exactly the heat we were looking for. It is certainly warmer than NYC, which is great and we can get some sun while outside whether reading or boating so all is well.
I did want to catalogue my adventurous flight down here since it was an experience like no other…
The flight was packed leaving Newark. There were no available seats and many families were spread throughout the plane. My request to move into an exit row was unable to be met as there were simply no additional options, which would have been fine if I have been sitting behind a civil person. When I walked back to my seat during boarding, the man in front of me was already reclined to the max reading his New York Post. Under normal circumstances in coach, my knees touch the seat back, if someone reclines, I must quickly become creative and find a way to angle myself to avoid being hurt. Since having the seat back is not allowed at this time and also makes things that much more troublesome to get situated, I politely requested that the guy adjust the seatback. He did and I thought great, we can all be pseudo-comfortable. Since I know what it is like to be crushed I never move my seat back unless there is no one sitting behind me.
Soon after take-off the plane reached cruising speed and altitude, and the guys seat came slamming back on my knee. My gut reaction was to forcefully readjust the seat (a bit harsh yes, but then it did hurt when it came back on me). He turned to confront me and I (admitadly a bit harsh again) sugested he was crushing me and what did he expect. Soon enough I found out as once again slammed the seat backwards towards me. This time though I was prepared to block, which I did and I was able to keep my leg in place to prevent further harm from coming my way. The man actually lost control at this point.
He actually started to thrash himself into the seat in order to drive it past my block and into my leg, but since I had leverage on my side this was impossible for him. He tried quite a few times like a child might to really thrash about into the seat until he realized this was not going to work out. He then called the flight attendant to complain like a little baby. Friendly service from Continental informed me that it was in fact the passenger’s right to recline regardless of the discomfort or pain caused to other passengers. I did my best to convey an emotionless case but the attendant claimed the guy was in the right.
It was at this time that the man who had been sitting next to me called to me from across the aisle and said I could have his seat as he was going to stay in the new one with one of his kids sitting on his lap. I was saved and relieved to be out of harm’s way.
I realize I also acted irrationally perhaps… but I just (still) can not believe the lack of consideration shown by the other passenger. Fortunately I was rescued by a generous citizen.