economy class seating my ass...

I am told by the agent I use to book flights that I can’t actually reserve an exit row seat, because the airline staff needs to see me in person to ensure that I am physically capable of performing exit row duties in the event of an emergency. Fine. I show up to the airport two hours early to make sure I get an exit row seat, only the originally scheduled flight has been replaced with one which doesn’t originate here, but rather uses my beloved airport as a stopover. Exit rows - full, row 1 - full, aisle seats - full. Damn. I get assigned a middle seat at the back of the plane, and as I walk toward the back I see, sitting comfortably in the exit row, a woman who must be at least 75 years of age, and who is all of five-foot-nothing, stretched out in her seat. Getting to my seat (after what seemed like at least a 20 minute walk), I cram myself in, only I am physically unable to fit in the economy class (so named because midget class just doesn’t sound PC enough) seat, even with the seat ahead of me fully upright. I don’t have much choice given how full the flight is, so I sort of twist sideways and stick my legs in front of the seat next to me and partially into the aisle. Enter the woman who owns the aisle seat - and she isn’t having it - she stops arguing when she realizes that there is nowhere for my legs to actually go, so she calls the attendant to remedy this injustice. The attendant was nice enough, and actually tried to see if the living dead in the exit row would be willing to exchange seats, but to no avail. Apparently they cannot bump anyone, nor can they refuse to assign the seat to someone that wants it (on a first come, first served basis), regardless of their height. I finally negotiate some sort of compromise by pulling my knees up enough to stack one upon the other, and lay my legs in front of the woman next to me, but with enough room that she could also fit, albeit sticking into the aisle a bit. So there I am, sitting in a contorted position that I wouldn’t even want to assume for the sake of sex, feeling my limbs go numb and wondering if we’ll be graced by a two hundred mile per hour tail wind, when at that very moment, the person in the seat ahead of me decides to fully recline their seat.

As the pain courses through my body, the only thought going through my head that was not a string of cuss words was to wonder how much it would cost me to take extra time off work to take the bus from now on. I don’t know how the airlines determine the seating spacing they use, but I propose a legal requirement for the designers to make several eighteen hour flights in those seats to test their decisions. Economy class seating my ass - I swear it is all part of some big sociological experiment to determine exactly how much abuse we can endure before revolting.


Perhaps if you require this much room, you should consider flying first class.

If he was a business flyer, his company may not consider that a legitimate expense.

That being said, my husband is 6’4" and finds that when he sits in coach, the person in front of him cannot recline their seat or else his knees get injured as well.

I feel your pain, Fuji Kitakyusho I’m 6’3’’ and the coach seats just don’t work all that well. Between the headrest jamming into my shoulders or extreme pain if the person in front of me reclines, it’s a wonder i still travel. In a few years, when i’m rich (hey, i can dream), first class will just seem that much better.


Ooh! I want to vent.
Once, I was getting a migraine on a transpacific flight. I had already been having a horrible time, as they forgot our meals in the back 3 rows. By the time we rang the stewardess, all that they could scrounge was a vegan meal, and it was nasty. Also, the 93 year old man behind me was in danger of dying and there had been a continual parade of family and staff to help him. Every look in on him required someone to grab the back of my seat and lean, jarring me considerably. Anyway, someday I hope to be 93, so it was not that bad.
I layed my head in my husbands lap, desperatly trying to fall asleep in advance of the impending migraine. The bitch in front of me leaned her seat all the way back, with force, smashing my head with the tray table. I yelled very loudly in shock, and started bawling. It hurt very much and the inside of my head already hurt. Bitch didn’t even say anything. I ended up confronting her in the airport, right in front of customs. It wasn’t terribly satisfying, but I made a huge scene.

Huh? How does this work? I’ve never, on any flight, seen a tray table that’s attached to the seatback. The tray tables are mounted to arms that connect down at the back of the seat bottom. It would be utter foolishness to attach the table to a movable object. Drinks, meals and laptops would be flying everywhere.

I don’t know why you would confront the person sitting in front of you. Being that they are sitting in FRONT of you, how could she possibly know that reclining her chair would bump your head?

Most planes Ive been on have the tray attached to the back of the seat ahead. Nobody ever reclines the seat because theres not enough room anyway.

I have a set of first class 747 seats sitting in my living room here…they have the trays in the armrests. My kid loves it for doing homework.

I’m 6’6" and I can only sit on the exit row. I ask the attendants if I can pre-board along with the children and disabled. and they usually let me rather than have to make someone move later.

Most? Try every plane I’ve ever been on. I’ve heard of these legendary tray tables that aren’t attached to the back of the seat ahead, but I’ve never seen one. Perhaps UncleBeer doesn’t fly coach much, or only overseas or something.

I’m 6’2", and used to fly virtually every workday. It was absolute hell.

No the tray isn’t exactly attached to the seat back, but it’s affected when the seat gets moved back, if it’s done abruptly. When the seat is actualy launched back, yeah every thing on the tray jostles and the increase in angle can cause the seat to hit the stuff on the tray.

Sounds like Apricot’s tray wasn’t all the way down and the seat movement made it fall.

I always look behind me before I recline my seat. It seems like simple courtesy, as a little warning will allow the person to hold their items steady as the seat reclines. The tray tables are always attached to the seats on the airlines I fly (many different ones).
I confronted her not because she smashed my head, but because she didn’t respond when I screamed. It’s a little rude not to respond when someone 6 inches behind your head yells, “STOP!” It would have been nice to have her lean forward a little so I could get my head out. Instead, my husband had to force her seatback forward so I could get my head out. She was one of those people who leans forward, then swings backwards with force to push the seat down. It was an unneccesary amount of force on a crowded airline.

The tray was all the way up and locked. She hit my head with the back of her seat, which happened to be armored in a plastic tray.

No, I’ve never flown anything but coach and inside the U.S. only. And while people in front of me have reclined their seats, I can’t ever recall my tray table shifting position when they do so.

I have to agree. Airlines are despicable. They’re like flying cattle cars, where they simply stuff a bunch of people in and move them from point A to point B.

Economy class is made for vertically challenged people, midgets, pygmies, dwarves, hobbits, small children and old ladies.

Airlines discriminate against anybody who is over 6’.

Not everybody who is tall is some basketball star with a multimillion dollar salary, who can simply afford to spend many times the price of a normal ticket just to buy first class seating.

Fuck the airlines and their discriminatory practices. I’m tired of getting leg cramps every damn time I fly. If I am ever rude when flying, it’s because the airlines are inflicting severe pain on me and my legs, with their medievel torture practices.

So, simply put. Fuck the airlines and their midget favoritsm practices.

How about an airline for tall people ? I’d pay %10 more, for a bit more legspace.

You’re a lucky man then, UncleBeer. I’ve had my tray table jostled by the person in front of me many a time, with a quick grab needed to keep my drink from sloshing. Most of the time my problem has been with folks who don’t grasp the simple concept and courtesy of not reclining while someone is eating. More than once I have (or a helpful flight attendant has) been obliged to tap people on the shoulder and point out that it’s physically impossible for me to eat without swinging my fork into the aisle if their seat is tilted all the way back.

I’m only 5’7", but I’ve also felt the pain of someone crashing into my knees when they’ve leaned back too hard. I would love to know what size people the airlines had in mind when they came up with the seating plan for coach.

Daisy Cutter, nobody forces you to fly. The airlines offer a service and if you don’t like it you can stay home. You do not get to dictate how the airline operates unless you own it. Please do us a favor and start your own airline which will offer 50% more space at 10% more cost to the passenger. I will fly with your airline.

By the way, I saw a politician who was offering “two women for every man and two men for every woman”. I’d vote for him too.

So quitcherbitchen, and fly American Airlines, where they actually do provide more legroom in coach.

Oh, sailor, that’s a load of crap.

Nobody’s talking about offering 50% more space for a 10% price increase. A few inches more would be sufficient. I’m not asking for flat beds on a flight for the same price as economy, I’m simply asking for a NORMAL seat where a NORMAL person, such as myself (as opposed to a midget), will be able to comfortably sit, without enduring great pain and discomfort.

What percentage of the American population is over 6’ ?

Why do we accomodate some people with special needs ? (Handicapped etc., while completely ignoring another much larger group of people)

By using your logic, I could say handicapped people do not need special parking places. Nobody is forcing them to drive anywhere.

What shitty airlines are you flying? I’ve flown ATA, Northwest, Delta, American, United, and Southwest, and I’ve never had anything more than (very) minor comfort issues. I’m 6’2" and I always fly coach. My tray tables have never had problems. And Early Out is right. American isn’t kidding when they claim more legroom.