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Pilot forced to put seatbelt sign on after angry passenger punches at man’s seat for reclining

Pilot forced to put seatbelt sign on after angry passenger punches at man’s seat for reclining

Things kicked off on the flight from Havana to Madrid

It's a rivalry which has become the stuff of legends in air travel.

In the beginning, there was the reclining seat. Finally the airline passenger could achieve the comfort of being able to slightly lean back, and it was good. But the passenger behind grew weary and squashed by the reclining seat, although, he did explain that this was not actually fair because he had paid for extra legroom.

To recline or not to recline, that is the question.

So it's gone on for years, but now one passenger on a flight from Havana to Madrid has taken things to another level entirely.

It's certainly an annoyance, especially if like me you're a bit on the taller side and get squashed into planes like bread in a loaf tin or fish in a can.

The polite thing to do is of course to remonstrate with the passenger in front and ask them if they can un-recline their seat. Of course that might not work.

However, one frustrated passenger has bypassed the negotiation stage altogether and instead opted for a more direct, if passive aggressive, option.

The passenger simply started repeatedly punching the back of the seat. This caused uproar on the plane as other passengers got involved.

Josh witnessed the incident, and told Stuff NZ: "Before the drinks trolley had left the galley, a tatted-up 20-something Spaniard reclined his seat. Just as many other passengers did.

"The response of the French passenger behind was as if somebody had spat in his croissant."

Things only got more heated.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Josh continued: "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! He thudded on the back of the seat, like a petulant toddler unhappy with bedtime.

"It led to fellow passengers standing up and weighing in on the matter. All in Spanish and French of course, with much lost in translation and general anger."

In the end, the multilingual furore got so bad that the pilot had to turn on the seatbelt sign to get everyone back in their seats.

Josh came down on the side of the reclining person, pointing out that if there is a reclining option on the seat then people have a right to recline.

I must say, as someone with long legs I am inclined to disagree. You might have the right to do so, but that doesn't mean you should if someone behind will get squashed. And simply passing on the recline doesn't exactly solve the problem either.

It all seems symptomatic of putting oneself before others, and flying is unpleasant enough as it is.

The main solution really would be to just get rid of the reclining option on the seats altogether. Clearly we can't be trusted with this power.

Featured Image Credit: Jose A. Bernat Bacete / japatino / Getty Images

Topics: News, UK News, World News, Travel