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Day-time flights with lights off

I recently flew on Delta, catching a 9:20 am London flight to Atlanta. I was surprised that the lights inside the plane were turned off for most of the flight. I can understand the lights going off on evening flights when many are trying to catch some sleep. But a day-time flight (which made reading difficult). I was wondering whether others have found this practice disconcerting.

Posted by
12609 posts

I just turn on my reading light.

Same here. We've never been able to sleep on a plane and figure as long as we're quiet, we're OK to read.

The one odd instance we'd run into was an overnight transatlantic flight where the attendant made everyone put the window shades down. We'd booked the seats we did so I could have a window as it feels a little less claustrophobic, even when it's dark outside, and I like to look at the stars and lights below. Will admit to being disobedient about that one as it made no sense, and I raised the shade partway again after she moved on. First and only time (so far) we've run into that one.

Posted by
356 posts

So that was the reason all of the window shades were down.

Using the reading lamp was difficult because I was in the middle row of seating and my entertainment monitor, despite repeated attempts to reboot by the attendants, did not work.

Posted by
3848 posts

It reduces the glare on screens, and personally, I think it keeps all of us a little quieter for the flight attendants. ; )

Posted by
12609 posts

It reduces the glare on screens

During the day, yes, but this was on an overnight flight so it was dark soon after they'd finished the evening's meal service.

Posted by
3249 posts

I ran into this transatlantic Delta also. I like to look at Greenland, Labrador etc out the window and resent dirty looks from nearby screen watchers. You can watch a dumb movie anywhere! And I don’t recline. Personally I feel that the window shade is like the chair recline, yours to do as you see fit.

There are all kinds of funky window shade rules now: on Icelandair shades up for takeoff and landing, on Southwest shades down when at jetway. Whatever.

Posted by
2164 posts

I liken it to putting a cover over a bird cage so the bird will go to sleep. As soon as they've fed us they want us all to settle down, though I choose the window going over and like to see what's out there while it's light. I just make do with the overhead light for reading and knitting.

Posted by
12574 posts

me,me,me is a matter of perspective in a world full of eye covers.

let's get even more controversial, how about the guy that dares to recline his seat! ewwwwww!

actually, air travel seems to be at least as comfortable as it was 20 years ago, a lot cheaper and with a lot more comfort options.

The discomfort I read here appears to be the discomfort brought on by intolerance.

I have my preferences and my "rathers" but in the big scheme of things it just ain't worth my effort to get riled over one way or another. When I am perfect maybe my attitude will change and I will adopt a more judgmental attitude, till then I pass out the eye covers and recline at will (between dining sessions) and dream of places yet to be seen.

Posted by
3249 posts

James: after repeated dirty looks at me for having my window shade up during the day, dirty looks through the opening of the recline crack of her seat and the one beside her, the person unreclined her seat to block the offensive light from my window shining on her screen. So a way to fight back against the dreaded seat recliner!

Posted by
1352 posts

This is an interesting discussion and I can see validity to the different points of view. I too like to book window seats so I can look out the window, but I would feel bad if my doing so woke several other passengers who were trying to sleep. I suppose if I really wanted to look out periodically I could hold a jacket or blanket up so the light would not bother other people? I am also a recliner. I try to be polite about it though and don't recline til after a meal service, and do try and recline slowly. I am with the OP though and would think on a daytime flight it would be acceptable to have your window up.

Posted by
356 posts

If I did not make it clear, I was flying west back to the US. I thank all for the responses, though my question generated more heat than I was expecting.

Friends, I did not make a scene because of any discomfort I had reading a book in less than ideal conditions. I had already asked the attendants twice about my entertainment monitor not working, and candidly, I think I am much more considerate than many travelers. I simply found it strange on a day-time flight going west that the cabin would be so dim. Flying east in the evening, I understand. But flying when the time I have adjusted to is 12 noon, not so sure.

Posted by
8954 posts

I've never been on any long distance flight, no matter what time of the day it operates, that doesn't turn down the lights after the meal service (about 2 hours into the flight).

Posted by
12574 posts

Richard, its all good. No problems. Sort of fun to watch people pop their corks. Right now i am sitting in this really lovely little wine bar in Budapest and nothing will ruffle me.... :)

I understand the frustration with the monitor. My technique is to start drinking on take-off and then watch movies until the alcohol induces a sort of semi comatose state. Helps me ignore the people behind me complaining about my seat being reclined. They should deal with it the same way i deal with the seat in front of me being reclined ..... sleep..... (and i am 6'-2" and about 225lbs)

Posted by
1182 posts

I really can’t sleep much on airplanes, at most I nap here and there. A nonfunctional IFE would leave me pretty bored. That’s why my carryon has either a tablet with some movies loaded onto it or a kindle with several books that I haven’t read and some that I can reread. It has a nice adjustable backlight feature so that I can read in a darkened cabin. I find the overhead light a bit harsh when reading for long periods.

My last westbound long haul daytime flight had a darkened cabin too. Fortunately it was on a 787 which has an electronically adjustable sunshade. It works like a pair of adjustable sunglasses. I darkened the window to be unobtrusive to others but I could still see what was going on outside. I managed to get some pics of the glaciers over Iceland or perhaps it was Greenland.

Posted by
12609 posts

This is the problem these days - me me me. Everyone thinks its all
about them and their experience. So one "rebel" without a clue raises
their shade and then 20 people are woken up when the sun streams in in
the morning, another has to admire the view so 5 others cannot watch
movies and are sweating uncomfortably.

OK, Kaeleku, I see I must explain myself further and cover some previous points again.

Our row was only two seats wide, and Husband and I had them both.
I raised the shade only partway during the NIGHT so heaven forbid, no annoying sunshine to bother anyone else.
Also, some planes have no seatback screens so there's not much left to do but use the overhead light and read if one can't sleep unless one has an e-reader (I don't).

I've never complained or shot a dirty look when....
• the 7 year-old across the aisle spent an entire 9+ hour flight in headphones SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS and keeping anyone who WAS able to sleep awake.

• People in front of us fully reclined into our laps for an entire 9+ hour flight. This is in coach, mind you, where there is so much room to begin with. Not.

• Seatmates were Rubenesque enough to overflow well into my seat.

• Child behind kicked my seat during their every waking moment.

• Seatmate sneezed/hacked all over me, my dinner and everything else within range.

• Seatmate was in desperate need of a bath and fresh clothing.

And on it goes. Flying is what it is but don't think doing a bit of reading or looking out the window during the night deserves the "me, me, me" accusation.

Posted by
3249 posts

Glaciers: Greenland continuous up and down both sides, Iceland: one large ice cap or 2.

Reclining: a little overnight recline is acceptable

Dimming: I think OP is refer to lights out, not dimming, although aircraft staff use the terms interchangeably. My experience until Delta transatlantic is that during daytime lights dimmed but not extinguished. And yes to OP, it was disconcerting.

Posted by
356 posts

James, I now know what to do next time.

And flying, especially overseas, is indeed what it is. I try to go with the flow. It had been about four years since I had last been on a west-bound transatlantic flight and was just surprised by the lighting inside the plane. I now know. Both then and now, not a big issue.

Posted by
166 posts

When the person seated in front of you reclines, the only way to get a bit of space is to recline as well...which puts the person behind you in the same predicament. And so it goes....
Am I the only one who will now think of Tom Petty's lyric of "a rebel without a clue" when heading into "the great wide open" on our next trip?? Agree...make the best of whatever situation.

Posted by
116 posts

Why not plan ahead to make your own flight as comfortable as possible? Bring eye covers (inexpensive and sold on this site and available at many other retailers) to block out unwanted light of any source. Bring earplugs (dirt cheap) or noise cancelling headphones (both widely available) to reduce noise.

Passengers 'enjoy' flying each in their own way. I would expect that a person who books a window seat wants to look out the window. It's no more a "me, me, me" on his/her part than it is for the person who wants to deny that paid-for privilege because the sunlight interferes with his/her sleep. "Me, me, me" applies in both directions.

As to things forced on us by the airlines such as insufficient room between seats, we could each do our part by sending written complaints to the airline, the manufacturer (usually Boeing for US jets), the FAA, and especially to our congressman and both senators, each and every time we fly until they get it (may take years).

Posted by
1182 posts

Actually it’s the airline that determines seating type, leg and shoulder room and to a degree overhead bin sizes. That’s partially why it is worthwhile to check a site like seatguru when comparing flights.

Posted by
12574 posts

As to things forced on us by the airlines such as insufficient room
between seats, we could each do our part by sending written complaints
to the airline, the manufacturer (usually Boeing for US jets), the
FAA, and especially to our congressman and both senators, each and
every time we fly until they get it (may take years).

Nothing is "forced" you are free to stay home or purchase a better class of seat. I generally fly economy plus or what ever the equivalent is depending on the airline OR sometimes i choose to put up with less room for a cheaper seat. Either way, no one has forced me to do anything.

Is you congressman going to pay for your seat? Do you want me to subsidize your vacation so you can have a big seat at little seat prices and still have the airline stay in business? Not going to happen. The room or the seat and the cost are a function of supply and demand. If no one bought the tight seats then they would all get bigger, but then the cost would go up too. Vote with your wallet. More comfortable = More expensive. Deal with it.

Posted by
367 posts

I was on a day domestic flight from Oakland to Phoenix and the cabin lights were also turned off. I do know that when the shades are down and lights are off, and one is open on the sun side it causes a major glare, even rows back on the other side.

However, I made the decision that after getting upgraded to business, I do everything I can to save miles to fly business. That way recliners in front don't bother me nor do open shades.

Posted by
5689 posts

My in-flight comfort package includes eye mask, noise-cancelling headphones ($30 from Sony), warm sweater, neck pillow -- once the meal service is over, I put all these on and zone out. So other people's lights on or off, entertainment screens, window shades -- not my problem. (But yes, I am one of those people who CAN sleep on a plane ... Or a train ... Or a bus ... Or a park bench.)

Posted by
332 posts

i always have and always will recline. The chairs are just too straight up and down for me to be comfortable

On a west bound flight back to the states, I will always keep the sun side window shut and likely the other side too. When they shut the cabin lights off and especially when it is a longer flight, it is simply common sense/courtesy to keep the sun side window closed. Back from Iceland it was miserable for most of the plane because 1 lady thought it was a great idea to have some sun.

Posted by
11613 posts

I always pay extra for a bulkhead aisle seat after a Lufthansa flight where the person in front of me stayed fully reclined for 9 hours, including meal service. I never recline more than one notch, but the front section of coach seats usually has more legroom, anyway.

I haven't had a window seat in years, but I like seeing a sliver of world from my seat in basically a flying tin can. A window shade can be lowered or raised just enough to accomplish this without sunlight streaming in. So you go, Kathy! Kaeleku: eyeshades and a glass of wine.

Posted by
3249 posts

These topics expose different points of view but accomplish little else. Unlike VV I think it is common courtesy to not recline.

Note that my dirty look story from above was on the north (shady) side of the plane so no direct sunlight— yet still objectionable.

As a kid I always thought the families that watched TV in the dark were highly suspect, like communists or something.

I suspect the reason for the extinguishing is to lessen demands on crew as mentioned above, lights on and shades up, then there’s no screen glare issue.

How long till shades up people are segregated in a higher priced cabin?

Also: higher priced cabin seats have greater recline angles, so not always a solution to buy up. Seat ahead’s head in your lap can even be worse in higher priced classes.

Posted by
300 posts

During the day, yes, but this was on an overnight flight so it was dark soon after they'd finished the evening's meal service

Well, it was night when you raised the shade, but if you had then fallen asleep with the shade up the FA might later have had to wake you to lower it when the sun rose.

As long as you lowered it before nodding off, no harm no foul.

Posted by
12609 posts

As long as you lowered it before nodding off, no harm no foul.

As I said in my very first post, I am unable to sleep on planes. Same for my husband.

Posted by
3249 posts

that the seats were designed the way they were so

The seats were designed that way in 1950 when there was 40” of legroom so nobody cared. I remember talk of seats that slid forward when reclined to eliminate reducing legroom behind— what happened to that?

Posted by
12574 posts

The plane I was in was considerably newer and the flight attendant was referring to that plane. I've been in the new 787, same story.

The airlines just don't offer the product you want at the rate you wish to pay. Fortunately, even at a bit over 6 foot I fit adequately. The economy plus seat in most airlines will give you 3 to 6 inches more room. Why don't you give that a try. Rarely adds more than $300 to my flight.

Posted by
12609 posts

Rarely adds more than $300 to my flight.

James, $300 is a lot of money for a lot of people.

Honestly, I'm baffled by the petty little first-world problems of a little daylight in an airline cabin. We're just freakin' happy to be going somewhere AT ALL, some discomfort or not, as it was many years before we could afford to do that. Put it into perspective? How many folks would gladly put up with some less-than-comfortable flights just to get to the destination of their dreams?

I've shared rows with some of them, and they were wonderful seat mates as they were just SO excited to finally be going to that place they'd scrimped and saved for for so long.

Posted by
116 posts

James E, I'm glad you have relaxed your tone a little. I didn't think anyone would mistake my comments to mean I wanted a seat subsidy or my congressman to pay for it (although we taxpayers pay for his)! I have paid for Economy Plus type upgrades willingly, but they are not available on all overseas flights, or in the quantity desired when available. I would just prefer if we went back to the seat width and separation that was common on all major carriers when I started flying in the early 1980s, and am willing to pay the reasonable increase in price not to have my neighbor spill over from his seat onto me even when the armrest is down (shoulder to shoulder). I don't feel I should have to pay a four-figure price upgrade to First Class just to have my seat to myself.

Posted by
12574 posts

Relaxed my tone? Thought it was relaxed?. My apologies. As pointed out, this is a silly 1st world problem. I began with a description of drinking myself semi comatose. :-)

I am at worst, amused by the thread. There is a lot of "stuff" I wish, or I would like in life and This ain't nowhere near the top.

I fly home from Budapest in about 3 hours (standard economy). The $300 savings going to Puerto Rico and the other half to the Ukraine war effort. My seat will be fully reclined in 3.6 hours.

Posted by
4953 posts

We all give up certain liberties to live in a society. For example, we accept building codes in order to live in a town where they have fire protection and pick up the garbage. As a thought experiment: Is it appropriate to apply nail polish during an airplane flight? Is "Manspreading" on public transportation rude? Is a woman putting her bag on an unoccupied bar stool so her $500 purse doesn't touch ... eeech .. the floor ... proper behavior?

Having experienced nail polish, from several rows away, I would then ask, is it inappropriate to give up your selfish desire to look at clouds and blue sky (no one has mentioned claustrophobia so far ... ) so that unspecified others can sleep better? Maybe flying is still new and exciting to you. If so, God bless you. To me, it's just transportation, not that different from the subway and public busses I take every day.

Your kids get private back seats in an SUV, with a DVD player in front of them. That's not at all like riding a subway. My parents never owned a car - not because they couldn't afford it, but because we lived in the close quarters of a big city. I'm used to folding my New York Times so that it does not project beyond my two elbows.

Posted by
1352 posts

Oh Tim that brings up my nightmare on a flight - someone putting on copious amounts of perfume before landing! WAY worse than raising a window or reclining (which I believe is reasonable - but hoping I never sit in front of Kaeleku). Perfume can give me a serious headache which will last for hours!

Posted by
6758 posts

It's called a "window seat" for a reason. I see many people on planes who really enjoy looking out the window and, indeed, there is some beautiful scenery to look at.

Posted by
12574 posts

Jill, Kaeleku uses perfume?

The mist perplexing part of this is people's expectations of something that was either not offered by the airline, or not paid for by the passenger. If you purchase a ticket for a reclining seat, use it to the extent permitted by the airline and cabin crew. That generally means not during take off, landing and meal service. But I am all for encouraging Airlines to revise rules and selling other products. Seats too small? Buy up. Speak with your wallet.

interesting:

https://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2017/05/recline-and-fall

Posted by
1352 posts

Interesting article James. I agree the airlines should experiment with selling some rows as non reclining rows. That might make non recliners and recliners both happy:) Until then - I'm with you! My seat was made to recline so I am going to take advantage of that and recline while being courteous about it!

Posted by
12574 posts

From the United Airlines website
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/help/seating.aspx

Can I recline my seat?

Most seats onboard United and United Express flights recline. Seats that have limited recline are noted on the seat map in the booking path and Reservations section of united.com and the United app. If you recline your seat, please recline slowly as a courtesy to the passenger behind you.

Please note: United strictly prohibits the modification or use of any object or device to alter or limit the functionality, permanently or temporarily, of any aircraft structure, seat assembly, tray table, etc. If you see a customer using any such device or object, please inform United personnel immediately.

Posted by
5689 posts

James E, you can sit in front of me anytime -- as long as Kaeleku doesn't sit behind me and protest my similarly-reclined seat. Maybe I should pack Vicks Vaporub to put under my nose to block/override smells.

Posted by
1352 posts

I don't consider reclining or opening my window shade to be "not nice". It's a matter of utilizing a tool that comes with a service that you paid for with your ticket.

Posted by
2755 posts

Certainly seats were made to recline and shades to be moved up and down. However, civility should mean that we see how our decision affects someone else, before making it. If I decide to recline, I will not do it before meal service is well over, and I also check to see how tall the person is behind me. If a tall person is behind me I do not recline. Reclining will add only a minor amount of pleasure to me, but could bring a large amount of pain to the person behind me. Consequently, I consider this before taking an action like this. Manners and civility are important because they make the world a nicer place, and they are severely lacking in society right now. If you need room and don't want to consider other people, buy the expensive seats.

Posted by
11613 posts

Well said, Wray. You can sit in front of me any time I don't spring for the bulkhead seat.

Posted by
12574 posts

I agree. If I was sitting in Economy and there was a 6’-3”, 300 lb guy in a Hawaiian shirt sitting behind me, durian or no durian, I would extend to him the civility of giving him the room. The flight attendants do require the seats up during food service.

Posted by
1352 posts

Wray, I've said in my previous posts that I do try and be considerate of the person behind me, but you made me think. I don't think I've ever actually looked at the person behind me to see how tall they are. I will do so from now on! I have 2 sons - one is 6'7" and the other 6'4". I am close to 6' and I can't remember a time when I have ever resented the person in front of me reclining or felt like it diminished my leg room, but I'm certain it does for my sons. I appreciate your thoughtful post!

Posted by
12574 posts

Jill, I just took 2 flights in economy plus. One on Delta, one on KLM. There was enough legroom for a 6'-3" 275lb guy even with the seat in front reclined.

On one flight there was a gentleman of maybe 6'4" and at least 300lbs. When he sat down his seat back pushed back a few inches under his weight and the lady behind him immediately complained. Then she shouted out "you must be an American" in I think a German accent. He replied, no, Hungarian. Then the lady, sounding a bit disgusted, ask what he ate. He said mostly pork and ignored her the rest of the trip.

Now, if I had been in front of this guy I would not have reclined. But he was courteous enough to have gotten a bulkhead seat so there would be no issue.

Posted by
12574 posts

Jill, I just took 2 flights in economy plus. One on Delta, one on KLM. There was enough legroom for a 6'-3" 275lb guy even with the seat in front reclined.

On one flight there was a gentleman of maybe 6'4" and at least 300lbs. When he sat down his seat back pushed back a few inches under his weight and the lady behind him immediately complained. Then she shouted out "you must be an American" in I think a German accent. He replied, no, Hungarian. Then the lady, sounding a bit disgusted, ask what he ate. He said mostly pork and ignored her the rest of the trip.

Now, if I had been in front of this guy I would not have reclined. But he was courteous enough to have gotten a bulkhead seat so there would be no issue.

Posted by
1352 posts

James, was that guy in premium economy? I have yet to experience premium economy. Our next flight over the pond will be in business class on the way there and bulkhead economy on the way back. I once flew with my eldest and biggest son back to Hawaii (where we were living at the time) from Venice - he was stationed at Aviano AFB. He had been injured in active duty while in the Airforce and had a broken femur. So not only was he 6'7", but with a broken leg toboot! Lufthansa bumped us up into business class so he would be comfortable, but the best United would do from Munich was to put him in a bulkhead seat. We ended up spending an extra 2 hours on the tarmac in addition to the 9 hour flight. He was pretty miserable to say the least!

Posted by
315 posts

I did not know there were "rules" for reclining seats or opening window. Recent flights with Delta and code share KLM. Leg room, seat dimensions and recline of seats had been decreased to an all most unbearable situation. Gentleman behind me had his feet on my foot rest, I kept on kicking his feet back and yet his foot behavior did not change. Considered getting attendant involved but have seen clips where this makes no difference. And, you could be thrown off. KLM flight to the states kept lights on. Eye covers work just fine. More cheese for each meal? Older interior of recent return from FCO. More dimensions in the seat. My seat reclined further but the person behind kept on pushing it forward or was it the lock did not work? Of course the person in front of me reclined and their lock worked! Do not get me started on JFK. Since the spring they have eliminated one line. At least there is one positive. This airport does not have enough passport check employees. $50 for three 5 oz pours of wine. It is vacation. The domestic plane was freezing, Delta decreasing flight time so they do not have to feed you, the staff were a bit too positive. Yes, in review the captain said good-bye at the gate! In the past we had children kicking, screaming and climbing the seats for way to long to be tolerated. Staff and a person in the flying crew did get involved. The men of the family came forward, too. But what got me was the passenger who was not being kicked or climbed on said "really, it is no bother." Not to him!

Posted by
12574 posts

Jill, Yes, Economy Plus or what ever it us that Delta calls it. I'm a pretty big guy and I fit in standard economy on most flights, and while when the guy in front putting his seat back isn't optimum for me, I'm okay with it; especially when I put my seat back as well. So I usually go standard economy on short flights.

The two Economy Plus flights I was on this week (BUD to AMS and AMS to ATL) were way more than adequate. When the guy in front put his seat back it had almost on affect on me. It did move the tv screen a few inches closer which was a good thing. The BUD to AMS upgrade was 20 euro and I believe I paid about 100 euro for the AMS to ATL upgrade. The upgrade also gets you on the plane immediately after First, Business and the precious metals and gemstones. I like that as we generally travel with just carry-on and it helps ensure overhead compartment space. Also, the upgrade seats are close to the front which helps in making connections and getting flight booze. So all around a good value.

I really like KLM and Delta. Good folks. Monday was my Birthday and there was a card signed by the crew at my seat when I boarded. They all came by to congratulate me and brought me desert from first class.

Then I put my seat back, opened the blind and watched the sun setting. naaaaaa

Posted by
332 posts

I can't believe how much whining about the reclining issue there is. I have never once cared that the person in front of me reclined his seat when it is allowed. I'm six foot tall 210 pounds and it has no impact on me when the person in front of me does so.

I'm guessing at least one of the people on here who is most vocal about it isn't affected negatively either but just likes to complain. BAU. I highly doubt she has "the seat into her knees"

The only time I would not do it if there was a huge human behind me. Otherwise that's what it's made for and that person can do the same.

Posted by
332 posts

LOL. Someone stalks boards just waiting to pounce.

You don't know if you travel further flights than I do and you certainly don't know if you travel more often than I do

Posted by
6758 posts

I'm 5'4" and can fit into any seat easily. Sometimes I put my head down on the tray table to sleep (not recommended, but I do it out of desperation and sheer tiredness). Once someone who reclined the seat in one fast move bashed my head and it was really unpleasant, not to mention scaring the crap out of me while I was asleep. If you're going to do something like that, at least turn your head around and look first...then do it slowly. It's called courtesy. Just because doing something has no affect on you doesn't mean it doesn't affect someone else. I would be literally blown away (in disbelief) if someone turned around and asked "would you mind if I....?" I would be fine with it and would appreciate the good will.

http://www.businessinsider.com/airplane-etiquette-rules-2017-2

Posted by
12574 posts

I would be literally blown away (in disbelief) if someone turned
around and asked "would you mind if I....?

Happened to me on Monday on a flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta. Nice gentleman.

If I were a 6'-4" individual (about 2" taller than i really am) and if I didn't fit in economy seats, i wouldn't make my issue someone else's problem. I would get exit seats, bulkhead seats and premium economy seats. With a little advance planning it shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by
745 posts

I hesitate to jump into this morass, BUT for those of us with back trouble, sitting bolt upright for hours can be VERY uncomfortable. So I do recline my seat, but I'm very aware that it intrudes on the space of the person behind me. I try to recline the seat just a touch, just to make it slightly more comfortable for myself, and do it slowly. I never recline it fully and suddenly, as I've had too many inconsiderate people in front of me do. The villains here are the airlines that have made flying such a miserable experience. We're all just trying to get from point A to point B with slightly less pain. Brian Williams actually had the best description of modern air travel: "Hurtling tubes of suffering humanity."

Posted by
1352 posts

I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Some people are better at expressing it than others though and don't have to resort to ugly name calling and nastiness! Most of the responses on this topic have been polite and respectful and some even thought provoking. I think this board should adopt a no grumps policy just like the RS tours:)

Posted by
11613 posts

FYI James, Lufthansa did not ensure upright seats during meal service on my flight last May, even after I asked the flight attendant to intervene for meal service, and the person fully reclined in front of me prevented me from being able to eat on a 9-hour flight.

Posted by
12574 posts

Zoe, that would tick me off too. I would consider being able to eat to be part of the service contract. I use to take United / Lufthansa to Europe (I go 3 times a year) but their service has deteroiated over the years, while their prices have gone up. I switched to Delta / KLM a few years ago and it's been excellent service, comfortable planes and better rates for my particular destination.

My last flight Monday was delayed by about 2 hours. Yesterday Delta sent me a survey asking how they handled the delay. I think they are trying. It wasn't Delta specifically, it was an issue at ATL and Delta handled it fairly well.

I generally only do the upgraded economy on the long haul; but sometimes on the short segments too. At about 6'-2" and 230lbs I can survive the short flights of 2 to 3 hours no matter the recline of the seat in front and on the long haul in the upgraded economy on Delta or KLM a reclined seat in front of me has zero affect on me.

If there is someone behind me that is unusually large who would be severely impacted I generally rough out the flight with the seat up, but that has happened maybe twice in my life time.

I have seen flight attendants move big people to more comfortable seats and I have seen big people ask to move to a seat where their size will not adversely affect the passenger sitting in front of them. When I see that sort of give and take I tend to be very accommodating, When I hear demands I tend to not worry if I snore.

If you have space issues I suggest you do a bit of research and purchase your tickets early.

Book with the code share carrier that has the long haul segment of the trip. That ensures that you can book a particular seat on the long haul flight. Check in at the very moment the flight opens to have the best chance for seat assignments on the code share flights. Occasionally you can call the code share directly and book your seats.

Fly upgraded economy
or Bulkhead
or exit row
or ocassionaly the seat maps will identify other seats with limited recline; pick the seat behind them.
And stick to aisle seats where it will be easier to get on and out.

That list identifies maybe 20% of the seats on the plane where most of us big guys can sit comfortably.

XXOO
The Capatilist

Posted by
12609 posts

did not ensure upright seats during meal service on my flight last
May, even after I asked the flight attendant to intervene for meal
service, and the person fully reclined in front of me prevented me
from being able to eat on a 9-hour flight.

That happened to us too, Zoe! The couple in the seats in front of us fully reclined and went to sleep for the duration. Wasn't on Lufthansa though, and we did manage to eat but it was darn tricky.

Unless the planes has a two-seater outside row, we've started booking aisle seats across from each other to avoid middle/inside seats. As neither of us can sleep, no one has to wake us up to go to the loo, and we don't have to do the same to anyone else.

Posted by
12574 posts

Kathy, I'm pretty forgiving on seats being reclined, but in economy that crosses the line for me too. But it hasnt happened to me yet.

Another good location for seats on the larger flights is the 4 seat center section. When picking seats online I look for a 4 seat row that already has one aisle seat booked, then I book the two seats at the opposite end. So no climbing over anyone and no being climbed over. That leaves a single empty seat in the middle. Most people travel to Europe in pairs and no one wants to be trapped in that seat so it can be left unsold and becomes a place to put things during the flight.

Posted by
1454 posts

The way people behave on planes these days, I think it is a good thing to lower the shades and dim the lights on a long East bound flight.
It hopefully will encourage people to to lower their voices, and sit or walk about quietly.
I just flew home AC Rouge from Venice, and the shades were lowered and the lights dimmed.
It made the long flight much more bearable.
Unlike a long flight last year, when a very big smelly man lay down and put his bare feet on my arm rest, and his head on his very small young daughters' lap at the other end of the row; then snored for the next 3 hours.
I nearly went postal; and normally I am the one asking the person behind me if it's ok to recline my seat.
Behave when you fly, everyone!
At least take a bath and wear deodorant before boarding.
Oh, and keep your socks on too please, and your feet away from strangers.
Rant over.

Posted by
1352 posts

S Jackson, that sounds horrible!!! Did you ask him to move his feet? Try to put your arm on the rest? Try tickling his feet while he slept? I don't think I could tolerate an entire flight like that!

Posted by
12609 posts

Try tickling his feet while he slept?

LOL, Jill, that gets my vote! 👍
James, I'm very tolerant as well but yep, heads practically in our laps during dinner (and everything else) was interesting!

I'm pretty short so the headrests don't hit in the right place; thus I don't recline. Longs legs are welcome behind me, and I'll cheerfully dandle a fussy baby if a tired mom needs a break. :O)

Posted by
12574 posts

That's pretty over the top. I had a young lady use me as a pillow a few years ago. It was a short flight and I survived. I really haven't ever had a situation or experience so bad as to need to complain about it. But I know they happen and my time will come.

Posted by
3175 posts

I recently flew on Delta, catching a 9:20 am London flight to Atlanta.
I was surprised that the lights inside the plane were turned off for
most of the flight. I can understand the lights going off on evening
flights when many are trying to catch some sleep. But a day-time
flight (which made reading difficult). I was wondering whether others
have found this practice disconcerting.

I wouldn't find it disconcerting. For that 9:20 flight, DL recommends arriving at LHR/LGW 3 hours early. So to arrive by 6:20, they might be up at 5am or earlier for all you know. Hence, wanting to sleep is understandable.

I flew DL Wednesday from London to JFK and it was a dark cabin even for a 12:35pm flight. I had a window seat and kept the shade open as I took pictures and also read. If you want the light, opt for a window seat.

Posted by
1454 posts

I didn't do anything about the feet. :O
I had already annoyed his entire family by refusing to give up my long-booked aisle seat, and take one of their middle seats in the row in front, so they could all sit together.
I just put my earplugs in, sprayed some perfume around that I had with me, and put my pashmina over my face and head.
Now I carry a small bottle of perfume with me.
Don't like perfume? should have washed and dressed yourself before boarding, then.