Yesterday I wrote about my Lufthansa Premium Economy experience. I’ll post a more detailed flight review next week, but want to dredge up the old seat recline debate this morning.
About 30 minutes after takeoff, just as meal service commenced, a disturbance broke out. A passenger became irritated that the man seated in the row ahead of him reclined his seat.
Generous seat recline in Lufthansa Premium Economy is a two-edged sword. While the ability to lean back aids in sleep, when the passenger in front of you also leans back you’ll find the seat uncomfortably close.
Anyway, after exchanging curses the angry passenger summoned a FA with his call button and complained. It happened to be the purser who came over and she handled the situation magnificently.
“Sir, he has a right to recline his seat, as do you.”
But she didn’t stop there.
“But let’s see if we can find a compromise, shall we?”
She asked the man who reclined his seat if he would be willing to raise it just for the meal service. The man agreed. The crisis was averted.
I loved how the purser handled this.
First, she noted that it is your right to recline your seat at any point in the flight. Had this been a nighttime flight rather than 4pm in the afternoon, I would have also skipped the meal service and just tried to sleep.
But she appealed to courtesy to diffuse the situation and leave everyone happy. She did not threaten or demand, she merely suggested. In almost all cases, people respond better to kind persuasion than blunt insistence.
I wholeheartedly reject the notion that one cannot recline during meal service. On the other hand, I always try to avoid this out of courtesy. I also choose the last row of the cabin for a reason.
Had I been the reclining passenger and been confronted or cursed out by the man behind me, I can almost guarantee I would have ignored his request. But had he asked nicely, I would have undoubtedly complied. How about you? Kudos to the Lufthansa Purser for handling the situation well. There were no threats of arrest…