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The Great ‘Airplane Recline Debate’ Is Raging Again


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Anyone who’s ever been on a plane — even if it was only once — has a stance on the great “Airplane Recline Debate.” Imagine, if you will, that you’ve just spent an entire day basking on the parched white sand of one of the world’s most epic secret beaches. You surfed. You swam. You got drunk way too early in the day. Now you’ve boarded your plane, exhausted beyond all belief, and you feel the prospect of sleep looming. You know that if you can just recline your seat you’d knock out and sleep through both meals services.

Only to discover that Shaq is sitting directly behind you. And the big fella doesn’t take kindly to strangers in his lap.

Forget asking why Shaq isn’t riding first class, you have a decision to make: do you recline, crushing Shaq’s knees and spending the majority of the flight with an angry Shaq looming over you like a dentist? Or do you opt for courtesy, deferring to the NBA legend by sitting upright all flight?

Travel writer Natalie B. Compton took to Twitter yesterday asking where her fellow travelers on Twitter stood on the matter and we have to say we’re a little shocked. Not that the topic remains as divisive as ever, that’s to be expected, but that so many people could have such a wide range of opinions on what seems like a simple question.

A glance at Compton’s mentions reveals a range of different personality types at play here.

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