Most Americans are on Team Recliner. Fifty-five percent say it's acceptable airplane etiquette to recline your seat during a daytime flight, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows, while just 24 percent say it's unacceptable. On overnight flights, there's an even stronger consensus, with 78 percent saying reclining is OK, and just 9 percent that it's not.
Just 16 percent said it's acceptable to use a device called the Knee Defender to block the person in the seat ahead of you from reclining, while 65 percent said it was unacceptable. (No word on whether it's acceptable to pour water on the Knee Defender user in retaliation, as a woman on one of the grounded flights did.)
People who said they consider themselves to be frequent fliers also mostly said that seat reclining is acceptable on either a daytime or an overnight flight, and that use of the Knee Defender is unacceptable.
Generally speaking, Americans think not being able to recline their own seat would be a more horrible travel fate than having the seat in front of them reclined. A 43 percent to 34 percent plurality said that not being able to recline their own seat would be the bigger inconvenience of the two on a daytime flight, while a whopping 70 percent to 15 percent majority said that would be the bigger inconvenience on an overnight flight.
Although we didn't ask, we hope everyone can agree that getting upset enough about your legroom to force the plane to land is less acceptable than either.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Aug. 28-29 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.