Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Recline dilemma

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Airlines (Commonwealth Union)_One of premium travel’s defining perks, especially for those lucky enough to be perched in business class, has long been the reclining seat.   It seems however, that lie-flat tech may not be long for this world…

Airlines are beginning to remove lie-flat seats from their business class cabins, partly to combat ever more common incidents of ‘recline rage‘ among passengers.  Instead of opting for non-recline, technology that is somewhat archaic, the shift marks a significant departure from the luxuries associated with pointy-end travel for the past three decades.

Non-reclining seats are not by any means, new to the aviation industry. Quite the opposite, in fact since low-cost carriers have favoured these seats since their inception owing to the reduced maintenance and cost-effectiveness requirements.

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The adoption of such seats in business class however, is an unprecedented phenomenon. Finnair has led the charge with its ‘cocoon-like’ Collins’ Aerospace AirLounge seats, which offer a that provides the space for lie-flat sleep without a recline function.  The seats which measure almost a metre across at their widest point, have so far, been welcomed by the majority of passengers.

The decision to remove lie-flat seats stems partly, from a growing trend of ‘recline-related disputes’ among passengers who are confined to such close quarters, even in business class.   When considering the extended duration of said trips, tensions could quickly rise and even lead to physical confrontations as often-exhausted travellers vie for limited personal space.

Airlines aim to cultivate a more harmonious travel environment by eliminating recline feature altogether.

While the response from passengers has largely been positive — with many appreciating the elimination of the recline dilemma, enjoying a calmer and significantly more predictable flight experience, others have been open about their mourning the loss of the traditional lie-flat luxury, rueing the prioritization of peace as opposed to hard-earned opulence.

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