The etiquette expert reveals the rules for manspreading on airplanes — and when it’s okay to use other people’s space

FIGHTING for legroom on airplanes can often lead to disputes between passengers.

However, there are strict rules that people should abide by in order to make life between them and their fellow travelers at least peaceful.

On airplanes, passengers often fight for legroom


On airplanes, passengers often fight for legroomPhoto credit: Getty

A passenger recently revealed in a thread an argument he had with someone he was sitting next to on a flight on reddit.

He wrote: “I’m tall and I’m never comfortable on airplanes. My knees always dig into the front seat and it can be quite painful.

“I usually try to take a walk around the airport before departures to stretch my legs, but I’m neglecting that at this time.”

The man sat in the middle seat and tried to make himself more comfortable by spreading his legs.

He explained: “I found my left knee shifted sideways to enjoy the sweet relief of open space – particularly the no man’s land between the seats at the level of the shared armrest.

“I wasn’t paying attention to my knee the whole time. I admit it’s possible that at some point I took a seat that rightfully belonged to my window seat neighbor.”

Its spread led to a confrontation with the passenger sitting in the window seat, who summoned a flight attendant and angrily demanded that she intervene.

He continued, “The woman in the window seat called the flight attendant and asked the flight attendant something like, ‘Could you tell him to leave his damn leg in his own damn seat.’

“It was with horror that I understood that she was talking about me. I immediately pulled my leg back in shame.”

The man asked other people if he was wrong in spreading himself into other people’s space during the journey.

One said: “This is a known recurring issue. You KNOW that having more leg room will make you feel better. Stop wasting pennies and pay for an aisle or exit seat. There are options!”

Another added: “I’m tall and I always pay to get an aisle seat. This guy is just an idiot.”

FoxNews went one step further and asked an etiquette expert what the man should have done in this case.

Jacqueline Whitmore told them that everyone should “keep their arms and legs to themselves.

“Seats may be getting smaller by the day, but that doesn’t give you the right to move into someone else’s room or put your head on someone else’s shoulder.”

However, there is one exception to this rule, and that is “unless, of course, you know that person well.”

It’s not just the person next to you who can take up all of your legroom – the passenger in the front seat can also recline their chair into your room.

However, according to aircraft expert Ben Schlappig, it’s hard to complain about anyone doing such a thing.

Ben has flown more than 4,700,000 miles since he was a teenager so he knows a thing or two about airplane etiquette.

In a blog post on One mile at a timehe claimed that reclining a seat is a right for all passengers, regardless of who they are sitting in front of.

He said: “It’s very simple for me. Reclining the seat when functionality is available is a right. After all, the recline button is on your seat, not the seat behind you.”

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A passenger’s laptop was destroyed when the person in front reclined their seat.

A design student drew up plans for double-decker seating arrangements to prevent the seats recline from affecting others.

The man spread his legs into the space on either side of his seat to get more room (stock image)


The man spread his legs into the space on either side of his seat to get more room (stock image)Photo credit: Getty The etiquette expert reveals the rules for manspreading on airplanes — and when it’s okay to use other people’s space

Andrew Schnitker

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