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reclineDo you recline your airplane seat at will — crushing the knees, electronics and spirit of the person behind you?

Or do you complain about the people who recline their seats?

As it turns out, there’s a good chance you do both! A new study released today by Expedia, ranking the most egregious airplane etiquette violations, says that 35 percent of Americans have experienced “major discomfort” on an airplane thanks to the person in front of them reclining their seat, and 42 percent of respondents would like to see reclining seats banned or at least restricted.

However, even with those complaints, a full 80 percent of respondents to the Expedia survey say they have reclined their seats.

It’s even worse than that. The Bellevue-based company explains in a summary of its findings: “Seventeen percent of Americans admitted that they would recline their seats even if the passenger behind them was noticeably pregnant; 23% would do so if the passenger was elderly or frail; while 36% would do so even if the passenger was particularly tall. Forty-five percent of Americans give no warning when reclining, while 22% do warn their neighbors (but do not ask permission) and 33% ask permission.”

But seat reclining — a.k.a. the “Seat-back Guy” — actually isn’t the worst airplane passenger offense, according to the survey. Here is Expedia’s full 2013 list of “Most Annoying / Offensive Airplane Etiquette Violators.”

Just wait until they let us talk on our phones!

  1. Inattentive Parents: 41%
  2. Rear Seat Kicker: 38%
  3. The Aromatic Passenger: 28%
  4. The Boozer: 26%
  5. Chatty Cathy: 23%
  6. Audio Insensitive: 19%
  7. Seat-back Guy: 13%
  8. Carry-on Baggage Offenders: 13%
  9. The Back-Seat Grabber: 12%
  10. The Queue Jumper: 12%
  11. The Armrest Hog: 11%
  12. Mad Bladder*: 11%
  13. Pungent Food Eaters: 9%
  14. The Mad Dasher**: 9%
  15. The Amorous: 9%:
  16.  Overhead Bin Inconsiderate: 9%
  17. The Undresser: 9%
  18.  The Pre-Boarder***: 6%
  19. The Seat Switcher: 5%

* “Mad Bladder” refers to the window-seat passenger who makes frequent bathroom visits. 

** “The Mad Dasher” is the passenger who jumps up the moment the plane reaches the gate, leaning on the chair-back in front of him while waiting anxiously for the plane door to open.

*** “The Pre-Boarder” is one who boards before his assigned zone or row is called.

Brownpau photo via Flickr.

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