Yesterday, Ellen DeGeneres used her opening monologue to defend seat reclining. Specifically, she defended the American Airlines passenger who filmed the man behind her punching her seat. Her “Recline To One Another” motto is one that we should all live by.
I’m not one who generally looks to celebrities for wisdom, but it is noteworthy that such a high-profile public figure has weighed in on the seat recline debate and sided with the passenger. Here’s what she had to say:
“I can’t believe anybody is taking the man’s side. Because to me, the only only time it’s ever okay to punch someone’s seat is if the seat punches you first. Then I think you can punch the seat back.”
“It’s the first clue you are doing something you shouldn’t be doing is if someone pulls out a phone and starts recording you for evidence. At that point, you know you’re going to be a YouTube star and not the kind where you make $1 million for opening toys.”
“Airlines seats are made to recline. She has a right to recline her chair. And I get it: there’s not a lot of legroom. You’re frustrated. You’re hot because of the beard. But you’re also an adult and you have to act like an adult. You’re on a plane. Don’t pick on her like a third grader punching the back of a seat. I can’t believe anybody would think that’s okay.”
She concludes with a twist on her signature “Be kind to one another” quote, modifying it to “recline to one another.”
It’s important this issue has been raised across more mainstream media outlets this week because there is still a silly misnomer that your seat recline button is a decoration. It is not: it is indeed meant to be used. Once expectations are correctly managed, less air rage will result.