This past week, three incidents of rage over a reclined airline seat brought back vivid memories of an incident we had while returning from Greece in December 2011. It was probably one of the more bizarre incidents of my life.
The flight from Athens was a very early morning one, so once we got in the air, I reclined my seat to sleep. When breakfast was served, the man behind me had the flight attendant ask me to push my seat up. Sure, no sweat. Made sense while he ate. So I pulled it up.
Once the flight attendant picked up our breakfast trash, I reclined my seat again. Suddenly, the man behind me started pounding on my chair. "You B@@@," he screamed. "You lousy B":*&." And he went on and on. I immediately pulled up my seat, shrinking down into it. Don, sitting next to me, was wondering what was happening and he, too, sunk into his seat. The man railed on and on. I said I was sorry, but that did not help. Scream, scream, scream. He had had a large bottle of water on his table and apparently when I leaned my seat back, it spilled. I refrained from saying, "In the States we put our lids on our water."
Eventually, as he went on and on, a woman about three seats up from me, in her beautiful English accent, loudly said, "Be quiet. You are awakening everyone on the plane. She didn't mean to do it. Shut up."
That quieted him down . . . but he silently fumed behind me.
Now nevermind that their child was continually kicking Diana's seat so she could not sleep. And his wife was contributing to the noise by berating me as well. We just took it, which in hindsight appears to have been the right thing to do.
About 45 minutes later, we heard an urping noise behind us. Their son started throwing up. Frankly, Don and I silently smiled - served them right. And when we stood up to exit the row, we did not look at them. It was certainly the most uncomfortable I have been on an airplane in a long time.