Thursday, December 09, 2010
Overheard on Upright and locked


COMMENT OF THE DAY: "I like to recline my seat while refusing to allow the passenger in front of me to recline theirs. :D" --in9deep


Gotta love those cramped airline seats. commenters had lots of opinions about reclining chairs in front of them. Many of the responses we got were either supportive of reclining or tinted with rage. Even those who were on the fence about the recliners seemed passionate about their neutrality. Set your tray table in the upright and locked position, buckle your safety belt and grab your share of a one-armed armrest as you check out the responses we got to this and other stories on today:


Air rage: Is reclining your seat a right?


Some of our commenters said being tall is the pits when someone reclines in front of you, while others noted they take things into their own hands. northchi wrote, "If you can recline your seat without hitting my legs, feel free. If you do hit my legs, I will absolutely resist letting you go further. If you force the issue and keep pressing, I will publicly humiliate you. It's not like I can pack my legs in the overhead bins." krismcm said, "I have found that it's easy to push the seat to its upright position as soon as the offending person in front of me leans forward or gets up out of their seat for a bathroom break." redsleek said it's not just an issue of mere comfort: "I have to recline so I don't get sick flying. I can barely hold when the plane is taking off or landing. I am OK with the passenger in front of me reclining all the way if he is trying to sleep. That's his or her right, and I have mine." Displacedmic said, "You paid for that ticket, you get that seat. You paid for those five inches the seat reclines. if the person behind you doesn't like it, they should have flown first class."


Tuppencecat bemoaned the life of short people: "The top of the seat is terrible for us short travelers. While it cradles the neck of average to taller passengers, it pushes my head way forward. If I can't recline even a little bit, by the time the flight lands, I'm hurting terribly." krismcm responded, "Well, I have to apologize to Tuppencecat. I had no idea that the seats could be uncomfortable for a 5-foot-tall person. I will have greater patience for my fellow passengers, but only for the considerably shorter ones!" Some passengers called for the removal of the reclining feature. harleypadre said if we do that, "the rest of those marginal travelers will take the bus. We need high-speed rail and to let the airlines die." RevSchaeffer was skeptical, and drew a line instead. "So now we're suggesting that it's the responsibility of the airlines to prevent us from acting like insensitive boors? You paid for your seat and you are perfectly welcome to recline. However, I paid for my seat too. Your right to recline ends where my knees begin."


DREAM Act in danger after Senate Dems pull it from consideration


CNN has seen a huge response to our coverage of the DREAM Act, a bill which was designed to offer a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children. Senate Democrats conceded Thursday they don't have the votes to pass the DREAM Act, and voted to pull the the measure from consideration. The move jeopardizes the chances for passing the hotly contested bill during the current lame-duck session of Congress that ends in early January.


Slerouge asked, "Who is going to pay for their college education? How many of theses kids will go to college on the U.S. taxpayers, so that they won't be deported? I'm all for the military service part." We heard from lots of commenters who thought the DREAM Act is unsustainable. We also heard from many people in support of it, including illegal immigrants themselves. MrDeuces wrote, "As an employer, if an immigrant student is smarter than your kid, has worked harder in school than your kid, in lieu of just learning the language, and is more qualified to enter college than your kid, well then I want the immigrant student in my college or job. Put them on a path to citizenship and watch them succeed much greater than your kid would have." RobLambert said, "I'm a liberal and I think the Dream Act is a nightmare for working class students (who will be denied college because of millions more applying) and it's a nightmare for taxpayers who fund state colleges and subsidize tuition, and it's a nightmare for workers because more competition comes from them and their families for the few jobs available." usbullitt said, "I hope it goes down in flames along with all who sponsored it. We are up to our ears in illegals as it is and can't afford the welfare burdens they create; why make it worse?"


Personal stories came in, like this response to MrDeuces from sisco09, who wrote, "I was the valedictorian of my high school. I was also an illegal immigrant, at the time. I was brought to the United States, from Mexico, at the age of one. I learned English before I did Spanish, my 'home' country's native language. I excelled academically and was offered numerous full-rides to various universities. However, unfortunately, my lack of a Social Security number inhibited my right to accept one of these offers. Long story short, I worked harder than most of my American citizen counterparts and was denied the right to contribute to the country I feel is my home simply because I was undocumented. It was not the government's fault that my parents decided to overstay their visas, however, it was also not my fault that my parents decided to overstay their visas. If all I wanted to do was help my country prosper and grow, why would anyone deny me this opportunity? I am currently a medical student with a permanent residency attained after years of struggling and frustration. These students want to contribute to this great country. Don't deny them, and yourselves, this contribution."


Senate Republicans opposed the DREAM Act as they stood by their pledge to block any legislation during the lame-duck session until the chamber approves bills to extend the Bush tax cuts and fund the government. CNN's story, "House Democrats defy Obama on tax cut," also got a huge reaction with about 4,000 comments at the time this post was written.


Man finds extreme healing eating parasitic worms


Finally, we got some very interesting responses to a story about a man who journeyed to Thailand to infest himself with worms in the hopes of curing his ulcerative colitis. The disease gave him bloody bowel movements. For the most part, commenters were supportive, while a few questioned the treatments. We also saw some personal stories.


bankerssilve wrote, "Bravo! This guy is amazing! He saw that looking back was where his cure was, not forward. We all need to step back, get back to basics. Gut trouble is so awful to have to deal with." Samseed wrote, "I have Crohn's Disease, and I have heard about using worms as a treatment over the years. I am open to the idea. Hopefully more research is done before I get to the point of surgery, colostomy bags and the high-priced meds like Remicade. I have met alot of people over the last 10 years who have Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's, We are desperate for a working, long-lasting, effective treatment, without the horrible side effects and cost of current treatment options. I would REALLY like to know what it is that these worms are doing that is helping some patients. This disease is hell." tinkerdental said, "Gross, yet it worked for him, congrats! And hats off too you for following what was good for you as you felt and not all the doctors who said no. Wish you the best. You're a very brave man."


YOUR TURN: Now that you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views align with theirs? Think of this as a wishing well in need of your 2 cents. Post a comment below or sound off on video.


Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

December 9, 2010
Click to view gidiupp's profile

why do Americans always find something to whine about..

December 9, 2010
Click to view givemeaname's profile

It is not the cargos fault, I mean people, it is the is airlines fault for cramming in too many seats.  As one that has a funky back I need to lean back, that or they can give me some free booze to kill my back pain, at lease I am short & never fly.  It has been about 14 year since I have been on a plane & that was business class, trains are the best when you can.

December 9, 2010
Click to view burnstribe's profile

i would just ask that people recline their seats slowly and not just hammer them back - often my laptop screen gets jammed between the seat and the table and i've had the casing around the screen on my laptop crack from it. Just a bit of respect goes a long way.

December 9, 2010
Click to view karlakatz's profile

If I get stuck in coach, I always make sure to inform the person sitting behind me that I'd like to recline my seat a bit, to ease my back.  A little consideration always seems to do the trick.

December 9, 2010
Click to view Jefe23's profile

I don't know how anyone could possibly complain about seat reclining.  People pay for a cramped, reclining seat on a plane.  Since I am not rich enough to fly first class, I know that, by reclining my seat all the way, I can at least achieve a comfort level of a 1.5 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being a straight-jacket, 10 being a metric ton of cotton balls.)

December 9, 2010
Click to view drchip's profile

Hahah That picture is awesome!  It looks like that twit in the front is about to get his butt kicked!  :)  GREAT ARTICLE about something that we always think but never read about! 

December 9, 2010
Click to view moralwelfare's profile

I paid for a round trip ticket for myself and my daughter.  My daughter did not return back with me and had to purchase a one way ticket on a later flight.  The seat next to me wasn't vacant.  I complained that I paid for it, but they stated that I purchased a ticket and not a seat??? Since the ticket was under my daughter's name and she didn't check-in that they had the right give it up.  I feel that it was on my credit card and I could prove it was my daughter that I should be given a free seat and even be provided an additional meal if I wanted . . . after all I PAID FOR IT.

December 10, 2010
Click to view yikes1's profile



  We have the airlines, who are sucking money with these unfortunate seat configurations. Then we have the passengers, many of whom could suck cheeseburgers through a straw. Bad combo.

December 10, 2010
Click to view UserM1's profile

Cathay now has seats which kinda slide without reclining. A reasonable compromise. I took part in a focus group for an airline, recently. All the women in the group said they loved reclining seats, while all the men complained bitterly about them. Seems the defining factor was size. Being smaller, the women had no issues with fitting in or squeezing out, and they seemed really surprised by the strength of opposition from the men.

December 10, 2010
Click to view animaguskatt's profile

I wish seats reclined more than they do. They used to back in the day, but now the seats are so upright that I have to recline the seat and stuff a sweater at the small of my back just to be quasi-comfortable.


Fortunately I'm a small-ish female, so my 118 lbs only feels kinda cramped in today's small airline seats. I don't know how tall people or larger people can stand it. Or even average-sized people, for that matter. At the very least I do try to recline my seat slowly, just in case the person behind me is rummaging in their carry-on bag or has a drink or laptop on their tray table. I've been smacked in the head by reclining passengers more than ones whilst digging around in my carry-on!

December 10, 2010
Click to view madlock's profile

The fact that people are so juvenile as to not be able to resolve individual matters of social conduct without becoming something an organization would purport to pass-off as "news" shows just how low society has sunk.


We've held ourselves up to be too genteel for Darwinism - so we're now overrun by nimrods.  Reclining is like farting.  It's not any kind of right - anybody CAN do it, but whether they should is another matter.  Not only are most people incapable of the simple courtesy required to offer a simple "heads up" to avoid spilled drinks or cracked laptop screens, they can't seem to distinguish telling from asking - and default to the role of victimized grievance junkie denied of their God-given right to lay flat on an airplane.


You want to recline your seat into my lap without warning or consideration?  Fine go ahead.  I'm just as likely to use your seatback as a handhold to hoist myself up out of my seat (and lower myself back into it) as often as I can, particularly during the best part of the in-flight movie or JUST when you're dozing-off to sleep.  The size of my bladder and degree of concern about the dangers of deep-vein thromboses are directly proportionate to the amount of seatback courtesy the person in front of me demonstrates.

December 10, 2010
Click to view RJHopkins's profile



Nice stereotyping there, bigot.

December 10, 2010
Click to view RahulSahukar's profile

C'mon airline people... think of the people who are obese... not that I am one... just sharing the feelings...

December 10, 2010
Click to view kainos's profile

Just remember - hot air rises. Do you really want your head to be that close to my bottom - especially after I just ate an extra large burrito???

December 10, 2010
Click to view Raymax's profile

All seats should be reclinable and ejectable:)

December 10, 2010
Click to view freetime1's profile

It's not the reclinable seats that get to me. It when the person next to me is so fat they can't fit in their space and want some of the seat I paid for. Airlines need to make the fattiest pay for a seat they can fit in.

December 10, 2010
Click to view razor's profile

I find it beyond comprehension that a recliner can absorb some of MY space, reducing the room I paid for, be obnoxious, demanding and feel entitled to it, without consideration for their fellow passenger.  Those in front of me who politely ask if I would mind always receive a courteous "No problem, please go ahead" from me. 

December 10, 2010
Click to view NecroStar's profile

Just politely ask the person behind you how far you can recline your seat. If they don't want you to then oh well. Not the end of the world.

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