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People should pay to recline their seats on planes, a new study says

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Gary Ogden
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Have you ever been sitting on a plane, undone your seatbelt, stood up, leant over to the person sitting in front of you, bitten down on their skull until it breaks and brain matter seeps out, drank the brain matter, walked over to the emergency door, opened it, jumped out and flown directly into the sun? I have, only once, and I did it because the bloke in front of me reclined his seat and ruined my legroom.

People that recline their seats are the worst, most selfish, foul, self-centred pigs that this planet has to offer. Yet airplane companies continue to install this feature, even though everyone hates it – the person sitting behind is inconvenienced, and really, it makes scant difference to the person in front, doesn’t it? It goes back like 10cm – in front, inconsequential; behind, devastating.

So what two American law professors have done, is looked into how much people would be willing to pay for reclining privileges, or be paid to stop the person in front from doing it.

Basically, they discovered that passengers would be willing to pay £9.20 to the person behind them to have the opportunity to lean back. On the other hand, the people having their legroom decimated would want the person in front to stump up £29.90 before they’d let them recline their seat.

Then, if we take a trip to opposite land: the person behind would pay an average of £14 to sit safe in the knowledge that the pig in front wouldn’t knock their chair back; and the pig itself would require £31 to refrain from being a pig.

These two law dudes (Christopher Buccafusco and Christopher Jon Sprigman, in case you were wondering) reckon a bartering system would work on airlines, and that they should adopt it, to stop people getting “punched in the face”. However, they think it might be better if privileges are swapped for something like a snack, or a drink.

They say: “Most people are not economists, and they have some ethical resistance to the idea of making every human interaction into a money transaction.

“This intuition is probably based on the idea that, in many settings, people are just nicer to one another if money isn’t part of the discussion."

But really, the airlines don’t have to officially introduce it – next time you get on a plane, demand money from the pig in front if they want to put their seat back. If they disagree, stick a big pole through their back and out of their mouth and spit roast them over an open fire. It’s easy. The flames on the sun will cook them in no time.

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

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