When you need to get up from your seat on an airplane, do you grab the back of the seat in front of you and pull yourself to your feet? You do? You need to stop that.
See, when you pull back on that seat, you jostle the person who’s sitting in that seat. If you are a person of stature, you may be packing enough weight to pull the passenger’s head back with the seat and then snap it forward like a rubber band when you let go. This is not enjoyable for the other passenger.
I speak from experience.
Among some of the other things you might inadvertently do to your fellow passenger with the old seat-back pull maneuver is to spill his or her coffee, Coke, beer or martini all over him or her. Or you might wake him or her up. Or you might just annoy the hell out of him or her. Or me.
Here’s how you get up from an airplane seat. You put your hands on the armrests and you push yourself to your feet. I’m pretty certain that most people in decent health can accomplish this, even in the middle seat.
If you physically can’t manage this, you should consider asking at the boarding gate whether you can have a bulkhead seat, which has more maneuvering room. I know that this can work because I’ve been kicked out of bulkhead seats for passengers with disabilities.
If that doesn’t work and you really need to haul yourself up on the back of the seat, could you maybe lean forward first and warn the person in front of you? It might save him or her or me on the dry-cleaning bills – not to mention the whiplash treatments.