Complaint Box | Responding to Tall Fliers

Travel has become less glamorous as the airline industry braves an unstable economy and terrorist threats. Enhanced security, fewer flights, longer waits and cutbacks in amenities make keeping both feet on the ground an attractive option to those who can get to their destination without hitting the tarmac.

More cramped seating is the gripe of taller passengers like Josephine Parr, the author of last week’s Complaint Box. For passengers like her, it’s often a choice of reddened knees or a first-class ticket.

Many readers chimed in with sympathy, and tips. Others were distressed that larger fliers were eating into the space of those like them, more average in size. There was no shortage of novel ideas to address the problem.

One Size Doesn’t Fill All

Potential solution: Make seats with a little less leg room for shorter people, and a little more for taller people.
— Flyer McFlyerson

Fighting Back

I’m 6′4″ and my solution usually is to jam my knees into the seat in front of me and make it impossible for the person in front of me to recline until I’m pretty sure they’ve given up trying. If they glare at me, I shrug my shoulders and say, “Sorry, I’m tall, there’s nothing I can do about it.” I also, generally, never recline my seat since I don’t want to make the trip harder for the person behind me.
— Michael

The Ultimate Solution

Never get on an airplane. Period. Really.
— Nat

Sky-High Tea Party

Voting for candidates who preach less government regulation at any price should be rejoicing at the loss of circulation in their feet when they fly.
— Spence Halperin

Medical Alert

This is no laughing matter — as referenced earlier there are real safety issues involved, and the risk of getting a deep-vein thrombosis from these cramped conditions is much higher than regulators are willing to admit. Doesn’t matter, though; apparently, we should all just take our lumps like the good corporate fodder that we are.
— resident native

Get Over It

Tall people have so many advantages including (studies show) higher-paying jobs and an easier time finding mates. Can’t us short people enjoy the one advantage we have of fitting better into airline seats without hearing tall people complain? Get over it!
— Jim M.

Perchance to Dream

Oh, and when I do fly, I take a Xanax and sleep through the whole flight as best I can!
— Anne

To the Rails

That’s the only solution.
But when will they build the train to Ireland?
I’m not holding my breath.
— mona

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