Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips


By now you've heard of the contretemps aboard an airliner last weekend during which one passenger prevented the seat in front of him from reclining through use of a device called the Knee Defender. Frustration ensued until the passenger seated ahead doused the passenger seated behind and the Captain diverted to another airport and both passengers were escorted off the plane. Ever since, the Internet has been all worked up about whether or not the Right to Recline is an actual right (a recent poll suggests a majority of Americans think it's a right).

Economy air travel is not as comfortable as it could be these days. And certainly episodes like last week's are probably best avoided with the simplest knee defense of all — common courtesy. Crowded travel is uncomfortable for everybody. A little courtesy takes the edge off and brightens everyone's day.

With courtesy the floor, what else can one do to make economy air travel more pleasant? Wise Bread's writers have had plenty of suggestions over the years. Here are a few.

How to Get Through the Airport Faster — Pro traveler Nora Dunn shares the tips and tricks she's learned about navigating that terrifying space between ground transportation and the plane — the airport.

9 Things You Must When Travelling With Kids — Air travel is tough, but adding kids maxes out the difficulty setting. Elizabeth Lang walks you through it.

6 Things to Keep You Sane on the Plane — Kentin Waits shares what he stows in his carry-on to make a long trip bearable, and maybe even enjoyable.

8 Airline Fees That Are Actually Worth Paying — Penny wise, pound foolish applies to air travel too, and Deia B explains which airline upgrades are worth the cost.

Alternatives to Air Travel: Other Ways to Get From Here to There — And if none of that makes air travel an attractive option, Nora Dunn suggests other ways of going. They may not be as fast, but they're bound to be more comfortable.

Whether you're Team Recline or Team Knee, the next time you're on a crowded plane, remember this: your fellow passengers didn't decide to cram an extra row of seats on the plane — the airline did. Keep your cool, stay courteous, and aim your complaints high.

How do you stay comfortable when flying? Please share in comments!

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