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Southwest has got your back

Southwest Airlines is on the recline. They've finally discovered (or admitted) that all seats on any given 737 have variable reclining distances. Some go back a maximum of 4 or 5 inches, some 1 or 2.

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Deciding that they should standardize the cabin and ensure that all seats recline the same maximum distance, Southwest has announced they will be repairing seats as planes come in for maintenance so that all will recline exactly 3 inches.

That's good, because anyone trying to work on a laptop will tell you that seats coming down 4 or 5 inches make it impossible to work while in flight and can smash your display if the seat back comes down quickly enough.

Actually, I think that airlines should prohibit any/all reclining on flights less than 90 minutes. There really is no reason to put your seat back on short flights: catching a few minutes of sleep between drink offerings is difficult, and if you're sooo exhausted that you're already snoring before the wheels come up, you'll sleep in the upright position just as easily.

Most travelers do understand "seat recline" protocol and will not push back or will recline just a bit. But, God help the 6'4" business traveler who is unlucky enough to sit behind a flip-flop-wearing college student anxious to zone out with their ipod and Gameboy--that seat is coming back in a hurry.

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