Published on : Friday, May 19, 2017
Two American law professors have potentially come up with a solution, proposing a bargaining system whereby passengers would have to pay for the privilege of putting their seat back – or be paid to refrain from doing so.
Christopher Buccafusco and Christopher Jon Sprigman conducted a study to figure out how much people would be prepared to lay out to take advantage of their reclining capabilities. They charted a price for the same. On average, passengers would be willing to pay $12 (£9.20) to the passenger behind them to lean back. However, those sitting in the seat behind would demand far more, requiring $39 (£29.90) before they sacrificed their legroom.
The flip side of the story showed passengers would cough up $18 (£14) to stop the person in front reclining – while the person in front would require $41 (£31) to refrain from doing so.
Keeping the series of high profile incidents aboard aircraft, Buccafusco and Sprigman supported the concept of bargaining for certain privileges.
They wrote that seat recline space is efficiently allocated. Airlines are marginally further from bankruptcy. They also found out people responded better to the idea of swapping reclining privileges for a drink or snack during a flight, rather than dealing with money. This is for the fact that most passengers have some ethical resistance to the idea of making every human interaction into a money transaction.