Airplane passengers have to pay each other to rest, say professors

Two New York university professors claim that they have found a way to eliminate fights caused by passengers reclining their airline seats: just a bribe to stop.

Inspired by a 2014 wave of in-flight facts, Christopher Jon Sprigman, New York University School of Law and Christopher Buccafusco of the Cardozo School of Law conducted an experiment to see if a “private deal” between the passengers would reduce the stress caused when a passenger reclines in a other passenger of the space.

The answer? Yes, it would. But only if the right amount of money in other hands.


“[Buccafusco] and I do studies about how people value property,” Sprigman explained to Fox News of the duo is the motivation behind the experiment. “We have decided to make some of our tools to the price of the ‘right to rest.'”

As it stands, coach passengers on board the majority of airlines are given the “right” of the reclining of the seats are about 4 inches, which, although it sounds trivial, the professors say that it’s actually a considerable amount of space.

“It sounds trivial, and it is trivial, and we hope that everyone agrees that people who are in the fights over airplane seats are idiots,” the professors wrote in their study, which is published on Evonomics. “But there are apparently more than a few idiots.”

In Sprigman and Buccafusco the surveys, but they asked subjects to think that airlines had instituted a policy that would allow passengers to pay off the person sitting in front of them, in exchange for that person to remain in a non-tilted position. The lawyers then asked the subjects how much they are willing to pay or how much they would want to be paid — depending on the question, whether they are the person in front or behind the other seated passengers.


On average, the passengers in the front demanded that the person behind them to pay $41 for them to agree to refrain from reclining. But, on the other hand, the respondents of the survey were only willing to pay an average of $18 to keep the people in the front of the advancing in their space.

Oddly enough, Buccafusco and Sprigman asked the same topics to think of, a carrier that not for a “right to rest,” and only allowed passengers to relax as they made deals with their cabin-mates. In this scenario, the people in the front claimed that they would pay only $12 for the privilege of peace, while the people in the back said they would accept no less than $39.

“What we have found is that the prices of the right to rest, depends on whether they enjoy that right as a first law,” Sprigman tells Fox News. “When people have the right to rest — they do that on most aircraft, they want more to give than they would be willing to pay to get the right to rest if they are not used as a first right.”

The lawyers also revealed that some subjects would be willing to accept snacks and drinks instead of money and, in some cases, were even more eager to do so.

“People are more willing to exchange for the right to rest when the transaction is not about money, which we think is related to people who do not want to make every human interaction is about money,” said Sprigman. “Happy.”


At the end of their study, Sprigman and Buccafusco suggests that — at the risk of encouraging airlines to institute a different fee — it would benefit the passengers as the crew of the flight will be charged for the snacks, which can then be used by passengers as a form of currency.

“Most airlines still hand out free drinks, and sometimes small bags of pretzels. Maybe instead they have to pay for them and let the passengers to buy for a other,” they posit. “Everybody’s a winner. Seat recline space is efficiently used. Airlines are marginally further from the bankruptcy.

“And no one gets punched in the face.”

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