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Will You Soon Have to Pay to Recline Your Seat on an Airplane?

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With airlines beginning to charge passengers for seemingly every add-on on top of the ticket price, will we soon see flights that charge to recline your seat?

A new study shows that might actually be a popular idea. Two NYU law professors recently conducted a study that showed some passengers would be willing to pay $12 to the passenger behind them for the privilege of reclining their seat.

But those behind them wanted more for that space; they weren’t motivated to give up the space until the price hit $39.

The study also showed passengers would pay $18 to stop the person in front of them from reclining. The person in front wanted $41 to block the recline.

“Nobody likes the recent turn toward airlines charging for every service, but maybe what we need is more of that,” they wrote. “Most airlines still hand out free drinks, and sometimes little bags of pretzels. Maybe instead they should charge for them and allow passengers to purchase them for one another. Everyone wins. Seat recline space is efficiently allocated. Airlines are marginally further from bankruptcy. And no one gets punched in the face.”

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