To Recline or Not to Recline

The frequent traveler already knows that most airlines have small, packed seating which can be tolerable if you only have a short flight.  If you get claustrophobic, however, you might be in trouble.  The need to recline in flight for some is a no-brainer.

But there is a debate as to whether its appropriate to recline the seat in flight.  Of course it is. You paid for that seat and that tiny bit of plane space and the seat does come equipped with a reclining button, and it's not as if the recline is all that spacious anyway.  Yet if you're like most people, you'll worry about the person behind you losing their space because of your desire to recline. And we are all so polite after all that we really do care.

I tend not to recline for short flights but on an 11 hour flight from Seoul to Auckland or a 13 hour flight from Atlanta to Seoul you'd better believe I'm reclining.  It's usually the larger planes that make those international flights so reclining isn't as impactful an issue... Korean Air and Delta are great for those long flights... but domestic flights with smaller cabins or smaller leg room are trickier.  

I  choose not to recline on smaller planes for shorter flights, unless there's a vacancy in the seat behind me.  On longer flights a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and I recline if I need sleep.  It's always good to keep the peace with the other inmates, so to speak, so I let decorum be my guide but I also reserve the right to recline if I need the rest.

To recline or not to recline... what do you do?