My way better half is not the complaining sort, which is a good thing because when we travel, I tend to do enough grousing for both of us.

So when she started grumbling about airline passengers leaning their seats back virtually into her face, it got my attention. She’s neither large nor claustrophobic, so when she cannot use her tray table or hold a book in front of her face, we’ve got problems.

Actually, it’s the airlines’ problem, and they need to fix it. They need to make the seats as rigid as most of their other rules and fees, with no option for leaning back.

Over the past few years, we have seen them shrink space mightily, in the aisles (carrying a tote down them without banging into eleventy-nine passengers is a contortionist’s game), in the bathrooms (some of which are unusable for anyone taller than Tom Cruise) and the seats.

Passenger discomfiture aside, these are smart business practices, which they have every right to enact. And it’s not their fault that Americans are getting larger. At some point, though, it would be nice for them to do something for their customers.

We’re not even asking for more comfort, just a little less discomfort.