We’re off from LAX, en route to Santiago with a stopover in Lima. With a trip this long, I did the thing I never do and sprang for full fare business class. The 767 seat is cushy, but soon after takeoff I tried to avail myself of the reclining functions. The motorized seat has no less than 17 buttons to control its position.

Whoa. This is not a model UI. No matter what I push, the only thing that seems to happen is that my thighs go up and down about an inch, or the lumbar support moves a little. What about this ramrod straight back!?

The elderly Japanese man next to me has no English, and I have no Japanese. However, he sees me fumbling with this monstrosity and tries to help by pushing a few of the buttoms himself, no change. Around this time, the flight attendant stops by to take my order for lunch and sees our predicament, so she asks me to stand up and she takes a look. No dice. I really thought I was crazy there for a minute, but it really does seem to be malfunctioning. Luckily, she calls over one of the male attendants, and he does something under the seat for a moment and then the other motors spring to life. Reclining achieved. Aaaaahhh. For a minute there I thought I was going to be straight up for the whole flight.

However, the seats are still strangely narrow for what I’ve experienced of business class a few times in the past (on someone else’s dime). Oh well, nobody’s perfect.