A woman who recently flew on American Airlines is calling out the company for not properly reacting to another passenger who repeatedly punched the back of a seat that she had reclined.
Meanwhile, the video she tweeted of the incident set off on Twitter the age-old airplane etiquette debate about pushing back one’s seat.
Wendi Williams said that on January 31, she took a flight on American Airlines subsidiary American Eagle from New Orleans to Charlotte, North Carolina. During the trip, when she first reclined her seat the man behind her asked that she wait to do so until he was done eating.
She accommodated the man and then reclined the seat after he was done, according to Fox News story. However, she said the man reacted by repeatedly punching the back of her seat, which she captured on video.
Williams said the flight attendant reacted to the incident by telling the man that the seating was tight and then offering him a complimentary cocktail.
She also said the flight attendant got mad at her for filming the encounter.
Wiliams said that when she contacted American Airlines after the flight, the customer service agent apologised but “really didn’t accept any responsibility” for the way the flight attendant handled the situation. She said she plans to file assault charges with the FBI.
In another tweet, she claimed she suffered horrible headaches for a week after the incident, lost time at work and had to visit a doctor.
An American Airlines spokesperson told Fox News on Wednesday that the airline was “aware” of the customer dispute and was “looking into the issue.”
Williams received support from some Twitter users, but others thought she was the rude one, especially because the man behind her had apparently had restricted seating. It appeared from the video that he was in the back row and unable to recline.
Nick Leighton, who hosts the etiquette-related podcast Were You Raised By Wolves, said that while passengers have the “right” to recline, “whether or not they should is a separate matter.”
“In general, passengers should be mindful about when and how they recline to try to minimise the inconvenience to the people behind them whenever possible,” he told HuffPost.