Footage of man 'repeatedly hitting fellow airline passenger's seat in chair recline row' sparks debate

Bonnie Christian
@steelersfanOG / Twitter

An American Airlines passenger has divided the internet after posting a video of a man appearing to repeatedly hit the back of her seat in an apparent row over her chair being reclined.

Wendi Williams posted a video on Twitter of a man appearing to jab at the back of her chair during a flight from New Orleans to North Carolina on January 31.

She claims the alleged incident took place after she reclined her seat. She added that, when she complained to a flight attendant, the man was offered a complimentary cocktail.

She wrote: "Here’s a great jackhole! He was angry that I reclined my seat and punched it about 9 times - HARD, at which point I began videoing him, and he resigned to this behavior.

"The other jackhole is the @AmericanAir flight attendant who reprimanded me and offered him rum!"

In another tweet, the woman said she had spoken to an American Airlines representative by phone who had apologised and “said what happened was wrong”.

But, she said the airline did not "accept any responsibility for the flight attendant's actions".

Ms Williams said the incident had required her to miss work for doctor's appointments and gave her headaches “for a week”.

The video has divided Twitter with some saying that Ms Williams was guilty of "bad manners" for reclining her seat "more than an inch".

But others expressed disbelief that the airline crew apparently did nothing to help her.

One person wrote: “It is considered bad manners to recline more than an inch. The seats recline because Airlines used to give us enough room that you could recline without cutting into your neighbors breathing space.

"I am guilty of getting angry when someone does that when I'm stuck in economy.”

Another said: “I'm 6ft 5 and cant stand inconsiderate people putting their seats back, being the size I am I still wont recline due to having courtesy for others.

"If it was me you wouldn't have got your seat back so count yourself lucky this guy let you”.

Another added: “Agreed - do the right thing and don’t recline your seat next time, especially when you can see the person behind you can’t recline theirs”.

But one said the airline should refund Ms Williams.

They wrote: “You have the patience of a saint. I would have asked him to stop once. Then I would have insisted the flight attendant moved either him or me. If that didn’t work, I have been just as disruptive as him until those flight attendants did something. @AmericanAir needs to refund you.”

Another added that people should not have to ask for permission to recline their seats.

They wrote: "I rarely recline unless we’re short of shoulder room - it can help by offsetting the seats. If somebody reclines their seat in front of me then you know what I do? Absof******lutely nothing. They don’t have to ask your permission for using the seat capability they paid for."

In a statement, an American Airlines spokesperson said: “We are aware of a customer dispute that transpired on American Eagle flight 4392, operated by Republic Airways on January 31.

"The safety and comfort of our customers and team members is our top priority, and our team is looking into the issue.”

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