It’s a debate as old as commercial air travel itself — When is it acceptable to recline your seat on a plane? Some people say that you should never recline on a domestic flight, others say it’s fine to recline as soon as everyone’s meal trays have been collected. Other people (monsters), say that we live in a Reclining Wild West, where anything goes as long as you’re not breaking any safety rules. These people are wrong, and should not be allowed on planes at all.
The debate has kicked off again after American woman Wendi Williams tweeted a video of the man behind her, repeatedly rocking her seat after she reclined it on a two hour flight from Louisiana to North Carolina.
Wendi Williams claims that she reclined her seat after the flight’s meal was served, and that the man repeatedly punched her seat, before she took out her phone and began filming him. At that point, according to Williams, the man opted to continually rock her seat back and forth.
Williams tweeted the video last week, kicking off a storm of controversy about proper seat reclining etiquette. In dozens of follow up tweets and media stories, Williams has lashed out American Airlines, claiming she has suffered serious injuries after the man’s actions allegedly aggravated a prior spinal injury. Williams also claims an American Airlines attendant sided with the man, and that she plans to sue the airline for defamation after it appeared to place some of the blame for the incident on Williams.[related_articles]81907,81804,82113[/related_articles]
The original video posted on Twitter has received close to a million views and kicked off a fierce debate, as Twitter users take sides in the stoush. Williams is fiercely defending her actions, claiming that the man’s own tray table is down as he watches a movie, and denying claims that she spilled a drink on the man.
Williams also claims she was handed a “passenger disturbance notice” after she refused to stop filming the man.
Williams has plenty of supporters online, with many people claiming the man’s actions amounted to assault, saying the airline should have intervened and moved one of the passengers to another seat.
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.
— TerminatorLX🦾🏳️🌈✊🏽🌊🍑🖖🏽 (@TerminatorLx) February 8, 2020
But Williams also has detractors, with many pointing out that the man, who has not been identified, was in the back row of the plane, meaning he couldn’t recline his own seat to give himself more room.