***Update: 02/12/20@16:55 – Added statement from American Airlines***
A passenger on an American Airlines flight faced the wrath of a man behind her when she had the sheer nerve to recline her seat. The female passenger alleges that the man repeatedly punched the back of her seat, and then set about being the most irritating he could possibly be for the remainder of the flight. Here’s what happened.
Wendi was flying American Airlines on a normal short-haul flight. Leaving from New Orleans and traveling to Charlotte on the 31st January, Wendi was boarded onto an Embraer E175 operated by Republic Airways on behalf of American Airlines. After a while, she decided to take the opportunity to recline a little and get comfortable for the flight. However, the passenger behind was not happy.
Rather than requesting gently that she sit her seat a little more upright, the man behind allegedly punched the back of Wendi’s seat multiple times, she estimates around nine. At this point, she started filming.
@BravoAndy 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! pic.twitter.com/dHeUysrKTu
— wendi (@steelersfanOG) February 9, 2020Advertisement
Although the punching stopped, the passenger behind Wendi continued to make her life a misery by shaking her seat violently for some time. At one point he even looks up and smiles at the discomfort he is causing his fellow passenger. All the time, he barely breaks stride from watching his video on his mobile phone.
Wendi’s day only got worse when she was caught making the film by a flight attendant. She says that the flight attendant asked her to stop filming and seemed very off with her. The man behind, on the other hand, was offered a complimentary cocktail. She even said that the airline told her to “call the FBI” if she wanted to complain!
I was contacted via phone by @AmericanAir, they apologized but really didn’t accept any responsibility for the flight attendant’s actions. I will be calling the FBI to press charges against the “man” who mistook me for a punching bag. Anyone who doesn’t like it, I don’t care!
— wendi (@steelersfanOG) February 9, 2020
Simple Flying asked American Airlines about this incident, who told us,
Who’s in the wrong here?
While the knee jerk reaction to a problem with seats being reclined is often to say, ‘don’t recline your seat then’, this situation does seem a bit bizarre. There was no meal service going on, the man behind seemed to have plenty of room, so we’re struggling to see what his problem was.
Clearly, there’s only one side of the story told here, and there are some pretty strong unwritten rules on reclining your seat on a flight. The BBC says you shouldn’t recline your seat during meal service or in the first few minutes after takeoff, but other than that, it’s your prerogative to do so if you wish.
However, if you do want to recline your seat, it’s often better to consult the person behind you rather than just slamming your seat back. It gives the opportunity for the person behind to ask you to wait, or, with any luck, to cheerfully agree.
My name is Wendi Williams. It was flight AA4393, from New Orleans to Charlotte, seat 20D. You clearly want me to do this quietly through a DM. I tried 3 times to do this quietly. I’ve lost time at work, had to visit a doctor, got x-rays, and have has horrible headaches for a week https://t.co/MDAp4NqUJ2
— wendi (@steelersfanOG) February 8, 2020
Sadly for Wendi, it seems she got more than just a bumpy ride that day. Since the flight, she has allegedly been having problems with her back and has experienced headaches, which isn’t really a surprise given the discomfort she endured.
If it was you, would you have given in and just sat your seat up to stop the conflict? Or would you have stayed in recline mode on principle? Let us know in the comments.