Delta Airlines CEO says plane passengers should ask before reclining their seats

Delta Airlines CEO says plane passengers should ask before reclining their seats

This week, people online have been left vehemently divided after footage of a female passenger having her reclined seat hit by the man sat behind her went viral.

The incident occurred on American Airlines flight AA4393 from New Orleans to Charlotte, with the video showing passenger Wendi Williams recording the male passenger behind her hitting her seat after she chose to recline it.

You can watch the video below. Who is in the wrong here?

Williams, who uses the Twitter handle @steelersfanOG, revealed in a series of tweets that the man "punched" her seat approximately nine times, at which point she decided to record him. But despite the camera rolling, the male passenger continued to hit her seat.

Williams has since stated that after complaining to the flight attendant, the man was giving a "complimentary rum" and Williams was told she would be escorted from the flight and was served with a "passenger disturbance notice".

The unpleasant encounter left people online divided and unable to decide on who was in the wrong. Was it Wendi for reclining her chair or the man for reacting in such a way?

For instance, one pro-punching-man commenter wrote: "EasyJet have removed recliner mechanisms from all plane seats & thereby removed more than 50% of issues between passengers. There is no need to recline a seat unless you are on a long-haul flight & the meal service is over. Reclining a seat into another persons face is just rude. [sic]"

Meanwhile, someone else in the other contrary camp wrote: "Complete rubbish. It's much more comfortable to recline your seat and they are designed in such a way that they do not affect the person sitting behind. I recline my seat 100% of the time and have no issue with people in front of me reclining the seat which they paid for. [sic]"

Now, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian revealed in an interview with CNBC on Friday what he thinks a passenger should do when it comes to the etiquette of reclining a plane seat - and his take on the matter may surprise a few of you.

When questioned on "recline-gate", Bastian said: "I think customers have a right to recline. [...] But I think that the proper thing to do is if you're going to recline into somebody that you ask if it's OK first and then you do it."

Check out Bastian's comments in the video below:

Bastian - the CEO of the second-largest airline in the world - also stated that he never reclines himself, as he doesn't believe it is something the CEO of the airline should be doing. He also added: "And I never say anything if someone reclines into me."

After attempting to complain to the airline, Williams claims she was told to "contact the FBI" if she wants any further resolution.

Williams Tweeted: "I was contacted by @AmericanAir via phone. Apparently I really do have to contact the FBI to get any resolution. The airline didn’t really accept any culpability, although she apologized and said what happened was wrong - that’s it."

But in response to a concerned Twitter user asking how she has been post-flight, Williams has explained that she has been "in pain" and "missed work", writing:

"I’m in pain. I have 1 cervical disk left that isn’t fused - the first 1 which allows me some mobility. It’s scary bc it’s this the kind of injury that could do it in. I am grateful for the limited movement I still have and shouldn’t have had to endure the repeated blows #whiplash"

In a previous tweet she informed the official American Airlines Twitter account that she has lost time at work, experienced "headaches", and required a doctor following the interaction:

"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"

Reclining a plane seat can often cause discomfort for the passenger behind, particularly if they are tall. It may also inhibit them from performing certain tasks; like eating from the fold-down table or using a laptop.

Per the Business Insider, reclining your seat also has a "ripple effect", causing everybody in the row to recline their seats as a means of regaining what little space they can.

So, what would you do? And who is in the wrong in the video? Let us know in the comments section...