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AA Passenger Pushes Reclined Seat in Protest



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 jetiquette debate about reclining your seat.


Wendi Williams said that on Jan. 31, she took a flight on American Airlines subsidiary American Eagle from New Orleans to Charlotte, North Carolina. That mean’s she’s probably on a 50-70 seat plane. 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 a Fox News story. So for a minute, things were civil. Then, it happened. She said the man reacted to her recline by repeatedly punching the back of her seat, which she captured on video.

As a crewmember, when I flew for Virgin America we had this issue. Row 26 didn’t recline, we always apologized to the passengers seated there. Although, in Virgin’s defense, those seats weren’t bookable in advance. That row was blocked for use at the airport to ensure families, friends, etc. sat together. But of course they were always told the seats didn’t recline.

The man repeatedly punched and pushed the back of her seat in protest of her reclining the seat and making his space even smaller. However, she never brought her seat back up and instead recorded the incident.

After posting it on Twitter and starting the age-old “recline or not to recline” conversation she added that the flight attendants actually offered the man a free drink (I assume before the pushing?) because of the lack of space; something I did all the time at Virgin. It helped in “service recovery” for passengers in those seats. When Wendi started recording the incident a flight attendant supposedly informed her that it was against airline rules to record video (each airline has a different rule/regulation for this). Then Wendi said:

“I was contacted via phone by American [Airlines,] they apologized but really didn’t accept any responsibility for the flight attendant’s actions,” she charged. “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!”

What exactly would the man charged with? Anyway.. though some Twitter users showed sympathy for Williams’ situation, others were more curious of her version of events. Critics countered that it was “unfair” and “mind-boggling” that she would recline her seat against his wishes and invade the man’s space in the first place.

Personally, I believe you have a right to recline your seat and be more comfortable. However, whether you should or not in a specific situation is another matter. You should always be considerate of those around you. If your recline would impact the person behind you, try to work out a solution together. Is that really so hard?

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Airline News

Strange Odor at Oakland Airport Sends Travelers to the Hospital



We have seen more issues with strange odors on airplanes in the last year or so than at any time, some so severe they required a diverted landing.

Now comes word that another incident has taken place, only this time it was actually inside the airport.

Four people were taken to local hospitals by the Oakland (Calif.) Fire Department on Tuesday after an unknown substance began giving off a strange odor at Oakland International Airport.

According to Fox News, the odor came from a small box at one of the ticketing counters that is used to discard items that cannot be brought on a plane via carry-on bag – water bottles, bottles of cologne or mouthwash larger than three ounces, etc.

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The airport played it safe and called the fire department, which sent a Hazmat crew according to the NBC TV affiliate in the Bay Area. There was no disruption to airport services, though four people were taken to the hospital to be checked out for precautionary reasons.

This is the latest in a series of numerous reports of odors emanating from a plane or airport just in the last year or so alone, much less beyond that time frame.

Some have been fumes that have forced flights to land.

Some have forced flights to divert to other airports.

Some have been so overwhelming that passengers and crew were hospitalized.

And some have even been visible – if you like your airplane cabin filling with an unknown fog.

The Oakland Fire Dept. is still investigating the cause of the odor.

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