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?
Comments & Discussion
IATA: Damage to Air Travel Will Extend Into 2023
Any comeback by the beleaguered airline industry will extend into 2023, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines’ main trade group.
Long-haul travel will continue to lag behind and passenger fears about flying in general will contribute to the delay, Lonely Planet reported.
IATA estimates that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023. It expects that global passenger demand in 2021 will be 24 percent below 2019 levels and 32 percent lower than the forecast the association made in October 2019.
The new data is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders could return if the virus comes back strong in the fall and winter with a second wave, as some health officials have predicted.
In addition, another contributing factor is quarantine measures that have been instituted by various countries as well as individual states in the U.S. According to IATA, 69 percent of recent travelers that it surveyed said they would not consider traveling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive at their destination. IATA is asking governments to find alternatives to the quarantine measures.
Of course, all of this is contingent upon the public’s willingness to fly—and instilling confidence in that will take time, said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. “We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”
Comments & Discussion
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