Airline CEO Says Passengers Should Ask Permission Before They Recline Their Seats

by : Niamh Shackleton on :
Airline punchCNBC/Caters

In recent days, the video of a man repeatedly punching the back of a woman’s chair on a plane has gone viral and now an airline CEO has spoken out about it.

Wendi Williams was flying on an American Eagle flight, a subsidiary of American Airlines, from New Orleans to Charlotte when the incident took place, and after giving the airline ‘every opportunity’ to ‘do the right thing’ she decided to take her grievances to Twitter.


Following the ordeal that was shared on social media, Delta airline CEO Ed Bastian has spoken out on the hot topic saying that flyers should ask permission of the person behind them before reclining their seat.

You can see his full interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box here:

In the interview Bastain says:


I think if someone knows there’s a tall person behind them and they want to recline their seat, I think the polite thing would be to make certain that it was okay.

I don’t ever recline because I don’t think that, since I’m the CEO of an airline that I should be reclining my seat and I never say something if someone reclines into me.

In footage shared online, the unidentified male passenger could seen sitting directly behind Wendi, in the back row of the plane. The man was unable to recline his chair, so when Wendi pushed her chair back he retaliated by pummelling her seat.

You can see the moment take place below:


After Wendi called over a flight attendant, they apparently took the side of the man who had punched her chair; giving him a ‘complimentary cocktail’ and acknowledging it was ‘tight’ where he was sitting. They told Wendi to stop filming, later handing her a ‘Passenger Disturbance Notice’.

As reported by TMZ, the attendant even went as far as to threaten to remove Wendi from the plane if she didn’t delete the footage.

Airline punchNiamh Shackleton

The document, obtained by TMZ, stated Wendi could be federally prosecuted if she didn’t comply.


Passenger In Row Over Seats Claims Airline Tried To Kick Her Off Flight

published at2 years ago

As Ron Burgundy would say; well, that escalated quickly…

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Airline, American Airlines


  1. TMZ