Man "punches" woman's plane seat in chair recline row - but who was in wrong?

14 February 2020, 14:30 | Updated: 14 February 2020, 15:06

Footage of a man repeatedly punching the back of a woman’s plane seat has divided opinion.

The incident happened on board an American Airlines flight from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Charlotte, North Carolina, as passenger Wendi Williams reclined her seat.

The video was taken by another passenger and shows the man, seated in the last row of the plane, banging the back of Ms. Williams’ chair while watching something on his mobile phone.

Her aisle seat can be seen shaking back and forth as a result.

Ms. Williams later said that the incident was an “assault”, although some social media users agreed, others asked why she didn’t ask him to stop, or just pull her reclined seat up.

The video has divided Twitter with some saying that Ms. Williams was guilty of "bad manners" for reclining her seat "more than an inch".

On her Twitter page, Ms. Williams added that, when she complained to a flight attendant, the man was offered a complimentary cocktail.

She wrote: "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!"

Ms. Williams said the incident had required her to miss work for doctor's appointments and gave her headaches “for a week”.

Viral video of man "punching" woman&squot;s plane seat in chair recline debate sparks debate
Viral video of man "punching" woman's plane seat in chair recline debate sparks debate. Picture: Global

In another tweet, the woman said she had spoken to an American Airlines representative by phone who had apologised and “said what happened was wrong”.

But, she said the airline did not "accept any responsibility for the flight attendant's actions".

In a statement, an American Airlines spokesperson said: “We are aware of a customer dispute that transpired on American Eagle flight 4392, operated by Republic Airways on January 31.

"The safety and comfort of our customers and team members is our top priority, and our team is looking into the issue.”