Reclining Seats On Airplanes: What’s The Etiquette?

What's your take on the 'frequent flyer code'?

Reclining Seats On Airplanes: What’s The Etiquette?

Is there anything worse than settling in for a two-hour flight, only for the passenger in front to immediately shove their seat in your face?

Perhaps: you could be on a two-hour flight, gently recline for a little doze, and have the person behind kick the living sh*t out of you.

Who’s in the right?

This is a question that has split opinion for decades. Generally speaking though, frequent flyers will tell you it is an unwritten rule that you don’t recline your seat on flights four hours or less.

Between four and six is a grey area, and from six onwards (mealtimes aside), it is perfectly reasonable to recline your seat.

Disaster struck, however, on a recent American Eagle (an American Airlines subsidiary) flight from New Orleans to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Despite the flight only being two hours, and despite there being an unwritten rule you don’t recline your seat on short journeys, a woman allegedly travelling back from a teacher’s convention broke the sacred law of frequent flyer etiquette and reclined her seat.

On top of that, it appears the man behind her couldn’t recline his. Chaos ensued, with a video (taken by the woman, Wendi Williams) showing the man continually tapping (the woman would argue pummelling) the back of her seat.

Wendi with an i took to Twitter to expose her the man’s actions in a clip that’s now gone viral, being picked by Fox News and, to name a few.

“After much consideration, and exhausting every opportunity for American Airlines to do the right thing, I’ve decided to share my assault, from the passenger behind me, and the further threats, from an American Airlines flight attendant,” Ms Williams said.

“She offered him a complimentary cocktail!”

As reports, “The woman said she was travelling back from a teacher’s convention, and that the man had asked her to put up her seat while he ate. Ms Williams said she obliged but reclined her chair again once he was finished.”

“At that point, he started hammering away at me.”

“After complaining to the flight attendant, Ms Williams said the attendant told the man, who appears to have been seated in the back row of the aircraft, that it was ‘tight back there’ and gave him a free rum drink.”

Wendi with an i (which sounds suspiciously like the sort of name a troll would come up with, but who nonetheless appears to be real), also said the flight attendant told her off for filming and gave her a passenger disturbance notice.

Though some Twitter users sympathised with Wendi…

… others didn’t believe her story…

… others said she was in the wrong…

… others blamed the airline…

… and others offered a little perspective…

The best comment we could see though was the following, which summed up the situation – again, as far as we can tell, perfectly.