Flight Attendant Offers Final Word on Man’s Aggressive Airplane Seat Shaking


Here’s the thing: Airline travel is uncomfortable even at the best of times (unless you’re fortunate enough to sit in business or first class, but I wouldn’t even know what that’s like *cries*).

For those of us in economy class, it’s expected you’ll be dealing with a cramped seat, fingerprinted screens, stress ball-esque bread rolls, and if you’re really unlucky, a crying baby (yours or someone else’s) or a coughing companion.

Most of us deal with these bothers somewhat patiently (we’re fortunate enough to be travelling after all), but the same cannot be said for some other, more difficult passengers. And one viral video from the weekend perhaps best represents this.

In a 45-second video captured aboard an American Airlines flight from New Orleans to Charlotte on January 31, one man can be seen continually pushing the seat of the woman in front of him after she reportedly reclined her seat — an act every aeroplane passenger has a right to do.

Unfortunately for the man being at the rear of the aircraft, he was unable to recline his own seat, which despite being annoying for him, definitely didn’t earn the man pardon to do what he did next.

In the clip, the passenger appears to be entertaining himself on this phone while agitating the seat in front of him consistently with his right arm. The woman in the video, Wendi Williams, said on Twitter the man had “punched” her seat nine times before she began filming his behaviour.

Williams says that while her seat was reclined during the majority of the flight, she did bring her seat to the upright position while food service was taking place upon his request. Once he’d finished eating, she brought her seat back down once again. And that’s when the pushing began.

Though his actions are what some might consider reprimandable, it’s alleged the airline staff working the flight gave the man a complimentary rum for his troubles following the encounter.

And while some Twitter users are calling the man a “hero” for what we personally see as an aggressive act of self-righteousness (honestly, the internet sometimes), a flight attendant here in Australia has offered the final word on how she’d deal with the situation — which is apparently more common than some might think.

“He is 100% in the wrong,” the attendant, who prefers to remain anonymous, tells TheLatch—. “Every passenger has the right to recline their seat for the duration of a flight, aside from taxi, take-off and landing, and when food is being served.”

As for how this flight attendant would deal with the situation? “I would’ve moved him to another seat, preferably near a crying baby.

“It’s effective because the rude passenger thinks they are winning by being moved, but quickly realise they’re in a worse position. We do not like to reward bad behaviour on our flights.

“Alternatively, if space is available, we would move the lady to a better seat or upgrade her given the chance.”

The defence rests.

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