William Hanson declares his verdict on the AA seat-punching incident

They were BOTH wrong: Etiquette expert William Hanson declares his verdict on the American Airlines seat-punching incident that divided social media

  • The passenger, Wendi Williams, was flying from New Orleans to Charlotte 
  • She filmed a passenger repeatedly nudging her seat after she reclined
  • Wendi posted clip on Twitter but some said she shouldn’t have reclined the seat

She reclined her seat, he punched it – and then she video-shamed him. But who was right?

Neither of them, says William Hanson.

The etiquette expert has declared his verdict on the mid-flight American Airlines incident that divided social media.

An American Airlines passenger, Wendi Williams, has divided social media after shaming a fellow traveller who she claimed repeatedly punched  her seat when she reclined it 

‘Two wrongs don’t make a right,’ says William Hanson

Passenger Wendi Williams filmed a fellow traveller behind her on a flight from New Orleans to Charlotte repeatedly jabbing at her reclined seat and posted it to Twitter.

She claimed that just before she began filming his deliberate protest nudges the man had punched the seat hard several times.

Wendi also claims that after she complained to a flight attendant, the man was offered a complimentary drink as compensation and threats were made by the crew to have her escorted off the plane.

Mr Hanson says: ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right. We can all agree it is irritating when the passenger in front reclines but it is within their rights to do so. The only time it is wrong is when the meal service is still happening and yet to be cleared.

‘Good manners require all passengers to sit upright for that, even if they aren’t eating. Jabbing the seat, however much we may want to, is petulant and in this case the air steward who rewarded such behaviour showed moronic levels of common sense.

‘When you are about to recline your seat do make sure you glance back to check the passenger behind isn’t using their tray table for a laptop or tablet, or resting their head for sleep. When you go to recline try to do it as gently as possible.

‘The really smart way to do this, which only works for those in the aisle, is to rise from the seat, place one hand on the recline button, the other on the back of the seat and gently push. Much more elegant and it alerts the passenger behind you as to what is about to happen.’

A spokesperson for American Airlines 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.’

After Wendi posted the video to Twitter, many people took to the social media site to back her 

Other Twitter users were not so sympathetic to Wendi and said she was in the wrong for reclining her seat 

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