Imagine paying for a flight only to have the back of your seat punched for the duration of the trip. Sounds annoying, right? Well, that’s what happened to Wendi Williams on her recent American Eagle flight to Charlotte, NC.  Williams had reclined her seat, angering the passenger behind her who was seated in the last row. Seats in the last row are incapable of reclining, and that leaves passengers with nowhere to go should the seat in front of them suddenly decide to recline.

Williams repeatedly asked the flight attendant to intervene. The flight crew offered the other passenger a drink to calm him down and threatened Williams with a passenger disturbance notice.

On social media, many were split on just who is in the wrong here. Some blame the airlines for not giving passengers enough space, pointing out the design flaw in having only a handful of seats that don’t recline.

We asked travelers and over half (56%) say passengers have the right to recline their seats.  See the poll results below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Should passengers recline their seats while flying?

  •     Yes – 56%
  •     No – 44%


Who has a right to an airplane window’s shade?

  •     Passenger closest – 86%
  •     Both passengers – 7%
  •     First come, first serve – 7%


Who has a right to an airplane seat’s armrest?

  •     Both passengers – 52%
  •     First come, first serve – 31%
  •     Passenger to the left – 9%
  •     Passenger to the right – 8%


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