Viral Video Of Man Punching Woman's Airplane Seat Has Internet Divided

by Cassandra Stone
Man punching back of airplane seat
Marina Marraco/Twitter

She reclined her seat, he began punching it endlessly — who do YOU think the jerk is here?

A video of an American Airlines passenger punching the seat of the woman in front of him for reclining her seat has gone viral, and also has many people on the internet divided on who is actually in the wrong here.

Spoiler alert: it’s definitely him, no argument. Look, we all hate it when the person sitting in front of us reclines their seat. Fat people, tall people, and average-sized people — it doesn’t matter, we all hate it. Reclining your seat (if you have no reason to do so) goes against unspoken plane etiquette. But. BUT. Being uncomfortable does not warrant punching the seat of said recliner repeatedly like this guy did.

The video was shared on Twitter by journalist Marina Marraco, and quickly picked up steam from there.

Male violence is never an acceptable solution to anything, especially not against a woman who simply reclined her seat that, for all intents and purposes, has a reclining functionality!

And if it’s that much of an issue — this man’s seat was the last one in the back of the plane, and did not have a reclining option — what’s wrong with asking the woman if she wouldn’t mind putting her seat back to the upright position? We don’t know for sure what happened prior to this video being recorded, so maybe he did. Maybe she refused. Maybe he never asked. BUT STILL. This is not how you respond to another human being on a flight. Wonder if he’d try the same stunt if it were a man sitting in the seat in front of him?

Many Twitter users pointed that out (and other ways this is just plain wrong), and many others defended his actions.

The woman in the video, Wendi Williams, says she recorded the man punching her seat after she had asked him not to and tried to get the flight attendant to de-escalate the situation, to no avail.

“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,” Williams tweeted with a video of the man behind her hitting the back of her seat. Again, it’s not clear what happened before or after Williams started filming.

She may have inconvenienced his space, but he is HITTING HER. Relentlessly. In the enclosed space of an aircraft where there is no way for her to escape the situation.

If he wants to be mad at someone, perhaps get angry at the airlines and aircraft companies for designing these seating situations to resemble a pack of sardines. That’s the real issue here. American Airlines has yet to release a statement about the incident.