American Airlines passenger claims man assaulted her by continuously punching seat
That’s got to hurt.
An American Airlines passenger has called out the carrier and its employees for failing to act when a man seated behind her during a recent flight allegedly kept punching the top of her seat, an attack she’s since described as an "assault."
Since video footage of the incident hit Twitter, however, some social media commenters have argued that the woman was in the wrong for inconsiderately reclining back and invading the male passenger’s personal space.
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Passenger Wendi Williams was recently traveling from New Orleans to Charlotte, N.C. in an American Eagle flight (a subsidiary of American Airlines) when the episode reportedly occurred. On Friday, Williams told her side of the story on Twitter, with accompanying video footage. The clip has since gone viral with over 26,000 views.
“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 Airline flight attendant.” Williams claimed. “She offered him a complimentary cocktail!”
The woman said that she was traveling back from a teacher’s convention, and that the man had asked her to put up her seat while he ate. Williams said she obliged, but reclined her chair again once he was finished.
"At that point, he started hammering away at me,” she claimed, prompting her to notify a flight attendant.
After complaining to the stewardess, Williams said that the American Eagle worker 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.
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Williams said that flight attendant scolded her for videotaping the incident, and gave her a passenger disturbance notice.
"It was scary and very painful" Williams said, claiming that she lost time at work, had to visit a doctor, receive X-rays and suffered headaches because of the incident.
“I was contacted via phone by American [Airlines,] they apologized but really didn’t accept any responsibility for the flight attendant’s actions,” she charged. “I will be calling the FBI to press charges against the ‘man’ who mistook me for a punching bag. Anyone who doesn’t like it, I don’t care!”
“Had I not recorded this, no one would’ve believed it! As far as speaking up for myself, he was crazy and so was the FA [flight attendant.] He should be shamed! He knew he was being recorded and still acted that way, but you’re right, I’m sure we could’ve shared some tea and had a nice, calm chat.”
Though some Twitter users voiced sympathy for Williams’ plight, others were more skeptical of the woman’s version of events. Critics countered that it was “unfair” and “mind-boggling” that she would recline her seat against his wishes and invade the man's space in the first place.
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"Move your seat up then," one offered.
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When reached for comment, a spokesperson for American Airlines offered the following statement on the story:
“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,” a spokesperson told Fox News on Wednesday.