Delta CEO rules on plane seat etiquette after viral video splits the internet: ‘You should ask permission to recline your chair’
- Delta CEO Ed Bastian says plane passengers have the right to recline their seats, but should ask permission from the person behind them
- Bastian weighed in on airline etiquette following video from an American Airlines flight showing a man pushing a woman’s reclined chair
- The video started a lively debate on social media, with people split over who was in the right
- DO YOU KNOW THE MALE PASSENGER? EMAIL US AT HANNAH.PARRY@MAILONLINE.COM
Delta CEO Ed Bastian says passengers should ask for permission before pushing back their seats on an airplane
The CEO of Delta Airlines says passengers should ask for permission before pushing back their seats on an airplane – two days after a viral video showed a man repeatedly punching a woman’s reclined chair on board an American Airlines flight.
Ed Bastian – who has served as Delta’s CEO since 2016 – made the claim on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Friday.
‘I think customers have the right to recline… [but] I think the proper thing to do if you’re going to recline into somebody is that you ask if it’s okay first,’ he told the program.
‘If someone knows there’s a tall person behind them, and they want to recline their seat, I think the polite thing would be to make certain it’s okay’.
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
Speaking on how he behaves personally whilst travelling in coach, Bastian went on to say: ‘I never recline, since I’m the CEO of the airline I don’t think I should be reclining my seat. [But] I [also] never say anything if someone reclines into me’.
Bastian couldn’t resist getting in a plug for his own airline, stating that Delta is testing out ‘reduced recline’ and ‘generally’ do not see any issues between passengers in regards to their chairs.
His remarks came after American Airlines passenger Wendi Williams filmed a fellow traveler behind her on a flight from New Orleans to Charlotte repeatedly jabbing at her reclined seat and posted it to Twitter on Wednesday.
She claimed that just before she began filming his deliberate protest nudges the man had punched the seat hard several times.
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.’
Meanwhile, social media users weighed in, with many split on the issue.
Etiquette expert William Hanson also delivered his opinion, saying neither the man nor woman was in the right.
‘Two wrongs don’t make a right,’ says William Hanson
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.’
After Wendi posted the video to Twitter, many people took to the social media site to back her
Social media users weighed in, with many split on the issue.