Woman in Viral Airplane Seat Reclining Controversy Now Looking To Sue American Airlines: Report


One woman’s video of the airline passenger behind her punching the back of her reclined seat went viral last week.

Now she is reportedly looking to sue American Airlines.

The controversy began when Wendi Williams posted a video on Twitter of the passenger behind her shaking her headrest with repeated punches on her Jan. 31 American Eagle flight from New Orleans to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The man behind her was in the last row and reportedly asked the woman to sit upright so he could eat.

She did, but then later reclined again, and the situation escalated as was shown in the video that was recorded, according to Fox Business.

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Williams originally tweeted, “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!”

According to Williams’ account of the situation, a flight attendant came over but instead of stopping the man, she offered him a complimentary cocktail.

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She has since spoken out against American Airlines, which runs American Eagle, for allegedly misrepresenting her in its statement about the situation to TMZ.

According to TMZ, an airline representative said the incident started after the woman knocked over the other passenger’s drink when she reclined her seat.

The representative also said the situation would not have escalated in the way that it had if both passengers were respectful of each other.

But Williams denied the allegations, saying that it was “yet another misrepresentation” of her.

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Williams told TMZ she had met with an attorney to discuss her legal options, and is threatening a defamation lawsuit against the airline.

She said that the statement from the representative, accusations that she was being disruptive and the actions of the flight attendant were all defamatory.

According to Williams, the flight attendant told her to delete the video and gave her a passenger disturbance notice when she refused.

She tweeted that American Airlines had contacted her and apologized “but really didn’t accept any responsibility for the flight attendant’s actions.”

Williams also wants the airline to pay for her medical bills because the repeated whiplash may have caused damage due to her medical history.

She told TMZ she wants to get an MRI but it’s too expensive.

“We are aware of a customer dispute that transpired,” American Airlines said in a statement.

“The safety and comfort of our customers and team members is our top priority, and our team is looking into the issue.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith