Flying can be difficult. At the airport, you may feel rushed, and going through security might take longer than we’d like. When there is a disagreement or conflict during the trip, flying may become much more uncomfortable. It appears that more and more stories of drama and tough circumstances are beginning aboard aircraft these days.
In February 2020, Wendi Williams was flying from New Orleans to Charlotte, North Carolina, when she had an uncomfortable contact with an unidentified male passenger. Willaims reclined her seat on the way home from a teacher’s conference, only to be urged to do so by the bearded male passenger in the final row. He continued to not just tap but also punch the back of her seat from then on, which was quite concerning for Williams.
Williams was said to be interfering with his ability to enjoy his lunch by lowering her seat, but Willaims answered by stating she did what the guy requested and raised her seat. When Williams realized the guy had finished eating around 10 minutes later, she reclined her seat once again. This is what finally created the issue, which resulted in a terrible experience for Williams, which she later revealed to Fox News.
Williams claimed that when she approached the airline employees for assistance, she was ignored and the crew instead sided with the other customer. Williams then shared a video of her encounter on the internet, to which she received a variety of responses.
Williams took to the airwaves to tell her side of the tale. “The hits kept coming, both physically and metaphorically. The flight attendant came after the guy “According to Willaims, who spoke to Fox News. Willaims added that she planned to file charges against the unidentified man and that the flight attendant who sided with him should be fired.
Willaims is a schoolteacher who explained that she has fused vertebrae and needs to recline her seat in order to sit comfortably. “I was leaving a teacher’s conference and we got on the plane, and the man behind me, as soon as we got in the air, I reclined, and he asked me if… I would put my seat back up while he ate,” Williams explained.
“After about 10 minutes, he was finished, and I sat back down, at which time he started pounding the back of my seat so hard that I flew forward,” she added. “What’s your problem?” the passenger asks Williams at one point in the video, to which Williams responds that she has none.
Willaims sought assistance from a flight attendant, but was surprised to learn that the plane’s crew had sided with the passenger who had been bothering her. When the flight attendant delivered her a passenger disturbance warning and threatened to have her removed from the plane, Willaims became even more enraged.
“I figured I’d simply keep filming this man because no one else seemed to be doing anything,” Williams remarked. “And I was expecting him to stop totally, but he kept going.”
Willaims shared her video of the interaction on social media after landing, and it quickly went viral, sparking controversy over who was in the wrong. Many individuals supported Willaims, claiming that she had every right to recline her seat back. Others are less sympathetic to Willaims, claiming that by lowering her chair, Wendi infringed on the man’s personal space.
According to studies, airline customers have gotten more difficult to deal with in recent years. The Association of Flight Attendants’ “Unruly Passengers Survey” was completed by over 5,000 flight attendants representing 30 airlines.” “85 percent of respondents reported dealing with at least one belligerent passenger thus far in 2021,” according to the poll. At least five instances were reported by 58 percent of respondents. And a startling 17% said they have had a violent altercation with a paternal relative “newcomer.”
“This study verifies what we all know: the vitriol, verbal and physical abuse from a tiny percentage of passengers is utterly out of control, putting other passengers and flight crew at risk,” Sara Nelson, President of AFA-CWA, stated. As some have sought to argue, this isn’t only about masks. There’s a lot more going on here, and the solutions will necessitate a series of coordinated actions across the aviation industry.”
“It’s time to make the FAA’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy permanent, for the Department of Justice to use existing statutes to prosecute criminals, and for our union to execute a set of initiatives to keep issues on the ground and respond effectively in the case of mishaps,” she concluded. It might be frightening to be in the air with a passenger who is causing a ruckus.