The woman behind a now-viral video of an angry passenger punching her reclined seat is speaking out about the nightmare she endured on the flight.
Wendi Williams appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday, February 18, to tell her side of the story.
“The hits just kept on coming literally and figuratively. From the guy then the flight attendant,” Wendi Williams recalled.
Williams said she the altercation happened on an American Airlines flight from New Orleans to Charlotte after she reclined her seat upsetting the man sitting in the last row whose seat didn’t recline.
“I was leaving a teacher's conference and we got onto 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, which I did,” Williams explained.
“About 10 minutes later, he was done and I put my seat back down at which point he started full-on punching the back of my seat really hard that I was flying forward.”
She said at that point she “was trying to get the flight attendant's attention and she wasn't responding.”
“I thought, I'm just going to keep videoing this guy because nobody else was doing anything,” Williams said. “And I thought he would completely stop but he continued throughout.”
She explained that the “poking” seen in the video is tame compared to how he was punching her seat prior to her taking out her phone.
Williams isn’t just frustrated with the anonymous passenger, she’s also upset with how the flight crew handled the situation.
Williams explained that the flight attendant even asked her to delete the video and threatened to remove her from the aircraft if she didn’t.
She reportedly also handed her a “Passenger Disturbance Notice” that warned of federal prosecution
“When she finally did come around, she had an attitude with me and said, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘The guy behind me is repeatedly hitting me’ and she went back to him, like changed personalities, and was the kindest person in the world and said, ‘Oh, are you okay? It's really tight back here. I'm sorry’ and then she said to me, ‘Delete the video’ and I thought, ‘Why would I delete the video?’” Williams said.
In a tweet, Williams explained that the flight attendant “reprimanded me and offered him rum.”
She told the show that she’s considering pressing charges and believes the passengers should be charged with assault.
Williams also said she believes the flight attendant should be fired.
American Airlines released a statement acknowledging the incident: “We are aware of a customer dispute that transpired on American Eagle flight 4392, operated by Republic Airways on January 31st. The safety and comfort of our customers and team members is our top priority and our team is looking into the issue.”
Williams said she heard from American Airlines after her video went viral.
“I tried to talk to them via email and I sent them the video in its entirety and tried to let them know that this was not okay and they basically gave me that same statement like 'we try to train our employees to do X, Y and Z' and that clearly didn't happen,” Williams explained.
The video has garnered more than 760,000 views and sparked a massive debate about who was wrong – the seat-recliner or the seat-puncher.
Some of the comments suggest airlines do everyone a solid and remove the reclining mechanism altogether.
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