Airline passenger films man punching her economy seat

An airline passenger’s video of a man punching the back of her seat sparked an online debate: Is it OK to recline your seat when sitting in economy?

Wendi Williams said on Twitter that she was on an American Airlines flight from New Orleans to Charlotte when she decided to put her seat in the recline position.

The man behind her responded by repeatedly punching her seat, Williams wrote.

“Here’s a great jackhole! He was angry that I reclined my seat and punched it about 9 times — HARD, at which point I began videoing him, and he resigned to this behavior,” Williams tweeted Saturday with a video of the man behind her hitting the back of her seat. It’s not clear what happened before or after Williams started filming.

“The other jackhole is the @AmericanAir flight attendant who reprimanded me and offered him rum!” Williams added.

American Airlines responded to Williams on Twitter by asking her to direct message them.

Williams responded that she had tried to reach out to the airline. “You clearly want me to do this quietly through a DM,” she said. “I’m done being quiet! I’ve had extensive neck surgeries – my cervical spine is completely fused … I’ve lost time at work, had to visit a doctor, got x-rays, and have (had) horrible headaches for a week,” Williams wrote.

In a statement obtained by NBC News, American Airlines said a team was “looking into the issue.”

“The safety and comfort of our customers and team members is our top priority,” the statement said.

A picture of Williams’ ticket that she posted indicated she was sitting in economy class.

Some Twitter users chided her for reclining her seat in such tight quarters.

“Reclining your seat when you are flying coach is literally the most selfish inconsiderate thing a person can do. It literally ruins the travel experience of the person sitting behind you. You are just as bad if not worse than him,” one person wrote.

Others stuck up for Williams. “It’s ridiculous for ppl to say you shouldn’t recline your seat. It’s an option for a reason. You’re fully within your right. If he needs more room, he should have gotten a seat that accommodated that. Why should you be inconvenienced? You paid for your seat,” a Twitter user responded to her.

Still others said the fault lies with airlines. “Amazing all the haters; its the airlines’ fault for putting in Too many seats! Especially American Airlines!” a Twitter user said.

NBC News