Ellen DeGeneres Weighs in on Viral Airplane Seat Reclining Debate


Ellen Degeneres is weighing in on the great debate of 2020: should you recline your seat on an airplane?

The debate was triggered by a recent viral video posted on social media by Wendi Williams.

Williams was on an American Airlines flight from New Orleans to Charlotte when she reclined her seat, which ended up becoming the punching bag for the passenger sitting behind her.

The man was allegedly upset because Williams reclined her seat while he was sitting in the last row and wasn’t able to recline.

Ellen played the clip for her "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" audience first before polling them on their thoughts.

The majority of the audience found themselves siding with “team recline your seat,” including Ellen.

“The video started a great debate over who's right in the situation - the man or the woman,” Ellen said before adding, “I can't even believe there's a debate on this.”

Ellen gave her audience more background on the situation including that the passenger asked Williams to wait to recline her seat until he was done with his meal, which she did.

However, when she began to recline, Ellen said, “He started a boxing match with her seat.”

Bringing her brand of humor into the mix, Ellen admitted she was siding with the woman before jokingly adding, “To me, the only, only time it's ever okay to punch someone's seat is if the seat punches you first.”

Ellen admitted she understood the male passenger may have been uncomfortable, but the answer is simple, “Airline seats are made to recline and she has a right to recline her chair.”

The host called out the male passenger for his immaturity, claiming he didn’t act like an adult.

“You're also an adult and you have to act like an adult ... don't pick on her like a third grader,” she said.

She also put out this general warning: “It’s the first clue that you’re doing something that you shouldn’t be doing when someone pulls out a phone and starts recording you for evidence. At that point, you know you’re going to become a YouTube star, and not the kind where you make a million dollars for opening toys.”

She left everyone with a piece of advice: “recline to one another,” a punny play on her signature phrase, “Be kind to one another.”

Williams explained that she wasn’t just frustrated with the passenger, whom she believes should be charged with assault, but she’s also upset with how the flight crew handled the situation.

She 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.

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.”

Where do you stand on the issue?