Reclining seats has been a flashpoint between passengers for years. Spirit Airlines seats don’t recline at all – imagine the conflict on a Spirit flight if they did. Spirit has claimed their seats are ‘pre-reclined’.
But what happens when an American Airlines regional jet flight has a seat that’s pre-reclined, possibly due to poor maintenance?
Police were called to the gate as the flight pulled in, and detained two men who brawling on board over a seat that reportedly was stuck in the recline position.
Calls to “clear the aisle!” and “return to your seats immediately!” can be heard echoing throughout the cabin, as one passenger adamantly repeats “stop, it’s not worth it!”
…”When the plane finally landed in Austin and the seatbelt sign was turned off, both men jumped up and physically started fighting each other,” said one anonymous passenger.
According to American Airlines,
Law enforcement were requested to meet American Eagle flight 4698, operated by Republic Airways, after arriving to Austin (AUS) from New Orleans (MSY) due to an altercation between passengers.
The most noteworthy things about the incident I suppose are that American (and American Eagle) aren’t serving alcohol in coach, and the dispute didn’t appear to involve a mask disagreement – although both passengers appeared to lose their masks at some point during the fight.
Seat recline is important for passengers on long flights with poorly-padded seats, as a way of distributing passenger weight to reduce back stress. This, though, is a 444 mile flight. The seat didn’t need to be reclined, but it appears passengers didn’t have a choice in the matter and that added fuel to the fire of Spirit-like passengers in close proximity over slightly more than an hour’s journey.