Reclining seat crushes passenger’s laptop
A PASSENGER on a US domestic flight has lashed out online after his laptop was broken when the person seated in front of him reclined their seat.
Pat Cassidy has written a piece on Barstool Sports about his experience and published several tweets and images of what unfolded on the Delta flight from Austin to Los Angeles, the New Zealand Herald reported.
"There was a time when I had a working laptop, but that was a long time ago, before the selfish b**tard in 13A decided to fully recline his seat and castrate my livelihood," he wrote.
Cassidy explained he was editing photos on his laptop, which was sitting on the tray table, but when the person in front suddenly reclined, his computer screen "folded like a taco".
Cassidy also tweeted his outrage.
"@Delta small note for the suggestion box, maybe have a little warning sign or someway to prevent my laptop from being destroyed when the person in front of me reclines their seat," he tweeted.
@Delta small note for the suggestion box, maybe have a little warning sign or someway to prevent my laptop from being destroyed when the person in front of me reclines their seat. pic.twitter.com/QHmphXiDhH— Pat Cassidy (@HardFactorPat) February 26, 2020
"Also, this one is more of a critique than a suggestion. I really appreciate that your flight attendant came over to tell me that the passenger in front of me 'needs to be able to recline' and then asked him 'if he was okay?' as if your seat hadn't just ruined my livelihood."
In his article, Cassidy outlined the clear etiquette of seat reclining on planes.
Cassidy decided to complain to Delta, and the airline responded with an apology but no offer of compensation.
"Thank you for writing us about your experience. I'm sorry your laptop was broken due to another passenger reclining on your seat. It's not fair when one person's behaviour affects another person. Please know that personal property damaged in-flight as a result of a passenger action is not reimbursable. We regret the inconvenience this has caused you."
Instead, as a "goodwill gesture", the airline offered Cassidy 7500 airpoints with the carrier's loyalty program.
Cassidy shared the email on Twitter, saying it was the equivalent of a "$75 gift card and an explanation that you would give a six-year-old".
Of course, the situation has clearly divided the internet over proper etiquette when it comes to reclining.
"The person needed to recline. If Macbooks are broken, chalk it up to collateral damage. They had to recline, damnit. That 4 degree difference is vital," wrote @AUnobtrusive.
@hisham_hm also had little sympathy: "Am I the only one to think this is not the airline's fault? You _tucked_ the screen into the tray storage area. Frankly, it's unsurprising that this would happen."
Am I the only one to think this is not the airline's fault? You _tucked_ the screen into the tray storage area. Frankly, it's unsurprising that this would happen.— Hisham (@hisham_hm) February 27, 2020
But some Twitter users also had clear thoughts on the issue.
"Nobody should be allowed to recline on an aeroplane. It only causes issues," Randall Kanna wrote.
"Seat recliners are THE worst people," Michel Fisher said.
Another user @boop lamented the damage that can be done by seat recliners.
"I sincerely do not understand why people are unable to gently recline backwards, it's not just laptops at risk but knees, drinks on the table, etc," they said.
Last month, the head of Delta Air Lines said in an interview with CNBC that passengers should ask permission or check with the person behind them before they reclined their seat.
Ed Bastian told the media outlet he never did it himself.
"I never recline because I don't think it's something that, since I'm the CEO of the airline, I should be reclining my seat," he said.
Last month a video surfaced online of an American Airlines passenger repeatedly "punching" the back of a reclining traveller's seat.
Wendi Williams uploaded the video to Twitter of the man hitting the back of her seat.
"Here's a great jackhole!" she wrote. "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 behaviour."
This article originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald and was reproduced with permission