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Is it rude to recline your seat on an airplane? Debate rages as Delta's CEO says it's 'proper' to ask permission first

Is it rude to recline your seat on an airplane? Debate rages as Delta's CEO says it's 'proper' to ask permission first

Last month, a woman flying on an American Airlines flight took video of the man behind her repeatedly hitting the back of her seat as she reclined.

After posting the clip to social media on Saturday, it went viral, sparking a debate over who was in the wrong.

Wendi Williams told TMZ she was on an American Airlines flight from New Orleans to Charlotte on Jan. 31 when the unidentified man sitting behind her began punching her seat in a "violent" manner before she began filming him, at which point he reduced the force he used but continued to repeatedly hit her seat.

The incident sparked debate across social media, with some arguing passengers who paid their fare have the right to utilize the available function of a reclining seat, and others arguing that reclining is rude and intrudes on the already-limited space of another traveler.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian waded in on the debate by siding with the latter stance, telling CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday, "The proper thing to do is, if you're going to recline into somebody, you ask if it's OK first."

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