Man's MacBook Pro destroyed by passenger in front reclining on Delta flight

The internet is divided over who is to blame

The reclining debate has been ignited on Twitter once again after an airline passenger posted an image of a broken laptop that was damaged when the person in front of him reclined their seat.

The screen of Pat Cassidy's MacBook Pro laptop, which had been open on his tray table, was left damaged when the person in front of him on a Delta flight leant back without any prior warning.

Cassidy had tucked the top of his laptop screen beneath the tray table grove, trapping it between the chair and the table as the seat moved backwards.

Posting a photo of the blackened screen to Twitter, he said, “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 added that the flight attendant seemed more concerned with the passenger in front than with his broken laptop. “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.”

The tweet has since attracted hundreds of comments and retweets – not all of them positive.

“Rapid ‘crash mode’ seat recliners are THE worst people,” one user wrote, while another added, “Nobody should be allowed to recline on an airplane. It only causes issues.”

However, the image left many people questioning whether the airline was to blame for the damage. “Pretty easy to tell if you jam your computer under there that will happen,” one user said. Another added, “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.”

After making an official complaint with Delta, Cassidy revealed that the airline said in-flight personal property damage was not reimbursable, but offered him 7,500 bonus miles as a goodwill gesture – the equivalent of $75 (Dh275).

This is not the first time that reclining has sparked debate online in recent weeks. In February, a video of a man punching a fellow passenger's seat when she chose to put her it back went viral, leaving Twitter users divided over who was in the right.

Wendi Williams, was flying American Airlines from New Orleans to Charlotte, when she started to film her fellow passenger. The video did not stop him nudging her chair.

"He was angry that I reclined my seat and punched it about nine times - HARD, at which point I began videoing him and he resigned to this behaviour," Williams explained of the incident on Twitter when posting the video.

"I was returning from a teachers’ convention. The man asked me, with an attitude, to put my seat up because he was eating. I did," Williams explained in a separate Tweet.

"I then reclined it again when he was finished. At that point, he started hammering away at me. That’s when I started videoing and tried to call the flight attendant".

Replies to Williams have been divided, to say the least. With the loudest shouters seeming to side with the male passenger.

"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," replied one Twitter user.

"Why were you so inconsiderate? Reclining airline seats is such a dud move. I admire his resilience. Why would you share this video when it puts you in such a bad light?" said another.

While some were on Williams' side.

"I’m 6’2”, travel extensively, and always pay for the extra leg room. This boy is in the wrong, that’s assault. All the people tweeting 'you should have asked to recline first' – I have never seen someone ask if it’s okay. This is why I don’t fly American anymore too," one supporter said. While another added: "This behaviour is not acceptable, no excuses".

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