Delta CEO: Passengers should ask permission before reclining their seats on planes

The CEO of the second-largest airline in the world says passengers should ask permission when they recline their seat.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in an interview with CNBC he believes that passengers on planes should make sure it's alright with the passenger behind you before reclining.

"The proper thing to do if you recline into somebody is that you ask if it's OK first and then you do it," Bastian said in an interview on Squawk Box.

The question came in response to a now-viral video of an American Airlines passenger berating the person in front of him for reclining her seat. The angry passenger went as far as to punch the back of her seat repeatedly in protest of the recline, sparking debate as to whether passengers should recline their seats if there is someone behind them.

Reclining a seat greatly reduces the amount of available space for the person behind and may prevent them from doing tasks such as working on a laptop. The action often has a ripple effect subsequently leading further passengers down the line to recline their seats to salvage any remaining open space, which ultimately has an adverse effect on those in seats which cannot or have limited recline.

Bastian, however, believes that passengers do have a right to use the now-controversial seat feature, though discretion should be used.

"I think customers have the right to recline," said Bastian.

The Delta CEO also says he never reclines his seat or objects to when someone else does it to him, despite his height, citing his status as the head of the airline.

"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," Bastian said. "And I never say anything if someone reclines into me."

- This article first appeared on Business Insider

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