Man's laptop smashed by reclining passenger on flight – but who is in the wrong?

Josh Dutton
News Reporter

A man who had his laptop smashed on a passenger plane has triggered debate as to whether he was at fault.

Pat Cassidy was on board a Delta Airlines flight in the US last week and decided to use his laptop on the tray table in front of him while seated.

Unfortunately, the man in front of him reclined his seat and he claims this smashed his computer screen.

“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.

He claims Delta gave him a A$114 voucher as compensation and his tweet was more a “critique” than a suggestion. It’s believed he was using his laptop for work purposes.

“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,” Mr Cassidy tweeted.

‘Kind of your fault’

While Mr Cassidy’s laptop was destroyed there’s been debate as to who was at fault.

“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,” one woman tweeted.

One man asked if it’s “time to ban” seat reclining.

Another man added Delta “owes you” a brand new computer.

Some people have called for an end to reclining seats on flights. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

However, not everyone agreed the man reclining his seat was to blame.

“Use common sense and don’t use your $1300 laptop on a plane when you know someone in front is going to recline their seat. You played yourself on this one,” one man tweeted.

Another man suggested Mr Cassidy should have pulled the tray out further to avoid it being crushed in the seat. From the picture, it appears to be tucked under the video screen.

“Kind of your fault to be honest,” he tweeted.

What does the airline’s CEO feel about reclining seats?

Either way, Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian spoke to CNBC last month about his thoughts on passengers reclining their seats.

“I think customers have the right to recline,” he told CNBC.

“But I think the proper thing to do is if you’re going to recline into somebody that you ask if it’s OK first, then you do it.”

Mr Bastian added he never reclines although he puts that down to the fact he’s the CEO of Delta.

The Delta boss had been discussing a video filmed on an American Airlines flight which sparked debate after a woman reclined her seat.

The man behind her was clearly unhappy about it.

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