Williams tweeted that she was on a January 31 flight from New Orleans to Charlotte on American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines, when the incident occurred.
"Here's a great jackhole!"
According to Williams, the passenger behind her punched the seat with more force about nine times prior to the video, when he switched to the more constant, lower-impact punch solution demonstrated in the tweet.
She also accused a flight attendant of dismissing her complaint and allegedly offering the man a rum for his troubles.
The video was posted to Twitter Feb. 8, but started attracting attention in recent days.
The responses to the video have been very divided and contentious; many people are calling out Williams for the very act of reclining her seat, and implying that therein lies the real issue here.
"When the FA came". She claims the hostess merely rolled her eyes and ignored her, passing the man his complimentary drink.
Lisa Orr, a Toronto-based etiquette expert, says she was surprised both by the video itself and by the mixed reaction it received online. It's against the law to video on a plane. "I asked her name & She gave me a Passenger Disturbance Notice", she wrote.
In the time since the incident, Williams said she's had to absorb medical costs and a loss of wages.
"First I was afraid, I was petrified".
"I'm done being quiet! I will recline! Hey hey!" "The airline didn't really accept any culpability, although she apologized and said what happened was wrong - that's it". She said she obliged, but reclined it again once he was finished. "I've lost time at work, had to visit a doctor, got x-rays, and have (had) awful headaches for a week". I've had extensive neck surgeries - my cervical spine is completely fused, except for C1. "The man behind her assaulted her chair", she said. "I am grateful for the limited movement I still have and shouldn't have had to endure the repeated blows".
Williams said she later made contact with American Airlines about the incident. She tweeted that she plans to file an assault charge with the Federal Bureau of Investigation against the "man who mistook me for a punching bag". "Anyone who doesn't like it, I don't care!"
In a statement obtained by Fox News, American Airlines said it is investigating the incident. "The safety and comfort of our customers and team members is our top priority, and our team is looking into the issue".
Many are arguing that Williams is being over-dramatic, or seeking a payoff, or any number of other reprehensible behaviours, but the fact is only one person in this mess was repeatedly and fecklessly punching a seat because they didn't like the realities of modern air travel. Dude is in the last seat on the plane. "Reclining airline seats is such a dud move". "Obviously he picked the wrong row or bought the cheapest ticket available", one user wrote.
Here's a quick reminder for those of you who haven't checked in with the realities of air travel in a while: aeroplane seats are created to recline. "So it is unfair for the person in front to recline their seat".
Others stuck up for her. "It's ridiculous for people to say you shouldn't recline your seat". It's an option for a reason. You're fully within your right. Why should you be inconvenienced?
"Doesn't matter that she had her seat reclined", responded another.