(CNN) – Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian added some fuel to the big seat recline debate that set Twitter on fire.
Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday morning to announce Delta’s plans to become carbon neutral, Bastian was prompted to comment on “recline gate”, a viral story about an American Airlines passenger who sat on the seat to seat the man behind his back punch in retaliation.
With just over a minute for the 13-minute interview, Bastian was removed from the message. He tried to avoid the problem by trumpeting on the upper step of the Delta seat, more seats, more space and so on.
When asked what the label is, Bastian replied: “I think customers have the right to recline. We have tested reduced reclines … But I think the right thing to do is if you are going to recline in someone, who before ask if it’s okay, “then adding” I never say anything alone. “
After being pressed again that you think the label is asking the person behind if you can recline, Bastian replied, “If anyone knows there is a tall person behind them, and they want to recline their seat, I think the polite thing to do is to make sure it is fine. I never lie down, because I don’t think that since I am the CEO of the airline, I should recline the seat. And I never say anything if someone reclines in me. “
Last year, Delta adapted its Airbus A320 jets to reduce the reclining of 4-inch to 2-inch coach seats and the reclining of first-class seats from 5.5-inch to 3.5-inch. The move was made in an attempt to protect customers’ personal space and minimize “in-flight multitasking disruptions,” an airline spokesman said at the time.
TMZ shared the Bastian segment on Twitter, with many heated responses, including one from filmmaker Judd Apatow, who tweeted “Hey @ Delta – no! You want to create a situation where we all have to negotiate and fight with each other “Crazy? We pay to recline. How about huge discounts when the people behind us say no?”
Bastian has joined the CNBC program to say that “as of March 1, Delta Air Lines will become the first airline to become completely carbon neutral on a global basis”.
He also discussed his company’s tradition of sharing Valentine’s Day profits of $ 1.6 billion, and Delta’s decision-making process on the coronavirus.