A disabled army veteran says that he hurt his knee during an American Airlines flight due to a seat not being put fully in its upright position for landing.

Jeff Snyder, the 56-year-old veteran, told Insider that he was travelling from Omaha, Nebraska, to Tampa, Florida on 20 August.

During his connecting flight to Charlotte, North Carolina amid a bumpy landing, he injured his knee, he explained, as the passenger in front of him refused to move his seat into the upright position. This decision caused a “metal post” from the other passenger’s seat to slam directly into Mr Snyder’s right knee, which had previously been operated on.

The injury “hurt like hell,” Mr Synder, who said he already suffers from severe PTSD, said. “But it’s not like not like I got shot.”

The 56-year-old described the reclined seat as an FAA safety violation.” He also called the flight crew “lacklustre” and accused them of having a “total lack of regard for any type of safety on the plane.”

“The biggest issue was not that I got hurt — it’s that nobody cared at all. They just blew me off,” the veteran complained to Insider.

The Federal Aviation Administration regulations do in fact spell out that “no certificate holder may take off or land an airplane unless each passenger seat back is in the upright position.”

Mr Snyder recalled his interaction with the flight attendant after the landing. As he made his way off the plane, he says he notified a flight attendant about his knee injury; the crewmember allegedly responded, “OK.”

“That’s it?” a dissatisfied Mr Snyder snapped back. “No, ‘are you OK?’”

At Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Mr Snyder said, he requested medical attention, prompting medics to give him a cold compress.

While his knee pain eased slightly, Mr Snyder’s frustration did not. He told the outlet that he spent the entirety of his four-hour layover trying to get American Airlines staffers to document the incident. But he didn’t succeed in doing so, he said.

“It was just so frustrating to be in an airport with ‘guest relations’ people all over the place and not a single person gave — excuse the term — two s***s about what was going on,” Mr Snyder recalled.

Eventually, a customer service representative gave him a corporate email address to reach American Airlines, the veteran said.

Days later, the airlines responded to his email — which was reviewed by Insider — writing: “I sincerely regret to hear of the injury you sustained when travelling to Charlotte.” The email added a flourish: “I hope you’re feeling better.”

Mr Snyder didn’t appreciate the reply. He reportedly replied to the email: “So that’s it? No taking responsibility? Nothing?” The veteran also requested to speak with someone. The representative then gave Mr Snyder 7,500 bonus miles “as a tangible apology for the situation,” according to the email reply.

But for the veteran, bonus miles didn’t do the trick. “I want them to actually take responsibility for their actions, accountability, and actually speak to me,” Mr Snyder explained, adding, “Ultimately, I was hoping that they would at least comp my flight.”

The Independent has reached out to the airline for comment.

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