Should the Knee Defender Be Allowed on Airline Flights?

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

Use of the seat-recline preventer led to a heated confrontation, a flight detour and the removal of two passengers on a United Airlines flight.

Two travelers were booted off a United Airlines flight this weekend after a heated exchange over the use of a Knee Defender.

What is this thing? you ask. It’s two small plastic devices, retailing for $21.95, that attach to the arms of your tray table and prevent the passenger in front of you from reclining their seat. The Knee Defender is reportedly prohibited by all of the major airlines, including United, that still have reclining seats.

“The fight started when the male passenger, seated in a middle seat of row 12, used the Knee Defender to stop the woman in front of him from reclining while he was on his laptop, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak,” The Associated Press said.

AP said the two people were seated in Economy Plus, which has 4 more inches of legroom than those crowded seats in coach.

According to news accounts, the man refused to remove the Knee Defender, even after a flight attendant asked him to. Then the woman in front reportedly dumped a cup of water on him.

United landed the flight in Chicago and let the two passengers off, then continued to Denver. No arrests were made.

The question we pose to you is: Should the Knee Defender be allowed on flights?

Bill Saporito wrote in an opinion piece on Time:

Being 6 foot 2 inches and long of leg, I’m in a near rage by the time I wedge myself into a coach seat. And now you want to jam your chair back into my knees for four hours? Go fly a kite. It’s an airline seat, not a lounge chair. You want comfort, buy a business class seat.

On the other side of the issue, Sarah Miller wrote on Time:

Buying a Knee Defender is cheating. It is like insider trading, but worse, because not everyone expects to get rich. Everyone does expect to recline.

Added Chris Matyszczyk on CNET:

Surely the first step when a seat suddenly reclines in your direction is to politely ask the passenger in front whether you can reach an accommodation. Slapping them in your own self-righteous seat-cuffs is a touch provocative.

Ira Goldman, who invented the Knee Defender, told the Los Angeles Times that the device comes with a label that says “Be courteous. Do not hog space. Listen to flight crew.” The Times added:

It’s not meant for space-hogs, Goldman said, but rather to serve as an “early warning” system for travelers who don’t want seat backs to unexpectedly collide with knees, babies on their laps, or laptop screens.

In fact, he said, the devices can be adjusted to allow seat backs to recline halfway.

This whole situation seems incredibly juvenile. Knee Defenders aren’t allowed on United flights, so don’t bring them. And it’s not OK to dump a cup of water on a fellow passenger.

The other passengers on the plane really got the raw end of the deal. Because the flight was diverted, they arrived at their Denver destination an hour and 38 minutes late, AP said.

Do you think Knee Defenders should be allowed on planes? Who do you think is in the wrong here? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Get Free Access to Luxury Airport Lounges With Your Credit Card

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,738 more deals!