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Knee Defender causes incident in airliner and forces an unscheduled stop

Wednesday, August 27th 2014 - 20:52 UTC
Full article 15 comments
The Knee Defender is banned on some airlines, and recommends users “to be courteous and do not hog space” The Knee Defender is banned on some airlines, and recommends users “to be courteous and do not hog space”
For just U$ 22 you can buy a Knee Defender... For just U$ 22 you can buy a Knee Defender...

An airliner has been diverted after a row broke out over one passenger's use of a device to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. A male and female passenger were involved in a heated dispute last Sunday, after the male passenger attached a Knee Defender to his seat.

 The argument forced the United Airlines flight from Newark to Denver to make an unscheduled stop in Chicago. Police investigated the incident but said it was a customer service issue.

The passengers involved were reported to be sitting in the Economy Plus section of the plane, which already provides an extra four inches (10cm) of leg room.

The fight began 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 used his laptop, officials said.

A flight attendant asked him to remove the device - a small piece of plastic costing 21.95 dollars which slots onto the tray table - but he refused. The woman reacted by standing up, turning around and throwing a cup of water at him.

The flight crew then made the decision to divert the plane to Chicago, where police were waiting to meet it.

Under US law, the passengers, both 48, could have been fined for unruly behavior. But police decided the incident was not a threat to aviation security. Despite this, the passengers were not allowed to continue onto Denver.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has said it is up to individual airlines to set rules about whether they allow the use of the Knee Defender on flights. Most major US airlines, including United Airlines, have banned the device.

Its inventor, Ira Goldman, has said people should be courteous and tell the passenger sitting in front of them when they are using a Knee Defender.

“The Knee Defender says right on it: 'Be courteous. Do not hog space. Listen to the flight crew.' Apparently that is not what happened here,” he told USA Today.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Briton

    Some planes are very tight, and the seats are far to small for leg room,

    perhaps the airlines should provide more room for all of us.

    Aug 27th, 2014 - 10:41 pm 0
  • Frank

    You can use the inflight magazine for that job... no evidence...worst case is 'oh sorry the magazine must have just slipped in there'... don't ask how I know this.......

    Aug 28th, 2014 - 01:16 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Ryanair will be charging for this as an optional extra now wh know about it!

    Aug 28th, 2014 - 10:12 am 0
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