On August 24th, the "Knee Defender" sowed discord on a United Airlines flight. This small plastic device, sold on the internet since 2003 for less than $ 22, simply clamps onto the supporting arms of your aircraft passenger seat folding tray table, thus blocking the passenger seat in front of you from reclining too much, and in so doing, preserving your maximum leg room.
It was precisely these clamps that were installed by a 48-year-old male passenger wanting to use his computer on board a flight from Newark to Denver. The lady passenger in front could not recline her seat, and so requested a hostess to have the offending “Knee Defender” removed. The man behind, who had installed them, refused; having subsequently received a glass of water in his face, the aircraft eventually diverted to Chicago and the two passengers disembarked ( we do not know whether they did so individually or together ! ).
But what does the legislation have to say on the matter? In fact, these clamps are not actually prohibited by the FAA and EASA, ( American and European civil aviation authorities ). Both leave that choice to the carriers’ discretion, although most American companies, such as United Airlines, have banned their use. Following the foregoing incident, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have also just followed suit.
Another, perhaps more radical solution to avoid such an inconvenience, is for carriers to offer only non-reclinable seats; in fact many airlines around the world have made ??this choice on their short-haul aircraft. This is especially true of Spirit and Allegiant Air, two American low-cost companies.
A simple but effective way of ensuring that passengers do not, or more like, cannot stretch their legs anymore.