Final Note

A ‘knee defender’ diverted a United Airlines flight

David Gura Aug 26, 2014
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Final Note

A ‘knee defender’ diverted a United Airlines flight

David Gura Aug 26, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Today I learned about a device called a “knee defender,” built to combat the problem of legroom on airplanes – or, rather, the lack thereof.

It’s supposed to prevent the person in the seat in front of you from reclining. Some airlines have banned it, otherwise my 6-foot-1 self would be halfway through ordering one right now. This is how it works:

Anyway, a passenger used one of these on a flight from Newark to Denver – starting a fight that ended when one passenger threw water on the other.

The plane was diverted to Chicago.

The kicker?

Both of them were seated in United’s Economy Plus section, which means they had up to five inches of additional legroom – something the airline considers “spacious.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the FAA has banned the Knee Defender. The text has been corrected.

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