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Use of the Knee Defender

Has anyone had experience with the Knee Defender that he or she is willing to share? This is a device the limits how far back the seat in front of you can be reclined. Do airline personnel allow you to use this or will it be confiscated?

Posted by
9363 posts

I looked at the devices on the website and I guess I don't see how they would prevent someone from reclining their seat. The tray table reclines with the seat, so how do they stop that?

Posted by
23473 posts

And if I could not recline my seat, I would ask the attendant as to why. I know some think they have the right to prevent a seat from reclining but I have the same right to recline it.

Posted by
3050 posts

If people weren't supposed to recline their seats, why would they seats recline? I don't get this at all. The only time it bothers me is mealtime. If people are eating it's polite to wait until mealtime is over. Otherwise, I'm reclining my seat and I expect the person in front of me to do so as well. It really is only a couple of inches, folks, you're already crammed in like sardines. Then again this is one time where I'm grateful for my short, stumpy legs. My very tall family members are in a greater bind, obviously. But seat reclining is not inherently rude and preventing someone from doing so would be.

Posted by
2765 posts

It can and will be confiscated. Techinically you are not allowed to change the "configuration" of the plane (that's an FAA rule) and this does. And of course it's just as rude to assume "what I want is more important than anyone else on the plane" . Are you willing to limit YOUR recline or is this "do as I say not as I do"? The seats recline... that's just the way it works. If you don't want a reclining seat in front of you there are airlines you can fly (See Spirit in the US)

Posted by
175 posts

I think it's ridiculous that seats in coach do recline! The space is already insanely limited, and for people who are tall, like me and my husband (I'm 6'0" and my husband is 6'6"), it's borderline painful to ride in coach, especially for international flights. If only I could afford to fly first class. And as I do not want people invading my small space, I do NOT ever recline my seat. NEVER. In a tight space like an aircraft, I view it as extremely insensitive and rude, akin to kicking the seat in front of you. We're all sharing space, people. Have a little compassion!

Posted by
341 posts

While we like to save money on airfares as much as the next person, the extra fee for flying United Economy Plus is well worth it. You get an extra 5 inches of leg room; which may not sound like much, but on long international flights it makes all the difference for comfort. And it's alot cheaper than business or first class.

Posted by
449 posts

Just to be clear about this matter: I am not advocating the use of a Knee Defender. I just raised a question about the legal and ethical use of this device. Becca brings up a valid point - airline seats are not fair to folks who are taller than the norm, but who are not giants, and who would be uncomfortable if the person sitting in front of them reclined their seat all the way back for most of the flight. When I fly back from Europe ths summer on United Airlines I covered my bets by paying an extra $99 to get an economy plus seat for the five extra inches, and this seat is in the emergency exit row so that there is no seat in front of me. Unfortunately, the seatguru website shows that the emergency row seats for the Boeing 757 (international) are in the regular economy section which gives them a good rating: lots of leg room without having to upgrade to economy plus. However, in reality, the emergency row is in economy plus which means that one has to pay the extra $99. BTW: The Wall Street Journal recently had a story about economy plus seating. On a United Airlines 757 the Economy Plus seats are configured the same as Economy seats: 9 across the cabin with 5 extra inches of leg space. On an Air New Zealand 757 the Economy Plus seats are spaced six across the cabin with about 5 extra inches of leg space.

Posted by
11507 posts

Becca my ex husband was 6'4" and found that if the person in front of him reclined, they he had to recline as that gave him an "angle" to slide his legs down under the seat in front of him. He absolutely could not store anything under the seat in front of him as he needed the room for his( huge) feet. I don't know how you manage to sit upright for 10-12 hours, you are tougher then I,, I do recline, and stuff pillows in the small of my back etc,, just to survive the flight,, I of course do not recline during meal times. Our flights are always nighttime flights so we have always found that most everyone reclines after dinner to try and sleep. As for the knee defender, seems having "something" in that space could be an emergency evacuation impediment. I do feel sorry for tall people, and you don't even have to be that tall, I am almost 5'6' and I figure thats about the limit. I do pay more for economy plus, but its not an affordable upgrade on some airlines( someone mentioned 99 dollars, thats a deal, I pay a couple hundred more)

Posted by
6788 posts

This is laughable. Good luck with your "knee defender".

Posted by
818 posts

If someone behind me tried to use that there would be HUGE issues! I would flip my freaking lid. And to the person who says they never recline on a plane - why not? I don't understand THAT at all. Sounds like you are a martyr - if I can go without reclining so can everyone!

Posted by
2765 posts

yes, I can see them sitting upright for 8 hours feeling "Holier then thou" because "we don't recline" LOL! But if the attempt to force thier view on others.. well the FA will tell them that those people have the right to recline. Seriously it's the way planes work. If you don't want a recline in front of you aim for exit or bulkhead. However, lots of airlines either hold these for Frequent Flyers or charge for them. (Sometimes if they are held for Frequent Flyers they open up before the flight, ask your airline for details)

Posted by
11507 posts

Wow, can you imagine a big person pushing hard enough back to break the knee defenders off,, then their seat may be broken in the fully reclined , then that person would actually have a seat on their lap,, that would serve them right. Better to give a few inches then to end up with a seat on your lap, lol I think I would operate under stealth, soon as knee defender behind me went to washroom I would remove the devise,,they would never see it again. Actually I would ask flight attendent to remove it.. I really could not sit upright for 12 hours.. my back would break.

Posted by
818 posts

Sadly, if I was involved a fist fight would likely break out. I can't believe anyone would buy one of those! Really, you are just asking for trouble.

Posted by
638 posts

Let them know two can play that game! When you get tired of sitting up straight just get up and stand right next to the person sitting behind you, stand in their personal space so to speak, if they say something let them know the seatback won't recline and you're stretching your back. Now if they complain and say they're going to call the flight attendant say please do! Call their bluff, when the attendant arrives simply explain that when you got on the aircraft the seat reclined because you tested it and now it won't, hopefully he or she will check the seat, find the offending device and remove it! And also deny the culprit an extra bag of pretzels later on.

Posted by
9363 posts

Can someone please explain what about these devices prevents the seat from going back? The website shows two small clips attached to the bases of the tray table arms where they meet the seat. I still don't understand how this could prevent reclining? Seems like it would just prevent the tray table from folding up.

Posted by
19171 posts

Yes, it would prevent the tray table from folding up. So the Knee Defender perp has to spend the whole trip with the tray in his lap. Because, for the tray to remain horizontal, the angle between the tray table and the back of the seat has to decrease as the seat is reclined, the knee defender, forced into the vertex of that angle, supposedly holds the angle open. (Unless it makes the tray go back with the seat, thus spilling boiling hot coffee in the person's lap - wouldn't that be justice!)

Posted by
11507 posts

Then they should be forbidden as a safety hazard, in an emergency what if one jammed on , it would prevent a quick evacuation.

Posted by
9363 posts

Lee, that's what it looks like to me - the tray would be shoved into the person's stomach. I see nothing that would keep the tray level. Looks like a nice way to get $18 out of someone who didn't think it through.

Posted by
2349 posts

And the ad claims they have shipped to all seven continents, including Antarctica. Would that be UPS or FedEx?

Posted by
6788 posts

FWIW, I'm sure these are prohibited on every airline, for all the reasons mentioned above (and more) - it's an obvious safety hazard, it interferes with the standard operation of passengers' seats, not to mention it's a breathtakingly obnoxious idea. If anyone tries using one and you find your seat won't recline, I'm certain that all you would need to do would be to point it out to a flight attendant. Then, once the device has been confiscated by the cabin crew, recline your seat and leave it there for the duration of the flight.

Posted by
977 posts

Can you imagine NOT reclining your seat after flying 14 hours from Singapore to most places in Europe (after a 7/12 flight to get to Singapore from Adelaide)????!!!! I am very mindful not to recline until a meal has been served.