U.S. consumers' stance on the Knee Defender - September 2014

This graph displays the results of a survey conducted between August 29 and September 1, 2014, on the opinion U.S. airline passengers have regarding the usage of Knee Defenders on airplanes. Some 34 percent of respondents were fine with using the device.

The Knee Defender is a device used to prevent airplane seats from reclining. The 21.95 U.S. dollar device was launched on the market by Ira Goldman in 2003. According to the product’s website, passengers who have bought the device use it to make up for the lack of space between seats during flights, to allow in-seat exercises while flying, as well as to protect passengers from “being battered, crunched and immobilized”. Among U.S. airlines, standard economy airline seat pitches range from 28 to 34 inches.

According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency), the Knee Defender does not violate any aviation rules, as long as passengers refrain from using it during landings, takeoffs or taxiing. Regardless of the agency’s statement, some airlines, including United Airlines and American Airlines, have banned the device from being used, due to recent incidents between passengers who disagreed with the usage of it. For standard economy seats on short-haul flights, American and United jets have seat pitches varying between 30 and 32 inches.

Are you okay with using a Knee Defender?

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Release date

September 2014


United States

Survey time period

August 29 to September 2, 2014

Number of respondents

590 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online survey

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