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