Published on Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Knee defender branded ‘dangerous and provocative’

The battle lines are being drawn over the use of the controversial “knee defender” device, which prevents passengers from reclining their seats during flights. The device, which costs around USD10, prevents the seat in front of a passenger from being pushed back by jamming it in the upright position. The Daily Express reports that the device has become “hugely popular” in the United States, despite the fact that it has been banned by some airlines. The newspaper quotes Tom Hamilton, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which has branded the device “dangerous and provocative”. He reportedly said: “This could hinder exit from a seat in any emergency situation. We are also concerned that it mighty provoke disputes among passengers and lead to an increase in disruptive behaviour on-board aircraft.” The Express canvassed British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet over the device; all three carriers allow its use even if BA says it is “not something we would actively encourage”. What do you think? Is the knee defender an ingenious invention to be welcomed by carriers and travellers? Or is it bound to lead to more "air rage" incidents? Post your comments below ...

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  • Unsafe stretching it a bit

    I don't think this device is a good idea. However, I would not allege that it prevents safe exit from an aircraft. After all, seats must be ****upright**** for safe exit, so if anything, this little device would guarantee at least one seat in the proper, safe position. I think this device is more dangerous because of the bad will it creates among passengers.

    By flimth hruln, Wednesday, February 25, 2004

  • seats reclining

    I only fly first or business and thus do not know hot it feels in the dungeons.Air fares should go up along with space and service. Let the underclass stay home.

    By Alice Kehoe, Saturday, December 20, 2003

  • Shame on BA and the others

    The introduction and use of such devices is a function of minimal leg room being offerd byairlines like BA of 31 1/2 inches long haul economy where seat recline is a severe nuisance to the passenger behind In addition this reflects a new reed of inconsiderate travellers who want to impose their own selfish practices on others The airline that offers 34 inches in economy always has my business and in addition the crew who insist seats must be upright for meals I commend It is time that carriers like BA had some guts to ban these contraptions not just on safety grounds but on convenience and courtesy grounds -if someone on an aisle seat uses one of these and I am trapped in a seat inside how do I go to the loo Can the CAA lead and prescribe that British based airlines should not allow them to be used on safety grounds What does Michael O Leary think on this one because they always have an interesting view-can they be charged as extra baggage or banned as offensive weapons for instance Seriously as a very frequent flyer this kind of equipment puts me off flying with others

    By John Westlake, Thursday, December 11, 2003

  • Shame on UK Airlines

    What is with people these days? This is outrageous in my opinion!! What a terrible position to put any airline steward in to have to arbitrate between passengers over this. And I agree ~ if this is becoming such an issue then why don't the airlines make more room between the seats even if it means we pay more per flight. I'm flying home to US tomorrow for the holidays and I best not find someone using one on my recliner. RE: ".... British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet .... all allow its use even if BA says it is --not something we would actively encourage”." It sounds like they should be "actively DIScouraging" such devices. And even MORE SHAME on the USA airlines for EVEN allowing such a thing on an airplane!!

    By Lynne A., Wednesday, December 10, 2003

  • Let FAA , CAA ban knee defender

    What really is trajic is the continued erosion of basic good manners, which in this cased spawned the introduction of the knee device. Moreover as a practical matter, this device will surely gain in popularity and access unabated. Regardless of our different viewpoints, can we not agree that this would lead to on increasing on board disruptive incidents or at worst, safety issues? Let the FAA, CAA and other authorities ban the device and remove the onus upon the airlines to do so.

    By Mark, Wednesday, December 10, 2003

  • pethetic

    as a travel agent I think the use of such a device is pathetic, there is already to much "air rage" on planes, if your tall you need to recline, and airlines should ban this silly piece of equipment. and Lynne, if your infuriated about people reclining on flights, short haul especially, then why don't you buy a business class seat? that way it wont bother you, if I found you using one on me I would take it and put it somewhere you wouldn't like it!!!!!, at the end of the day, airlines seats all recline, therefore its your right to recline your seat if you want to, but yes you should always inform the person behind your abut to do so.

    By conran, Wednesday, December 10, 2003

  • Reclining seats

    I have to admit that I am only 5ft2 and find that if the person in front reclines their seat, it infuriates me, particularly on a short-haul. Long-haul is usually acceptable as many people will sleep. I can also understand the comment made by Sunil but what if the passenger behind him is also of the same build?! We'd go on and on like a stack of dominoes. If I can get a hold of these, believe me I'd use them.

    By Lynne, Wednesday, December 10, 2003

  • What happened to politeness?

    It is very annoying when the person in front reclines their seat but I have always notified the person behind me that I am about to do it. Isn't that just politeness? This device is surely just going to cause problems and disputes. What happens if the person reclining doesn't know about the device and calls over a steward? Will they be able to order the person to remove it? There is one way to prevent the need for a device that stops people reclining seats(though its not very popular!) and that is taking seats out of the planes and giving people more room!

    By siobhan, Wednesday, December 10, 2003

  • Ridiculous

    I am 180cm tall and weigh 115Kgs. If I can't recline my seat the angle permissible by the airline and find this is because of an intervention by the person behind me, there would be trouble for sure!

    By Sunil, Wednesday, December 10, 2003

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