Knee Defender

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The Knee Defender is a device that an airplane passenger can place on the struts that support his/her drop-down airplane seat tray table to limit the extent to which the seat directly in front of him/her can be reclined.[1] The device was invented by Ira Goldman, and it was first sold to the public in 2003.[2][3]

All major U.S.A. airlines and others such as Qantas and Virgin Australia have banned the devices.[4]


In August 2014, on a United Airlines flight in North America from Newark to Denver, an argument developed between a passenger using a Knee Defender and the passenger seated in front of him who wanted to recline. Ultimately the pilot diverted the flight to Chicago and both of those passengers were deplaned.[5]


  1. ^ Sophie Warnes. "Knee defenders: what are they and are they really necessary?". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  2. ^ Maria Vultaggio. "The Gadget That Provoked A Fight And Diverted A Flight". International Business Times. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  3. ^ Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune. "Inventor of Knee Defender explains his creation". Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  4. ^ DEAN, SARAH (28 August 2014). "Knee Defenders banned on Australian flights". Mail Online. DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  5. ^ Scott Mayerowitz, AP. "Recline rancor: Passenger recalls seat dispute". Retrieved 8 December 2014.