Monday, March 23, 2015

"Knee-Defender:" What do you think?

I was reading the Columbus Dispatch before dinner and read an article entitled Viral Victories, how internet fame has helped create riches for small businesses.

Among the examples was the the recent internet-famous dress which viewers couldn't tell whether the dress was blue and black or white and gold. While I never fully understood the furor or the explanation, I am not surprised that the viral attention generated increased sales of over 600% for the small company.

Three other examples were also highlighted: the Cronut, a cross between a donut and croissant; a Ti-shirt with three wolves howling at the moon, and the Knee Defender.

I am not at all familiar with the Cronut or the Howling Moon T-Shirt, but I clearly remember the media fervor by a brawl on a commercial jet over the Knee Defender.

If you remember, the Knee Defender is a $22 device that a passenger can attach to his/her airline tray table to prevent the person in front of them from reclining the seat in front of them.

It caused a huge blow-up on the jet and tons of publicity, with many people siding with either the guy who invented it or the passenger who wanted to recline her seat.

Apparently US airlines prohibit its usage but it is not illegal.  I never understood that if the airline prohibits it why didn't the flight attendant ask the person using it to remove it, but that is a different story.  Obviously the publicity generated more business for the Knee Defender company, but I think it also launched a debate among air travelers.

I have to admit that when I fly I rarely recline my seat and when I do I do it only slightly.  I try to be very cognizant of the person in back of me.  I also hate it when the person in front of me reclines it as far back as it goes, as I really feel they are infringing on my space at that point, especially since the airlines have greatly reduced the seat size and leg room on flights to make more money.

However, I don't feel it is right to completely use a device that prevents someone from reclining at all.

What do you think?  Would you use a Knee Defender?  If you were in the front seat and tried to recline and couldn't, what would you do if the person was using the Knee Defender?


  1. I had totally forgotten about the knee defender! It's such an interesting question, isn't it, about where our own rights start and stop, and how we defend ourselves from incursions. There must be a better way!

    1. I agree in that cooperation in some way should be a better way than a "knee defender." Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ha! Getting ready to fly to the west coast tomorrow, and I'm willing to bet this post will come to mind. I also do not recline as it is such a tight space for the person behind you. You can barely get your tray down for those delicious snacks. ;)
    Fun post. D :)

    1. Thanks for your input -- I hope you have a safe trip. I can't help but think of this every time I fly. That and how much room I really will have depending on the people around me.


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