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'Knee Defender' causes United flight to be diverted

A $21 gadget caused a United Airlines flight to Denver to be diverted to Chicago on Sunday night?

A look at the $21 device that caused a United flight to be diverted
Photo Courtesy of Knee Defender

Roger that.

We all hate it when that passenger in front of us reclines their seat all the way back. Especially in the days of less legroom on commercial planes.

Well a new gadget, called of all things, the Knee Defender is a plastic device that prevents an airline seat from reclining ans it caused quite a stir on a flight earlier this week.

United Airlines Flight 1462 from Newark, N.J., to Denver is a regularly scheduled hop, but on Sunday, it had to divert to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

A man seated in Economy Plus was using a Knee Defender to prevent the woman seated in front of him from putting back her seat.

Apparently she got upset, stood up and threw a cup of water at the man using the Knee Defender. The crew aboard the plane made the quick decision to land the plane in Chicago.

While this was a huge inconvenience for those on the flight, it brings up a larger question.

Should a gadget like a Knee Defender be banned from all flights?

On its website, the Knee Defender says it's "valued by airline passengers with small children, "road warriors" who need to work while flying, and any traveler who simply does not like being hit by a reclining airplane seat."

But is is unfair to the passenger that can't recline their seat and is paying a fare like every other passenger?

"Sometimes people do things they shouldn't do on airplanes, but as far as I know this is the first time anything like this has happened," involving the Knee Defender, said Ira Goldman, the man who invented the device in 2003.

As far as this incident was concerned, no arrests were made because it "was deemed a customer service issue and not a threat to aviation security," explained TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein.

It might be up to the TSA or FAA to determine if in the future, this device can be brought aboard planes.

Until then, I would say, use a Knee Defender at your own risk.

If you want that guaranteed legroom, go up to first or business class.

Check out the product at:

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