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In-flight gadget to prevent the passenger sitting in front of you from reclining their seats

Written by - Reviewed by Glozine Team

Published: Jul 29, 2014 | Last Updated: Jan 18, 2016

Flying for a long distance can cause a lot of discomfort especially if you don’t have enough space to stretch your legs. The space is so much reduced if the person sitting in front of you reclines his or her seat.

You may ask the not to do this but they also need their comfort just as you do.

But how far can you go for that little extra space during a flight? A device called Knee Defender comes with a solution to the crammed quandary faced by travelers.
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It is a very provocative device that blurs the lines between personal space and moral propriety.

The gadget latches onto the arms of your tray table thus prevents the passenger in front of you from reclining his or her seat. You can place it anywhere along your tray’s arms depending on how much space you need.

“If the airlines will not protect people from being battered, crunched, and immobilized, then people need options to protect themselves,” said Gadget Duck the device’s maker on his company’s website.
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According to Gadget Duck, the device has been approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But this invention is bound to cause conflict among the passengers as it infringes on other people’s right to comfort.

However, the devices can not be used when the tray tables are locked but according to the company, their use has been allowed in the U.S. since their use does not conflict with any aviation laws.

As a measure to pacify the would be angry passengers whose seats have been blocked, the company has printable “Courtesy Cards” on its website that Gadget Duck says can be printed and distributed prior to use.

“I realize that this may be an inconvenience,” reads part of the card. “If so, I hope you will complain to the airline. Maybe working together we can convince the airlines to provide enough space between rows.”

The Knee Defender may be justified given that American airline companies boast the most uncomfortable seats in the world. It acts as a wake up call for the airlines to consider the comfort of their passengers as they travel and who knows, it may challenge them to provide enough space for all the passengers rather than just cramming them in small spaces to make more profit.

Personal judgment is needed here. How would you feel if you hinder your neighboring passenger from reclining his or her seat?
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Some people say it morally wrong while others say it is upon the airlines to adjust their seats so as to eliminate the need for the Knee Defenders.

Some reviewers claim that the Knee Defender has been banned by most US air carriers for about 10 years while others are wondering whether the need for a personal space of an individual traveller overrides the right to recline seats by other travelers.

It is upon you to decide whether you are so much concerned about your own comfort at the expense of other travelers. Do you support the use of Knee Defender?

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