Two strangers got into a brawl on a plane and it was forced to divert and land in a different city. The thing that sparked it? A little insidious device called the "Knee Defender." Jam this thing in the back of the seat in front of you, and the person can't recline. Pretty ingenious. After a man inserted his defender (so to speak) inside the seat of the woman in front of him so he could use his laptop, she couldn't recline, and she was so pissed, she reportedly threw water in his face. The plane was then diverted.
While having the seat in front of you reclined practically to your chin is no fun, I totally disagree with those who say that it shouldn't be done at all, or that a device like this prevents a "dick move." I call bullshit.
First off, it is the fault of the plane manufacturers that they make these seats so close together that if someone in front of you reclines, you could get a black eye. It is NOT the fault of the passengers. Saying you shouldn't be able to recline your seat even though it reclines is like saying you shouldn't eat the peanuts served to you because someone, somewhere, might be allergic. Or you shouldn't rest your elbow on the arm rest because, god forbid, you might touch the person next to you. Or that you shouldn't use the bathroom because you'll have to wake up the person on the aisle seat.
Look, while in a plane, we're all stuck together in some sardine can-ish flying metal canister, and you should be respectful of other people to the best of your ability (try not to stink; try not to yammer on to the person next to you if they seem distracted or disinterested; if your baby is screaming in someone's ear, at least apologize).
But you should be allowed to take advantage of the basic amenities the plane has to offer, and one of those is reclining your seat. Plenty of people have back problems or can't relax or sleep with the back straight up. If you are worried about the person behind you, or the person behind you is especially long-legged and complains, then recline halfway.
But to not be able to do it at all because some entitled creep thinks his laptop time is more important than your back time is just wrong. That doesn't, however, mean you get to throw water in someone's face, no matter how jerky he's being.
Both passengers were dropped off in Chicago, not the city they were headed to, and left there. I guess that's one way to get more leg room.
Do you recline? Do you think people should?
Image via Amazon.com