Passengers Brawl on Plane After Man Won't Let Woman Recline Her Seat

OMG 19

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



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Michael

I don't recline my seat if I have anyone seating behind me. Its rude. Not really different than standing super close to someone in line or tailgating when you drive IMHO.

sarah... sarahlizzy Considering The Stir just posted this, I'm surprised you included your right to peanuts (circulated air means those peanuts could be extra dangerous to nut allergy sufferers, everything else I agree with). 

nonmember avatar M

Yeah, it IS the airlines fault that you can't recline without making the person behind you extremely uncomfortable, but they've got our balls in a vise; there isn't a traveling alternative with the same efficiency as a plane. So until or unLESS that changes, don't be a dick and recline your seat if someone is sitting behind you. And don't throw water in their face because you're a cunt.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Yeah don't throw water... But also, don't bring a stupid "device" to keep someone else from being comfortable. Both are stupid.

TheSi... TheSilence

If I pay for a spot in that plane I will be reclining my seat if I wish to. If someone used that knee device I would just report them.

That guy was so rude and while she was out of line throwing water at him I'm sure he was a douche bag that deserved it!

Autum... Autumnleaves87

This article fails to mention that these "devices" are banned from most airlines (including the one this guy was on) and that the flight attendant asked the man to remove them and he refused. Sounds like he deserved it. What a tool.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

And yeah. I absolutely will recline my seat anytime I can. Thank you very much.

nonmember avatar Elise

I don't usually recline for short haul flights since I don't need too and doesn't make a difference to me if I sit up and give the person behind me some space. On long flights though, I do, but sit up for meals and check at least the person behind me isn't going to loose their drink, laptop etc when I move the seat. The guy was a jerk, those things are illegal on planes. The woman should have pulled the thing out of her seat and gave it too the attendant.

nonmember avatar guest

lol not much of a brawl, just throwing water in someones face. not a nice thing to do but that isnt a brawl.

Prett... PrettyWings29

Both passengers behaved like entitled little children. They were both wrong, in my opinion. 

1-10 of 19 comments 12 Last