United flight diverted after ‘Knee Defender’ sparks fight between passengers

New Jersey
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A United Airlines flight from Newark was diverted Sunday after a “Knee Defender” sparked a fight between passengers. (File)

(CNN) — Do airline passengers have the right to recline?

That simmering debate among fliers escalated Sunday aboard a United Airlines flight that was diverted after two passengers argued over the use of a device that blocks reclining.

A Knee Defender, a gadget that “helps you stop reclining seats on airplanes so your knees won’t have to,” was at the root of the disturbance.

United Flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was forced to divert to Chicago’s O’Hare airport, according to United Airlines. The airline said that it does not allow the use of the recline-blocking device on its aircraft.

The Knee Defender allows a passenger to control how far back the seat in front of him can recline — potentially without that person knowing it. (YouTube)

A federal law enforcement source, speaking on background, said the incident involved a male and a female passenger, both 48 years old.

The female passenger was unable to recline her seat and flagged a flight attendant.

The Knee Defender courtesy card can be given to the person in front of you on a plane.

The flight attendant told the man seated behind her to remove the Seat Defender device, but he declined. The female passenger then threw water in his face. The pilot decided to divert the flight to Chicago, where authorities met the aircraft.

The two passengers were removed from the plane before it continued on to Denver, United said. The passengers were not arrested.

The argument occurred in the Economy Plus section, which provides United passengers up to 5 inches of extra legroom compared with standard coach seats.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

New Jersey Videos

First NJ bridge investment planned after infrastructure package

Massive fire at Newark recycling center, smoke smelled as far as NYC

Paterson students return to in-person learning

NJ doctor talks military medical aid, peak in COVID cases

How Paterson got 100% of adults to get at least 1 dose of COViD vaccine

More New Jersey

Connect with PIX11 Online

Connect with PIX11 Online

Trending Stories

Follow us on Facebook

Don't Miss