Plane passenger at centre of Knee Defender seat reclining row speaks out

His flight was diverted over use of anti-seat reclining device

Updated: 
Plane passenger at centre of Knee Defender row speaks out


The passenger at the centre of a dispute over his use of an anti-seat reclining device, the Knee Defender, has spoken up about the incident - and says he still thinks seat reclining is rude.

James Beach became embroiled in a row with another passenger after he attached the device to his tray on a flight from Newark to Denver last week.

The flight even had to be diverted to Chicago after the argument became too heated.

According to the Daily Mail, the 6ft 1in businessman has said that although he is embarrassed about the incident, he still thinks reclining your seat is rude, saying: "You have the right, but it seems rude to do it."

Of the incident, he said: "I'm pretty ashamed and embarrassed by what happened. I could have handled it so much better."

James said he had wanted to do review a work contract on his laptop, so attached the Knee Defender, which his wife had bought him as a Christmas present.

He said he flies 75,000 to 100,000 miles a year, and uses it around a third of the time.

The Knee Defender is prohibited by US airlines, but is not illegal.


Debate: To Recline Or Not To Recline On Airplanes


He said most people usually try to recline their seat and find they can't, before forgetting about it.

But this time, the woman in front of him did not take kindly to the move.

James said: "As soon as I started to move it, she just full force, blasted the seat back, right on the laptop, almost shattered the screen. My laptop came flying onto my lap."

He complained saying he needed to work, but the flight attendant told him she had the right to recline her seat.

Mr Beach then lost his temper, and the woman threw a cup of Sprite - not water as earlier reported - at him.

Both passengers were removed from the flight after the plane diverted to Chicago. Mr Beach spent the night at a hotel before flying home with Spirit Airlines the next day - a service that has no reclining seats.

There have now been three incidents in the last few days in which an American plane has been diverted in a row over seat reclining.

On Tuesday, a woman who became upset over a reclining seat in front of her was removed from a flight to Florida.

The Delta flight from New York to West Palm Beach was diverted to Jacksonville, where the woman was removed.

And, last week, a flight en route from Miami to Paris had to be diverted after a passenger flew into a rage when the woman in front of him reclined her seat.

Edmund Alexandre, 61, reportedly became disruptive when asked to calm down by cabin crew, and eventually had to be restrained by under-cover federal air marshals on the flight, reports The Times.

The American Airlines flight was diverted to Boston, where Massachussetts state police arrested Alexandre at around 10pm.

Do you think passengers should have the right to recline their seat without fuss from the traveller behind them? Should Knee Defenders be allowed? Leave your thoughts below.
What Is The Knee Defender? Is It Fair To Use It On Flights?

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