On Seat Recline, the Knee Defender and Immature Journalists

There is perhaps no subject that elicits more unfavorable judgment amongst travelers than that of reclining airplane seats – particularly when discussed in combination with the Knee Defender. And so it is a perfect subject for Judgment Week on ThreadTripping.

In this FlyerTalk thread, the judgment is free flowing and plentiful. There’s some real catharsis going on 🙂

At issue is the question as to whether seat recline is a feature that should be utilized. If so, when is it ok to recline? And should it be socially acceptable to use a Knee Defender to protect one’s limited seating space?

To call the discussion “heated” would be an understatement. Joan Rivers on her best day wasn’t this abusive:

If a passenger behind me is uncomfortable, they can ask themselves why they didn’t pay more for a seat that suited their needs. ~boltjames

I usually disrupt ‘entitled’ passengers by bumping the seat as a I get up, playing with the seat pocket, adjust the light in their eye. It’s a long flight and common courtesy is something that I would hope existed in a metal tube. ~XXYZXROAD

And then there is this exchange between Badenoch and Megn:

Badenoch: Do you use a Knee Defender?


Megn: Do you always assume the worst about people who disagree with you?


Badenoch: I make few assumptions. I did ask a straightforward question to, in your case, ascertain whether you are low-life POS who uses a Knee Defender or someone engaging in a bit of provocative sophistry.

And all of this occurs after the moderator, wharvey, warns:

Almost every thread on the Knee Defender gets closed because members get into personal attacks. I am going to leave thread open for now but be per warned that personal attacks will not be tolerated.

So wharvey, I gotta ask, what in your opinion qualifies as a personal attack?

My beef isn’t with either the proponents or opponents of seat reclining – or with wharvey for that matter. No, my beef today is with the next generation of 20-something “journalists” who can’t be bothered to perform research and who write with breathless excitement about a product that has been on the market for over 10 years.

The Knee Defender was introduced in 2003. You know what else was introduced that year? iTunes.

Hey you kids working at CNN, USA Today, Huffington Post, et al – just because you only heard of something today doesn’t make it new.

Read the thread that inspired this judgmental rant in its entirety: Knee Defender Gadget

Image: “Lack of Legroom” by Ashley Buttle. CC BY 2.0.

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