The Knee Defender: Completely Indefensible or a Brilliant Idea? Vote Now!

Voice your opinion: Should you be able to stop the person in front of you from reclining?

It’s practically an epidemic—three flights have been diverted in the last two weeks due to passengers fighting about seat reclining.

At issue in one of those brawls? A little device called The Knee Defender, a $21.95 tool that stops the person in the seat in front of you from reclining.

Our etiquette expert calls the gadget “a vile thing,” whereas other people think that it’s the only solution to protect your knees and laptop from getting smashed.

What do you think? Is the Knee Defender OK to use in any situation, no matter how tall the person in front of you or how short the flight? Or is the device the height of selfishness, and should never be deployed? Or, a third option: Should it only be used on long flights, if you’re extremely tall, or if you’re working on your laptop on the tray table? Voice your opinion in our poll.

Is it Ever Okay to Use the Knee Defender?

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By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

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