1
 
Gadget Duck logo banner 4
 
 

Knee Defender™ FAQ


 
     
 

Is there an alternative to Knee Defender™ that I might use to try to protect myself from flying seatbacks?

 
 

At our "How To Use It" page, we provide a "Courtesy Card"™ that you can employ to inform the person in front of you that you are using a Knee Defender™.  After all, Knee Defender™ users are hoping to protect themselves from being crunched by an unannounced reclining seatback, and if the person in front of them would simply ask first, things could go a lot more smoothly – and safely. 

It has been suggested that some people might actually be willing to refrain from reclining if they only knew that doing otherwise could be more than just inconvenient for the person behind them, but potentially harmful.  So, as an alternative to using Knee Defenders in combination with the "Knee Defender Courtesy Card"™, you could try protecting yourself by providing the understanding person in front of you with the following "generic" "Courtesy Card"™:

 
 
 
Please Do Not Recline Your Seat

I have provided you with this card because I have long legs and if you recline your seat you will bang into my knees. 

I realize that it can be nice to recline one's seat, but I hope you would agree with me that it should not be done at the expense of crushing someone else's knees – especially if this risk is known from the outset.  Therefore, in order to avoid injuring me in the process, I would appreciate it if you would not recline your seat. 

If you believe that this is an inconvenience for you – and I realize that it may be – then please complain to the airline so that they might be inspired to provide a solution.

Thank you.  Have a nice flight.

 
 
 

Now, this card might be effective.  But, in case it is not, you might consider having at the ready a "Plan B" – that is, a pair of Knee Defenders™.   (Click here for a printable page of these cards in a pop-up window.)

 
 

Can Knee Defenders™ provide any other benefits beyond protecting my knees?

 
 

Some people find Knee Defenders™ to be a good "warning device" to provide protection from a seatback being reclined suddenly and without notice.  With Knee Defenders™ in place, when the person in front tries to recline, the seatback is restricted by the Knee Defenders™.  The person using the Knee Defenders™ has then been able to ask the person in front to wait for a moment, then adjust him/herself and his/her belongings – such as a laptop computer, whose screen could be caught and cracked by the seatback – then remove or adjust the Knee Defenders, and then finally inform the person in front that it is OK to recline.

It should be noted that airlines have begun installing in their coach sections personal power outlets for computer users.  For example, in August 2003 Northwest Airlines announced deployment on their A330-300s and on September 1, 2004 further deployment on their A330-200s .  To those who have suggested that the existence of reclining seats means that passengers have some "right" to recline (otherwise, "Why would airlines install reclining seats?"), one could similarly suggest that the existence of computer power outlets means that passengers have a "right" to use notebook computers – which is not possible if the seat in front has been reclined.  By the logic of those claiming "recliner's rights", a computer user, with his/her computer connected to the power outlet supplied by the airline, would have a "right" to block a seat from reclining in order to make intended use of the computer power outlet. 

On-board Internet access is also being offered by some airlines, and room is generally needed on and above a passenger's tray table to make use of this service with a notebook computer.  Does that mean there are now nascent "Internet surfer's rights"?

So far, we have not found any indication by an airline as to how conflicts involving such mutually exclusive use of their equipment are to be resolved. 

Regardless, our view is that safety – such as defending one's knees from being hit by a reclining seat – takes priority over any other claimed "rights".

Please remember that Knee Defenders™ are not intended to be used to hog space on an airplane.  Those of us who buy lower-cost, coach class tickets should not expect the same amenities provided to First Class passengers.  Yet, we should not have to compromise our health and safety under any circumstances.  That is why Knee Defenders™ were created – to help passengers provide for themselves only the amount of room necessary for health and safety purposes.

 
 

On what aircraft does Knee Defender™ work?

 
 

Knee Defenders™ have been used on a variety of commercial aircraft, including models made by Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell Douglas, Bombardier, and Embraer. Based on our experience and reports from users, we believe that Knee Defenders work on the vast majority of jet aircraft.

However, because of the large variety of mix-and-match types of airplanes, seat configurations, and seat designs, Knee Defenders™ will not work on some planes or well in certain situations despite our best design efforts. For example, Knee Defenders will not work on some smaller, shorter-haul planes.  Also, while many foreign carriers use the same basic seat and tray table designs used in the US, our current experience is primarily with US carriers. 

Even when using Knee Defenders™, be cautious and concerned about the person seated in front of you possibly reclining his/her seat suddenly without notice or warning to you - especially if you are at an above-normal risk of injury.

 
 

Will Knee Defender™ completely prevent seat recline?

 
 

In typical situations, your Knee Defender™ will allow the seat in front of you to recline about 1" or so on average.  Because of inherent flex in seat and tray table assemblies, Knee Defender™ cannot stop 100% of the reclining.  Also, while Knee Defenders™ have been used successfully on many aircraft flown by a variety of airline companies, because there are many permutations of types of airplanes, seat configurations, and seat designs, Knee Defender™ will not work on some planes or well in certain situations despite our best design efforts.  So, for example, Knee Defender™ may not fit certain tray table arms or on occasion not fit properly to be effective in limiting reclining.  Therefore, even when using your Knee Defender™, be cautious and concerned about the person seated in front of you possibly reclining his/her seat suddenly without notice or warning to you – especially if you are at an above-normal risk of injury. 

 
 

If I have to raise my tray table in order to let someone out from my row, do I have to remove my Knee Defender™?

 
 

In some circumstances, you can leave your Knee Defender™ on the arms of your tray table and still make enough room for you to stand up and let the other person pass by.  Just pull your each Knee Defender™ slightly away from the seatback (if necessary) and raise the table component - noting that the table component can be rotated upwards independently, even while the tray table's arms remain down.

Even with the tray table only partially lifted, there may actually be more room for the person to get out because the seat in front of you will not be reclined.

Alternatively, if you would like to remove your Knee Defender™ before raising your tray table, that is simple to do because Knee Defenders™ - with no moving parts - can be easily lifted off of the tray table arms and then replaced when you return to your seat.

 
 

Am I allowed to use Knee Defender™ on commercial aircraft?

 
 

The FAA has indicated that Knee Defender™ may be used on commercial aircraft.  As reported in the Washington Post,  "FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto said the clips were not against federal aviation rules as long as they weren't used during taxiing, takeoffs or landings."  Of course, Knee Defenders are designed to be used with your tray table lowered, and your tray table must be up and locked "during taxiing, takeoffs or landings."

While some have said that seats are "meant to recline", it cannot be reasonably expected that reclining can be done under any circumstances – even when a person or property will be damaged as a result. 

After all, if the choice is between a reclining seatback banging into your knees, breaking your computer screen, or smacking your infant in the head as you hold her on your lap, on the one hand, or hitting some plastic in the form of Knee Defenders, on the other hand, both you and the airlines should prefer that the seatback hit the Knee Defenders™.  Seen this way, Knee Defenders™ actually enhance the operation of airline seats by offering improved protection against their causing harm when used inappropriately.

 
 

What should I do if the person in front of me complains because I am using Knee Defender™?

 
 

If you are using Knee Defender™ to protect your knees from being banged by the person’s seatback, then simply let the person know that there really is not enough room for him/her to recline the seat without knocking into and/or compressing part of your body.

If you are using Knee Defender™ simply to provide you with a warning that the person in front of you wants to recline his/her seat – so that, for example, you can close your notebook computer to protect its screen – then ask the person for a moment, move your computer and remove your Knee Defender™, and then let the person know that it is OK to recline.

 
 

I'm not very tall, but can I still use a Knee Defender™?

 
 

Knee Defenders™ were specifically designed as a device to help taller people protect their knees from being hit by reclining airplane seats.  It also can help people reserve enough legroom – assuming there is any extra legroom to begin with when the seatbacks are upright – so that certain leg exercises can be performed while seated as recommended by health care professionals, consumer groups, and government agencies.

Some Knee Defender™ users of medium-tall height have used Knee Defenders™ to restrict only partially the seatback in front of them.  On some planes, these people find that they have enough room if the seatback in front of them reclines no more than 3 inches or so.  Depending on the thickness and shape of the tray table arms, if Knee Defenders™ can fit snugly without being pushed all the way down to where the arm meets the seatback, then a partial limit on reclining can sometimes be achieved.

Please remember that Knee Defenders™ are not intended to be used to hog space on an airplane.  Those of us who buy lower-cost, coach class tickets should not expect the same amenities provided to First Class passengers.  Yet, we should not have to compromise our health and safety under any circumstances.  That is why Knee Defenders™ were created – to help passengers provide for themselves only the amount of room they believe is necessary for health and safety purposes.

 
 

What should I do if a flight attendant tells me not to use my Knee Defender™?

 
 

While Knee Defenders™ have been designed to help you protect your safety, if a flight attendant instructs you to stop using it – even if you believe that these instructions are unreasonable – you must always follow the flight attendant's instructions.  Hopefully, airlines will devise and deploy their own systems to protect you from reclining seats.

 
 

Do Knee Defenders™ need any maintenance to keep them working well?

 
 

It is important that the grooves and the many "steps" inside your Knee Defender™ do not get dirty or greasy.  If this occurs, it can interfere with proper operation because it may not grip the surface of the arms of the tray table as it is designed to do.  If your Knee Defender's groove does become soiled in any way, simply spray some spray cleaner (such as what is used on kitchen counter tops) onto a cloth and wipe the groove. Then, be sure to fully rinse your Knee Defender™ to remove any residue that may have been left by the cleaner and let them dry completely before use.  Wiping them with a cloth, after cleaning and drying, can also help ensure that any cleaner residue is removed.

 
 

Same-day Shipping with Fedex

(Orders placed by 6PM ET, M-F)


ABOVE TOTAL(S) – PRELIMINARY
Click CHECK OUT to see any applicable discounts and S&H.

Shopping Cart May Be Slow

Our shopping cart / check-out system has been moving slowly at times due to unexpectedly heavy demand.

We ask that you click buttons only once. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you.

 
 
 
 
 
1    
 
 
2