Flight Diverted After Squabble Over Reclining Seat

Man used device that prevented woman in front of him from reclining

By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 26, 2014 6:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two passengers who seemed to have been having tough travel days took the rest of a United plane down with them over the weekend. It all started when a man hooked a device called the Knee Defender to the seat in front of him, thereby preventing the woman in front of him from reclining her seat. The device, which is marketed as helping fliers prevent injury, is banned on United, and a flight attendant asked him to remove it, but he refused. That's when the woman in front of him stood up and threw a cup of water in his face, reports the AP.

The flight, which was on its way to Denver from Newark, NJ, was diverted to Chicago's O'Hare, where police escorted the dueling duo, both 48, off the plane and let the rest of the passengers get on with their day. (They arrived in Denver almost two hours late.) The police decided it was a "customer service issue," and no arrests were made. Both passengers had been seated in Economy Plus, where they have four more inches of legroom than the rest of coach seating. (When a drunk groom was booted off a flight to Costa Rica this spring, the bride elected to stay on board.)

In this July 17, 2013 file photo, a United Airlines jet plane landing at Los Angeles International Airport, in Whittler City  Calif., passes in front of a Waxing Gibbous moon.
In this July 17, 2013 file photo, a United Airlines jet plane landing at Los Angeles International Airport, in Whittler City Calif., passes in front of a Waxing Gibbous moon.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
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