FAA: Knee defenders don’t violate rules

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ruled that knee defenders like the device that sparked a mid-air fight on a commercial airline flight earlier this week do not violate federal rules. 

A United Airlines flight, from Newark to Denver, was diverted after a pair of passengers got into a fight because one person placed the knee defender on his tray table to prevent the person sitting in front of them from reclining their seat, according to a report from The Associated Press. 

The FAA said Thursday that knee defenders are not a violation of its rules for U.S. flights. 


“While the product does not violate any FAA regulations, it is up to individual airlines to prohibit it,” the agency said in a statement that was provided to The Hill. 

“We expect passengers to comply with airline policies and directions given by the flight and cabin crew,” the FAA statement continued. “The FAA discourages the use of any device that alters the performance of any part of an airplane.” 

The flight was allowed to continue on its trip to Denver after the disruptive passengers were removed from the plane, according to the report.