Airplane Seat Legroom for Tall People: A Controversial Solution 13

Picture this: You’re taking a rather long flight to Timbuktu. You’ve finally gotten through all of the airport protocol and managed to cram yourself into the less spacious seat than that of your grade school bus. It ain’t comfy, but you can handle this, you think to yourself.

More air travel protocol ensues and finally the fasten seat belt sign turns off… and the seat in front of you, to your astonishment if not fury, tilts back, compressing your knee caps like a trash compacter does to a pop can.

airplane seat reclined, no legroom

One solution to this is the Knee Defender. It locks onto the tray table in front of you and prevents the seat in front of you from reclining. DIY versions of this include jamming in a pop bottle or using zip ties.

The Knee Defender is no doubt a controversial device. Would you use it? Let’s do a survey! What would you do if you found yourself in the above scenario?

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13 thoughts on “Airplane Seat Legroom for Tall People: A Controversial Solution

  • HK

    It doesn't seem like it would help the guy in the picture, as the seat in front of him is complete upright 😉 I shared this with my husband– he agrees that the pic above represents his scenario– cramped and uncomfortable even before the guy in front leans back 😉

    • Tall Adaptations

      Yeah, you're right, but it's the funniest/best pic I could find. He is enduring, but imagine what happens if the seat were to go back? Did your husband vote? So far people are choosing to endure 🙂

    • HK

      He didn't, but I clicked on "Other" on his behalf and then commented. The good news for him is that most of his height stems from his torso instead of his legs (he has remarkably short limbs for someone so tall– I'm a foot shorter than him and yet our inseams are only 2" apart), so while it's still uncomfortable, at least his knees won't be as mashed up against the seat like the guy in the pic!

    • Tall Adaptations

      I'm the same way, crazy long back, and that comes with it's own issues! Those head rests that are supposed to cup your head and instead push forward on your shoulders, forcing you to round forward are the worst!

  • Jeffrey Jennings

    I have, and will continue to do so, prevented the person in front of me from reclining by jamming my knee into seat until they give up in frustration or call the attendant on me. I then explain that I have no room already and will not allow the other person to make me even more uncomfortable.

    • Anonymous

      That person paid to recline their 4 inches or so. You jamming ur knees in someones seat is messed up. You are still able to recline, yet you prevent the person in front of you from being comfortable too? You got what you paid for, yet deny the other person the same right. We would have problems if you put your knees in my seat.

    • Anonymous

      I cant believe people get that much gain out of reclining their seat – and I think its abhorrent that people do so, especially those that put the seat back and then lean forward for the rest of the flight.

      When people put the seat back in front of me I re-position myself taking care to kick and jab, trying to settle back some comfort. If they want to complain then its a simple case I simply don't have enough room and I'm trying to get comfortable – if its important to them then pull the seat back up.

      I have to say though I think passengers are getting better my last few flights I would estimate only 10% put their seats back. Just the selfish inconsiderate few.

    • HK

      "I cant believe people get that much gain out of reclining their seat"… I can. There is a WORLD of difference between sitting completely upright and being able to lean back a little bit. It's not a matter of room, it's a matter of body position, and the difference between sitting stiffly and being able to relax a bit. Having just come off a long international flight, it's still fresh in my mind.

      Personally, I try to meet in the middle: I'll recline my seat, but won't do so all the way. Not ideal, but a compromise, at least.

    • Anonymous

      "You jamming ur knees in someones seat is messed up" It seems to me that jamming your seat back and physically hurting someone might me a little more messed up.
      I'm not sure I'd suggest someone has the right to be more comfortable at the expense of making someone else uncomfortable. But then, if people are so self-centered and care absolutely nothing about others, I guess what can you expect? Rudeness seems to be the way of the day…

  • Anonymous

    Us tall people also need to have common decency and manners. "Endure" is one way to frame it, being polite is another. I've been cramped on plane rides, but would never think to impose something on someone else for my own comfort. What happened to manners? You still have choices…pay for first class, fly a different airline that has more leg room, buy two seats, be on time/early to get your choice and seat, or pay for your choice of seat, don't fly….yet you take someone else's choice away by using this device, then you act like a child until another adult asks/forces you to remove the device/your knees. Very sad and selfish. I'm sure you're heard this all before and have some great come backs that help you justify the selfishness. Just plain sad.

    • Anonymous

      You often don't have multiple options for airlines and seat lengths. Reclining your seat back into someone that it actually causes pain so you can relax is way more than rude. Not to mention it could be considered assault. At 6'4 with long legs, I've had people break the skin on my knees by jamming their seat back without even bothering to look back to see if they'll hit someone. I've seen people get drinks knocked over and laptops broken by such, incredibly, inconsiderate people. Speak of common decency and manners, would you walk up to someone and just knock their drink into their lap? What makes it ok on an airplane?
      In some airlines my just sitting in the seat blocks the seat. I paid for my seat and have a right to sit without injury. So, if you really want to talk common courtesy and decency, look before you recline. Stop being rude and selfish.

  • Anonymous

    If you are so tall you need this then you need to upgrade seat or airline. If a fat person has to buy two seats then excessive height can buy more legroom. I am a tall person and accept if I want comfort I will pay for it. Especially on overseas flights.