Another US flight forced to divert because of legroom row days after Knee Defender argument

A passenger on a Miami to Paris flight was arrested after it landed in Boston

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The Independent US

A heated argument about legroom has forced a plane to divert in the US, days after another flight had to land after a dispute about a “Knee Defender”.

In the latest dispute between cramped passengers, a French man flying from Miami to Paris became “upset” after a women reclined in front of him.

Edmund Alexandre, 61, had to be subdued by a federal air marshal and was arrested when the plane landed in Boston on Wednesday night.

Prosecutors accused him of grabbing an American Airlines steward who tried to calm him down.

He has been charged with the criminal offence of interfering with flight crews and released until a hearing in December.

The incident came days after a man on another United Airlines flight, from New Jersey to Colorado, used a Knee Defender gadget to stop the seat in front of him reclining.

When the woman in front discovered her seat was locked in place, she alerted air stewards who asked the man to remove the banned gadget.

When he refused to remove it, the female passenger allegedly stood and threw a glass of water over him.

As the pair continued their heated argument, the pilot decided it was best to divert to Chicago and leave the brawling passengers there.

They were not allowed to continue on the remaining journey to Denver on Sunday, where the plane eventually arrived one hour and 38 minutes late.

Both passengers had paid to sit in the Economy Plus section, which already has four more inches of leg room than the rest of the section.

Chicago Police officers spoke to the passengers —both 48 — but made no arrests, deeming it a “customer service issue”.

Sales of Knee Defenders have since spiked and the inventor, Ira Goldman, defended the gadget and urged people to tell fellow passengers they are being used to avoid arguments.

“Knee Defenders aren’t about getting more space, they’re about stopping something from hitting you,” he said.

At 6ft 4in, he said he had become fed up with being “bashed in the knees over and over again” and wanted to help other plane travellers.

Additional reporting by AP