Ever since a United Airlines flight was grounded because of a passenger squabble over the Knee Defender in late August, the $22 plastic gadget has been getting a lot of press. And inventor Ira Goldman says the product's website has seen 500 times its normal traffic numbers since the fateful squabble in the skies. But Knee Defender is not the only weird -- and potentially irritating -- travel accessory on the market. The following gadgets promise to make life in coach class a little bit more bearable, possibly at the expense of your seatmates.
This bizarre-looking contraption, designed by two graduates of Israel's Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, offers a plane passenger his or her "own private space to quietly eat, read a book, watch a movie and sleep without being disturbed." The stretchy fabric is attached to your seat, along with the seat in front of you, to create both a privacy barrier and a place to store items and rest your head. But be prepared for lots of frustrated sighs and rolled eyes when the passenger next to you wants to get out to use the bathroom -- or the person behind you can't use his or her TV monitor.
This $40 seat partition "eliminates overlapping into neighboring areas both above and below the armrest." It bisects the arm rest and the space below it in half so that both you and the passenger next to you are left with a paltry amount of space on the arm rest. Think the adult version of drawing a line down the middle of a shared bedroom when you were kids.
Worried about all the germs and gunk stuck to your airplane seat? PlaneSheets are slipcovers that fit over your seats to give you some (imaginary?) peace of mind. Of course, good luck getting them on your seat while passengers around you are trying to board and get seated themselves.
If the overhead light is not bright enough for you, this LED light that hangs around your neck offers to shine "wide and bright." The problem? The beam may be so wide and bright that it could annoy passengers around you trying to get some shut-eye.
This is probably the least offensive device on the list, but it does promise to make you look silly -- which might be a small price to pay for some decent sleep on a plane. Just inflate the pillow once you're in your seat for a giant, huggable body rest.
Designed by a student at the National University of Singapore, this vest was actually created to help maintain a ring of personal space in a crowded subway, but you could probably use it in a busy airport as well. And don't worry: The spikes are made of plastic, so major injuries are kept to a minimum.