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The Boston Globe



Do you have the right to recline?

You may not be 100 percent sure what you think about Vladimir Putin’s maneuvers in Ukraine, Burger King’s tax inversion, the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry, or Scotland’s independence referendum. But you know exactly where you come down on the Great Airline Reclining Seat Controversy, don’t you?

Everyone has an opinion on the passenger in Row 12 who caused an uproar on a United flight from Newark to Denver when he used a plastic bracket called the “Knee Defender” to block the woman in front of him from reclining her seat. When a flight attendant told the man to remove the gadget — which United, like most airlines, prohibits — he refused. The infuriated woman in Row 11, reported the Associated Press, “then stood up, turned around, and threw a cup of water at him.” Whereupon the plane was diverted to Chicago, and the two passengers were ejected.

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