Reclining your airline seat-- comfortable or crass?

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by Bill Walsh

(MILWAUKEE)-- A recent United flight from Newark, New Jersey to Denver had to be diverted to Chicago after a fight broke out over a device called the Knee Defender, which keeps the person in front of you on the plane from reclining their seat.  

A man on the Denver flight was using it, the woman in front of him complained. The woman eventually threw water on the man's face, and both were kicked off the plane in Chicago.

The story made national headlines, and got us wondering, what is the proper seat etiquette on a plane? Is there an "unwritten rule" about reclining your seat in coach?  

We spoke to Alan Shaw, a frequent flier.  He's about 6-foot-2, so when he flies coach, he hopes the person in front of him doesn't recline. "You end up right back in somebody's lap," Shaw said, "makes it uncomfortable for everybody."

Plenty of other travelers say that since they pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket, they have the right to recline as they see fit.  

Still other travelers focus their anger at the airlines.  They don't enjoy the airlines cramming more seats on planes, at the cost of travelers' personal space.

One airline has gotten rid of this controversy.  Spirit Airlines has been installing no-recline seats since 2010.  

Want to sound off on the debate?  Head to the CBS58 Facebook page. www.facebook.com/CBS58

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