Passenger speaks out about airline seat dispute

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — The businessman whose dispute with a fellow airline passenger over a reclined seat sparked a national debate about air-travel etiquette says he's embarrassed by the way the confrontation unfolded.

But don't expect James Beach to stop using the Knee Defender, a $22 gadget that attaches to a passenger's tray table and prevents the person in front from reclining. He just plans to be nicer about it.

The 48-year-old from the Denver area reached out to The Associated Press on Wednesday to clarify a few things about the episode, primarily that he initially complied with flight attendant instructions to remove the device.

The Aug. 24 argument became so tense that the pilots diverted the Boeing 737 to Chicago.

Beach, who is 6 feet 1 inch tall, says he never reclines.