According to stories on the BBC and Daily Mail websites this week, Knee Defenders™ are apparently a new must-have travel accessory to keep ‘recliners’ at bay. Whilst other airlines are now banning the controversial gadgets, we have a simpler solution – knee-free, non-reclining aircraft seats.


The ergonomic seats launched in May this year in response to customer feedback; reclining seats were deemed unnecessary and a bone of contention on short-haul flights. Using modern design principles and light-weight materials, we have been able to increase legroom within a seat pitch and reduce fuel emissions.


Our customers’ in-flight experience is of the utmost importance to us. Tim Williamson, Director of Customer Experience and Marketing says:  “Knee Defenders™ may seem quite drastic, but reclining seats was a real bugbear for our customers. We listened and the feedback was that reclining on short-haul flights is just not necessary.”

“The new ergonomic non-reclining design gives our customers far more “living space” than traditional seats, without the fear of the person in front impinging on their personal space,” he said.

The new seat design also includes an innovative tablet holder for the technology savvy holidaymaker, an aviation first.

Monarch Airlines' new seats offer additional living space

“The innovative tablet holder also enables our customers to create their own personal in-flight entertainment system. At the beginning of this month we launched MPlayer; a personal inflight entertainment service. MPlayer allows our customers to connect to the on-board wireless network via their own iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. There they can access a wide range of free and pay-to-access in-flight entertainment content,” Tim said.

What do you think about the idea of non-reclining seats? We’d love to see your comments below


  1. Hate those reclining seats. I can’t be the only passenger who wears readers but when you use these and the passenger in front reclines their seat, your book, mag, paper whatever becomes too close to focus on. This means having to put your reading matter on your lap which means cranking your neck down at ninety degrees for an hour whatever. Keep those fixed seats coming. I hope the new Boeing’s have them.

  2. I just come back from cape Verde,around six hours each way , the seat reclined In front of me all the way there and all the way back, (different person) I think its fantastic that monarch airlines are introducing the non reclining seats, I will not be flying with any airline that has reclining seats again, well done monarch

  3. I think this is a great idea.
    It is a cause of great frustration on flights when the person in front reduces your space by reclining their seat. Well done monarch!!

  4. I am flying out to Tenerife on 28th may at 2.25pm does this plane have the new seats as we have booked row 25 and have heard a lot of bad reviews about this row ie not as much room as standard seats and people in front can recline which gives less room I hate people reclining also is row 25 a window seat

    • Hello Keely, we are currently installing our new seats onto our aircraft. Seat 25a is a window seat but unfortunately we do not know if the plane you will be flying on will be fitted with the new seats or not until the day of departure. None of the aircraft fitted with new seats have reclining seats – these are fixed at a comfortable recline and can’t move. I hope you have the chance to experience them as I think they are lovely and I think you’d like them! If you are on an aircraft with the older style seats, it might be a good idea to mention to the person in front of you that you would prefer if they don’t recline, as you need the space. I think you’ll find most people are quite polite about it if you ask!

  5. Hi, just found this on your website and wanted to say that we love the new seats on your aircrafts. It’s nice not having the seat in front impeding your space. Well done Monarch. We look forward to for,yang with you again soon.

    • Hi Pat, thanks for visiting our blog. I’m really pleased to hear you enjoy the new seats – we’ve worked very hard to come up with a comfortable, non-reclining design and we’re glad it’s proving so popular with our customers. Thanks for your comment.

  6. We use Monarch regularily and have always been pleased with the service and comfort, however these new seats are certainly not comfortable. They are firm and unforgiving, you cannot get comfortable in them. The biggest complaint has to be reserved for the arm rests, they are very hard and much shorter than the ones they replace, the result is you cannot find a easy way to rest your arms on them. Come on Monarch you ha got this one wrong hope you specify better seats for your new Boeings!

    • Hi there Jeff, I am sorry to hear you do not enjoy our new seating. In fact, we conducted months of vigorous testing before introducing them to the fleet with generally very positive feedback. I would be happy to pass your feedback on to our customer relations team ( for future reference), and I will pass your feedback to our product development team. It would be helpful to know your flight details so the product team can check your feedback against the particular aircraft you flew on as well. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  7. Paul have a condition called Facet joint Syndrome, and I am in constant pain in my back. When we flew to Tenerife for Christmas (19th December 2014), I was disappointed beside paying for extra legroom that my seat didn’t recline. When I asked the air stewardess, all she said do you want to get off the plane before we take off? What sort of answer was that, we have been looking forward to our holiday, 4+ hours I had to have assistant to be helped of the plane, as by the time we arrived, I couldn’t walk, due to too much pain. I had booked assistant when ordering our flight, but, usually I can manage the few steps to my wheelchair, I had to be carried to my wheelchair, which was embarrassing. My wife even found the seats unconfortable. We have always flown with Monarch, but, now we try other airlines, because of this.

    • Hi Paul, I am sorry to hear you do not enjoy our new seating. Monarch conducted months of vigorous testing before introducing the seats to the fleet and they were generally well received, particularly with customers who have mobility issues as they are easier to get in and out of. However, I understand you have had a very uncomfortable flight and I do apologise for the discomfort you experienced. We would welcome your feedback to the customer relations team on who will gather your flight details and send your full feedback to our product development team.

      In future, if you require extra leg room seating due to your condition we can give this to you free of charge. However, we will need a doctor’s letter sent to us before we can confirm the allocation. If you do plan to fly with us again leave the seating blank during booking then if you email the doctor’s letter to, extra leg room seating can be allocated for you.

      Once again, I’m sorry you had a less than comfortable flight as we aim to offer all customers a pleasant flying experience. I do hope you’ll reconsider and allow us to try to make it up to you in future.

  8. I’ve flown Monarch for many years at least twice a year. Flew Monarch in May 2014 and had the new seats on the return leg from Tenerife. I found the new seats to be very uncomfortable on a 4.25 hrs flight. I can see how on a 2hr flight they might suffice but anything over that leads to very sore body parts. People were commenting on the lack of comfort in the seats. They feel so hard and are similar to some airport transfer buses from car parks.
    I did complain when I got back. I will try again but if these seats don’t improve on the Tenerife route I’ll search for an airline with more comfortable seats and I don’t think I’ll be the only one. Could senior execs please try a 4hr+ journey in these seats rather than a short haul to mainland Spain?

    • Hi Doug, I can assure you that senior executives did in fact test the seats for 4+ hours and many of them are 6ft plus in height. I’m sorry that you found the seats uncomfortable and I’d be happy to pass on any feedback you have to our seat designers and engineers. Could you please send us your details and flight details to so we can identify the aircraft you were flying on? Thank you once again for your valuable feedback.

  9. Whilst I agree that having non recliners is the way to go for low cost airlines I cannot agree that Monarch are providing the best solution. In my opinion the non recliners offered by the ‘competition’ ie Recaro seats are far more comfortable that the Monarch designed seating. Why try to re-invent the wheel when a good product was already on the market? Having travelled on planes with both the extra padding and without there is little or no difference so the promise of extra padding is worthless. I recently flew on one of your ‘new’ leased s/h Airbus which had grey leather Recaros fitted – that is the way to go – I am in no way connected with Recaro – I just like a comfortable flight! Your new seats are just about ok for the short 2 hour Med routes but over that distance they fail. The tablet holder is ok but not if a nearby passenger has inappropriate content on HIS i-Pad as it is then right in your face as well! The bungee cord holder does not offer enough cords to hold back smaller items. Innovations (???) such as M-Player and tablet holders do not match free IFE and indeed fall far short of in-air Wi-Fi as offered by the competition. So basically a cheap solution to an important aspect of any flight.

    • Hi Mandy, thanks for your comments. I’m sorry you feel our seats are not as comfortable as they could be. Could I ask when you last few and experienced the seats on a Monarch flight? This would be helpful for our designers to track, as some changes have been made to the cushioning already. I have passed on your comments regarding MPlayer content to this project team as well. Are there any particular programmes you’d like to see more of, in the mix? As regards to inappropriate content, my suggestion would be that if you noticed someone watching something you felt inappropriate onboard, first have a gentle word with your neighbour. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Having suffered so many times from thoughtless people crashing into my knees and sending my tray contents flying I am delighted with the look of he new seats and hope I will be able to try them out on my next flight to uk.

    • Hi Jane, the new seats have now been installed on about 10 of our aircraft, so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get the chance to experience them for yourself. Let us know what you think? Thanks for your comment.

  11. I use a nexus 7 when travelling , rather than my iPad tablet – will that also fit safely or will it be in danger of falling out of the slot

    • Hi Pete, the corners of the tablet holders are designed to allow a smartphone or tablet up to 10 inches to fit into the slot. If you find that it doesn’t work for you, there’s still the option of propping your tablet up on the tray table instead. Hope this helps?

  12. I was on a flight with these new seats they are excellent . As stated your iPad fits perfectly in the back of the seat . They are just as comfortable as the old seats and you don’t have the problem of inconsiderate people recling their seats . Good job monarch

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