Why the Middle Seat Martyr Deserves Armrest Domination

Last updated on Apr 17, 2024

Posted on Apr 17, 2024

Ah, the middle seat. The dreaded purgatory of airplane seating. Squeezed between two blissful window and aisle dwellers, the middle seater suffers a special kind of travel torment. And the age-old question becomes, who owns the armrests around the middle seat? Here's why both rightfully belong to the middle seat passenger.

The Confines of the Middle Seat

Photo by Daniel Tong

Imagine being wedged between two fellow passengers. You have no window to gaze out of longingly, and reaching for the overhead compartment requires an acrobatic feat. The aisle, a symbol of freedom for your neighbors, remains tantalizingly out of reach. Unlike window seat passengers who can lose themselves in the clouds or aisle dwellers who can stretch their legs into the walkway, the middle seat passenger is truly hemmed in. This lack of freedom makes the armrests even more crucial. They become an extension of your seat, offering a vital inch of personal space in an otherwise suffocating environment.

The armrests are more than just a symbolic comfort. They provide much-needed ergonomic relief during a long flight. On a crammed airplane seat, even the smallest adjustments can feel like a luxury. The ability to rest your weary arm on a solid surface instead of hovering it uncomfortably can significantly improve your posture and help ward off aches and pains. Consider the armrests your ergonomic allies on a journey where comfort is a scarce commodity.

The Unwritten Law of Airplane Etiquette

Photo by Alejandro Anzola

While there's no official airplane armrest etiquette etched in airline code, seasoned travelers understand the plight of the middle seat sufferer. It's a universal truth: the window seat boasts a view, and the aisle seat grants easy access to the restroom and stretching opportunities. The middle seat? Well, that's just a test of patience. Sharing an armrest with your neighbor is a kind gesture, acknowledging their slightly less unfortunate situation. But claiming both is your birthright (well, not literally, but you get the idea) as a tribute to the airplane seating hierarchy.

Of course, civility goes a long way at 30,000 feet. If your seatmates seem like they'd truly appreciate an armrest, a friendly conversation can go a long way. You might be surprised at their willingness to share. But remember, you have the upper hand in the armrest war by the laws of airplane ergonomics (and unspoken etiquette). So, while a friendly conversation can ease tensions, approach the situation with the confidence of a middle seat champion. You've earned the right to claim your armrest territory.

Final Thoughts

So next time you find yourself in the middle seat, claim your rightful dominion over both armrests. It's a small victory, but a victory nonetheless, in the never-ending battle for comfort in the skies. Fly with confidence, middle seat warriors! You've earned those armrests. After all, a little extra comfort can make a world of difference on a long flight, and in the grand scheme of airplane seating, the middle seat has enough to endure. Consider the armrests your small reward for braving the center squeeze.

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