If you are a consistent and perpetual first class traveled, you certainly might not be able to relate to this article but for the rest of us ‘economy class-ites’ this is a very serious matter. An issue that will require rules, principles, and might maybe even need a handbook. That bone of contention here is: Who gets the armrest?
This is a deeper case than you can ever imagine. There is a whole lot at stake; your comfort, your comfort and lastly, your comfort.
In economy class, we will always have a seat next to us. If in much luck, that seat might not be occupied but this is highly rare. So you board the plane, you take your seat, your seat partner for the trip arrives and just like that, the struggle begins. Your arm was on the armrest and your ‘seat partner’ makes an attempt to also put his/her arm on the armrest. Brushing of elbows… awkward! Swiping of skin… Perplexing!
Now at this point, you have three (3) options staring in your face.
– You pull away and give up the use of the armrest entirely.
– You share the armrest and your arms keep grazing passing off weird and intolerable vibes.
– You keep your arm exactly where it is, not share at all, and thus coming across as ill-mannered and uncivil.
The fact is, those armrests are so narrow there is barely enough for one person. In a row with three seats across, the passenger in the middle seat already has it tough as it is, so let that person have both and just keep one for yourself.
If a complete surrender does not go down well, you could just leave some space for the person next to you to put their arm. This does not mean you should share the armrest half-half, you can put your elbow towards the back of the armrest, leaving your ‘seat partner’ room to place their arm. Some slight arm/elbow touching might evolve, so if this sets you off wrongly, then you probably need to wear a long-sleeved anything.
Make a mild joke off the situation. Acknowledging the awkward situation usually helps in somewhat lighten the uneasy state and indirectly informs the other person about your struggle and compromise as opposed to a wrongly interpreted insolence.
Put you seat back – Somehow it is easier and more comfortable to have your arms closer when you are leaning back a bit. This especially helps when you have someone who is not giving you any space for your arms.
Read the publication, journal or magazine in half-stretch. Do not spread out the publication or magazine widely and entirely. This will make your arms stretch out to the side and take up a lot of space. Fold the magazine/newspaper in half to read.
Now that your arms seem to be well rested… Bon Voyage dear reader, see you on Economy Class!