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Armrest Etiquette

Armrest Etiquette

Old Aug 22, 18, 12:08 pm
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Armrest Etiquette

Recently had experience where passenger in middle seat aggressively maintained ownership of both armrests. In the aisle seat, I had to lean into aisle most of the flight as his elbows and upper arms were in my "space". Since my seat control is in right hand arm rest, I have always thought I should have access to that armrest. What are current thoughts on this?
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Old Aug 22, 18, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by pcoll View Post
Recently had experience where passenger in middle seat aggressively maintained ownership of both armrests. In the aisle seat, I had to lean into aisle most of the flight as his elbows and upper arms were in my "space". Since my seat control is in right hand arm rest, I have always thought I should have access to that armrest. What are current thoughts on this?
So, you had the aisle seat and wanted to use both armrests?
Generally, I would say aisle gets access to armrest next aisle, window gets access to armrest next to window, middle gets both next to middle.
That does NOT mean that person should intrude into your seating area. Why do you think you should have 2 and the poor pax in the middle only gets 1?
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Old Aug 22, 18, 12:29 pm
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General etiquette is middle gets both. Of course they should not extend beyond the armrests and should try to share to the extent possible.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Why do you think you should have 2 and the poor pax in the middle only gets 1?
OP probably thinks the poor guy in the middle gets zero since clearly the window pax also serves two arm rests.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 12:38 pm
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I had that happen once on a flight. He did it to both of us on aisle and window. Prolly a good 4 inches elbow splayed. I got tied of him elbowing me and not getting the hint so I turned by laptop sideway and made a wall. He was short to boot. If I at 6'4 can stay contained in a middle seat so can other folks.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post


OP probably thinks the poor guy in the middle gets zero since clearly the window pax also serves two arm rests.
Actually no, I don't think that. I was taught that everyone gets 1 armrest and that one is to be shared. That could be with either window or aisle passenger depending on side of plane. They are meant to be seat dividers and hold control for seat recline. In Europe the understanding is periodic use. with a smile from outer passenger as a sign of thanks for temporary use. Hogging is frowned upon. Also, please keep your feet under the seat in front of you .

Last edited by pcoll; Aug 22, 18 at 3:10 pm
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Old Aug 22, 18, 12:59 pm
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i always had the impression that the "rule" was the the middle seat pax gets both armrests. Whenever I'm seated in an aisle or window seat, I always give the middle pax the whole armrest. I don't even share it. But then, i'm only 5'7" so it's fairly easy just to lean to one side.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by pcoll View Post
Actually no, I don't believe that. I was taught that everyone gets 1 armrest and that one is to be shared. That could be with either window or aisle passenger depending on side of plane. They are meant to be seat dividers and hold control for seat recline. In Europe the understanding is periodic use. with a smile from outer passenger as a sign of thanks for temporary use. Hogging is frowned upon. Also, please keep your feet under the seat in front of you .
If the Aisle seat person gets 1 and a half armrests and the Window seat person gets 1 and a half armrests, how many armrests does the middle seat person get?
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Old Aug 22, 18, 1:27 pm
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When in Y, 99% of the time I'm in the aisle (unless I'm flying with my SO) and I'm happy to give the person sitting in the middle the whole arm rest. They are clearly in the worst seat and it's not difficult to let them use it.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by atcanobbio View Post
But then, i'm only 5'7" so it's fairly easy just to lean to one side.
And you have the option to lean to one side, which the middle pax doesn't have. I basically do the same unless the middle person doesn't utilize the arm rest at all. Then I might claim it for a while, but usually just periodically to give the middle person the option to use it.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 3:27 pm
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Middle person has dibs to his left AND right, poor person is in the middle. Now if the poor person overlfows both underneath and over the armrest, feel doubly for them and not an uncommon either, I've had that on a 14 hour flight, not on AS of course.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 3:43 pm
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Etiquette is that before starting a new thread, you search "armrest etiquette" to see if this has already been thoroughly discussed so many other times before.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 4:07 pm
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What if you are a big guy?
It's almost impossible for me to keep my arm off some of the armrest...so in general once the middle person realizes I am trying (in vain) to keep off the armrest I will just ask them front or back half, they choose and I will switch at any time.
Better than me keeping my arm suspended mid air and any movement I end up smacking them with it.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 5:50 pm
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Why is this even a problem? We don't need a "rule" to address this. It's a shared resource, and we first learned how to share back in kindergarten. (Apparently some people have learned better than others.) On a plane this goes for the armrest, aisles, overhead space, or even standing in line for the loo.

Etiquette simply means "politeness". In other words, not deliberately doing something that harms another person or makes them feel bad. Should you do something unintentionally, it's not impolite to apologize.

Just ask your seatmate (politely, of course) how they feel about the issue, and come up with a way to SHARE, Unless you feel that the simple act of asking will create an even bigger outburst, then "etiquette" calls for you to keep your mouth shut.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 6:20 pm
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I'm with some of you. Aisle people have the aisle, window people have the window, middle seat gets the arm rests, the end. Right?
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