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Armrests Etiquette

Armrests Etiquette

Old Jul 28, 2000, 11:10 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 146
Armrests Etiquette

I have just returned from Tampa this week and let both my seatmates on the outbound and return have the "communal" Armrest. On the outbound, I was sitting by the window on a 2 seat side of the plane. My seatmate apparently felt he was entitled to the armrest in the middle and put his entire arm on it while I kept mine within the boundaries. On the return, I was by the window on the 3 seat side whereby the person in the middleseater also put his arm entirely on the armrest between us.

I am just a little irritated by this and feel much more comfortable when there isn't any contact involved. Who owns a copy of the rules & regulations regarding armrests ettiquette?

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Old Jul 28, 2000, 11:11 pm
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Wherever you go, there you are
Posts: 641
Easy rule:

S/he who hesitates, loses.
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Old Jul 28, 2000, 11:33 pm
Join Date: Jul 2000
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The BIGGEST wins the armrest, all the time!
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Old Jul 29, 2000, 8:37 am
Original Member, Moderator: Hotel Deals and MilesBuzz
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Washington, DC
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When I sit next to an armrest dominating person, I simply wait until they shift their body, reach for the inflight magazine, etc and comandeer the armrest for as long as I can. Since they were used to having the armrest, it drives them CRAZY! Of course, sooner or later, I move my arm and the shift in occupation changes again. Once in a while, they get the unspoken message after this exchange happens a couple of times.

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Old Jul 29, 2000, 9:40 am
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Manhattan, NY
Programs: USAir AA Hilton
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Have found that if you prop a pillow next to the armrest, it serves well and you can get by with only a piece of the armrest.. much experience 'cause my husband is an armrest HOG!
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Old Jul 29, 2000, 10:10 am
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 4,531
Generally, if I am sitting next to a middle seat, I will let that person have the entire armrest if they want it. If they were unlucky enough to be stuck with the center seat, there isn't much else they can do with their elbows, whereas depending on my own seat, I can lean over towards the window or aisle.

If I am splitting an armrest on a two seat side of a plane, I try to be equitable and share, switching who gets the armrest etc. However, if I am next to an armrest hog, its WAR! I am just as good as the next person at waiting for the right opportunity to take the entire armrest and not relinquish it. If there is just a sliver of armrest (and even if there isn't!), I will slip my arm onto the armrest and under context of reading a magazine (or the ultimate, open a newspaper) begin applying gentle pressure to my seatmates elbow. Most people don't like the physical contact and will move eventually their arm.

[This message has been edited by onedog (edited 07-29-2000).]
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Old Jul 29, 2000, 10:37 am
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Monkeyville
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there should have been an ’armrest’ episode on Seinfeld!

a petite person, i normally lean against the wall if in a window seat, or hugging a pillow tight falling asleep.... seldom use the armrest..

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Old Jul 29, 2000, 10:56 am
Join Date: May 2000
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As a larger individual, I don't have too many problems with the armrest. I typically ask for a window seat, and lean that direction. If I'm in a middle seat, I try to ease the situation by starting off with a mild joke... something like, "hi guys, I'm your worst nightmare on a plane, right? Sorry, I asked for the window seat." It usually breaks the ice and shows that I'm willing to share whatever space they can find on that armrest!

My only pet peeve is those who could give a flip about the others around them. For example, the tray is of no use for a larger person if the seat in front of them is reclined. I can't tell you how many times I've been berated for simply requesting that someone keep their seat upright. (Some people even look at me in disgust as if I'm a complete fool for being large.) Hey, if I could shrink myself, I would do it in a heartbeat! Plus, it's not that I'm topping 300 or anything!

Anyway, I think the key to armrests and seat reclining (obviously this applies only in coach) is that we need to be aware of those around us. Be sensitive and courteous. We're obviously not the ones who've designed the seats, the armrests, or the seat pitch. We'd all like more space.

[This message has been edited by ORD12 (edited 07-29-2000).]
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Old Jul 29, 2000, 11:16 am
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I start a conversation with my neighbour about space in eco and sooner or later the armrest problem will be mentioned and I ask him/her about her armrest-tactics

it works, it works!
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Old Jul 29, 2000, 12:15 pm
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Though I neglected to post it when I first read the thread, I'm inclined to do just exactly as Mileage Addict noted above does. And your right, David, it does tend to drive them crazy because, IMHO, they are aware of what they are doing! My wife thinks I'm a nut about this too!
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Old Jul 29, 2000, 12:16 pm
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if i am the first to board, i put the armrest up if it will move. then if they want to put it down, they can. of course there is no need to do this in 1st. so i dont get to do it much any more.

i then put on my noise cancelling headphones, cross my arms, close my eyes and fall asleep.

Old Jul 29, 2000, 6:44 pm
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Interesting question. I wonder if they should start giving out arm rest credits based on FF miles, and you present the cert to the FA should there be a problem.
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Old Jul 29, 2000, 8:32 pm
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Onedog; I'm with you. I defer to the poor guy in the middle. Being larger than
average, I empathize.

Ord12: When the seat in front goes down, I adjust my (and often the adjacent) eyeball air vent(s) to the full forward position. When I get a complaint, I suggest they remove their head from my lap!

If that doesn't work, I make sure they are not undisturbed. My tray always seems to need adjustment. I go in and out of the seat pocket.

Many times, they get the message! Always, I get dirty looks; but that's all.

[This message has been edited by kappa (edited 07-29-2000).]
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Old Jul 30, 2000, 12:28 am
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: STL, MO, USA;BCN, Spain;LGW, UK
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I am 6'4" and because of the curvature in BA's WT seats, which IMHO are made for people 5'10 and under, if the seat back is not completely down I basically am just sitting there hunched over with a bar of foam in my shoulder blades pushing me forward with no back support at all. In a long haul transat this can become excruciating(felt as though I was about to have a heart attack once when seated in center row with seat that wouldn't go back after several hours and I was in my 20's and fit as a fiddle). I understand that the person behind me needs to use their tray table(not for the whole flight though) and I usually try and get up and walk around (or just stand in a corner some where out of the way as usually the tray table use occurs when the aisles are being used by the FA pushing their carts). If I am in the center I never bother even trying to eat (and I am only 235lbs with less than 12% body fat) as that would mean elbows in the faces of the pax beside me. So please bare the above in mind before adding to the misery by messing around with the back of peoples seats.

I usually try and take the window seat and lean up against the side of the plane and let the poor sod in the middle have the arm rest. If I were in the center seat and was using a bit of the arm rest and someone tried that childish nonsense of trying to get me to remove my arm so that they could have it all I would have no qualms about commenting on the virtues of sharing with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. If they persisted I would simply and deliberately push their arm off the arm rest altogether whilst smiling at them (thankfully humor and sardine camaraderie have prevailed to date). Like many of you above I can't be bothered to engage in silly games with passive aggressive types. Force the issue and see if they want to behave like an adult and discuss it or sulk like a child (remember I have tried the unilaterally discussing the issue by this point). Then if they start complaining they will end up looking like the fools.

Anyway, luckily I will have my infant daughter in her car seat in the seat next to me for my upcoming travel so the arm rest issue will likely not arise

I will go out of my way to make my fellow pax more comfortable if I can but I draw the line at suffering just so that they can have a little extra comfort.

[This message has been edited by Mvic (edited 07-30-2000).]
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Old Jul 30, 2000, 5:25 pm
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Interesting tactics, I think I will try the one you suggested, Mileageaddict (and Doc) on my next flight.

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