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Armrest etiquette

Armrest etiquette

Old Apr 15, 2004, 10:21 pm
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Question Armrest etiquette

So here's a question. When you are sharing an armrest with someone, whether it's in an arena, a movie theatre, or on an aircraft, which armrest is yours???

I've always been told that when you are sitting in a seat with shared armrests, you always take the right armrest as yours. Which basically means if you have an aisle to the left of your seat (or if you sit on the port side window seat of an aircraft) you get both armrests.

Have any of you ever heard what the protocol is for armrests??? Just curious.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 3:57 am
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I'm a share-and-share-alike kind of guy. If you rest only your elbow (rather than your entire arm) on the armrest, you and your seat opponent can both enjoy two armrests. It's just a matter of occupying the smallest amount of the armrest to make you comfortable.

I'm not sure what Emily Post would have to say...
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 6:52 am
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I don't recall where I read/heard this, but I recall that the person sitting on the outside (like the aisle seat) should give up the inner armrest to the person sitting on the inside.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 8:23 am
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On an airplane, I've always practiced the rule that the aisle and window persons should allow the middle person both arm rests as the sole consolation of having that horrible seat.

At a performance, I think it is first come-first served with regards to arm rests.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 8:47 am
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 9:14 am
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i'm sort of a big guy (6', 210) but i always give up one armrest.

I do hate when people invade my space though....for example, on a flight from atlanta to iad, this guy next to me was reading the paper and kept putting half the paper in "my space".....it drove me nuts
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by Analise
On an airplane, I've always practiced the rule that the aisle and window persons should allow the middle person both arm rests as the sole consolation of having that horrible seat.

At a performance, I think it is first come-first served with regards to arm rests.
Luckily it's been a long time since I have had to sit in a middle seat. Arm rests are a pet peeve of mine, and my past experience was that most people not only won't yield the arm rest to the person in the middle, but you end up in a silent battle with them stealthly moving your elbow there each time they move and vice versa (or is it just me it's happened to) .

I suppose the easy solution would of been for me to just say...since I'm stuck here in the middle seat, can I have the arm rests??. But that would be to easy and then feeling emboldened, I would probably be going after the person in front of me who reclines his/her seat to far back.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 11:08 am
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I always see the armrest not as something to rest my arm on at all but as a divider separating my personal space from my fellow pasenger - they're only about 2" wide in Y anyway and that is narrow enough for a division.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 2:39 pm
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A mathematical proof that this should not be a problem: @:-)

The ideal solution is to sit next to someone with whom you don't mind body contact, even if you don't hold hands for the entire flight. That happens 20 percent of the time on average, figuring that most FT travel is without the significant other, leaving 80 percent.

Failing that, sit in front, where the divider is wide enough for two armrests. Most FTers upgrade every chance they get, which is often. That eliminates half the remaining time, leaving 40 percent.

In third place, if you're in back: have a vacant seat next to you. Since FTers tend to be elite and benefit from seat blocking when an aircraft is not full, say that's half of what's left, leaving 20 percent.

When none of those is possible, both your hands will be occupied for about half the flight with eating, holding a book, and so on, or you'll be out of your seat, so you don't need an armrest. That leaves 10 percent.

When none of the above apply, the person on the other side will be similarly occupied 10 percent of the time, half of which will overlap with yours (you'll both eat at the same time) but half of which won't, leaving only 5 percent of the time that armrest use is an issue.

If the average flight lasts four hours (on longer ones you'll often be sleeping part of the time, shortening the waking time, which is the only time this matters) 5 percent is 12 minutes.

So, for 12 minutes per flight, can't we get along?
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 3:09 pm
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^ ^ ^

Nice one efrem.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise
On an airplane, I've always practiced the rule that the aisle and window persons should allow the middle person both arm rests as the sole consolation of having that horrible seat.
Same here. Although that has become difficult on my recent RJ flights.

I have adapted seating positions where I either tuck my elbow way back in the corner and use only the rear 3-4 inches, or rest my forearms on the extended part of the rest. I like the elbow slot, but use the other if I'm not there first.
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 11:59 am
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I've always gone by Analise's rule as well.

I wish airlines fitted armrests with ridges, or even a mini privacy divider as on lie-flat biz seats, between their long-haul Y seats. Usually, having to fight for armrest space means the other passenger is a boor, with whom I would rather have no contact whatsoever.

Larger seatmates who encroach in my space don't especially bother me, if they cannot help it.
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by olympicnut
So here's a question. When you are sharing an armrest with someone, whether it's in an arena, a movie theatre, or on an aircraft, which armrest is yours???
You know, I'm generally a free enterprise kind of guy, but I think all seats should have their own armrest. It should be a law. I'm willing the pay more for my own armrest, I don't have that chance. The people who design airplanes, auditoriums, etc make that choice for you. All you can do afterwards is offer the guy next to you a $20.
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise
On an airplane, I've always practiced the rule that the aisle and window persons should allow the middle person both arm rests as the sole consolation of having that horrible seat.

At a performance, I think it is first come-first served with regards to arm rests.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 4:45 pm
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I wouldn't be so bothered but when I sit in the middle seat (economy) the person who has taken all the arm rest also changes my video programme or volume!
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