Etiquette for using arm rests on planes


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) – You’re sitting there on your flight, in the middle seat. Who gets the arm rest?

Most people might agree the person in the middle seat on an airplane gets to use both armrests.

Consider: the passenger in the window seat can lean on the wall of the cabin, and the passenger in the aisle seat can lean into the aisle, but the passenger in the middle seat has nowhere to go. Hence – they get dibs on the shared armrests.

An editorial in the Boston Globe agrees, calling it a consolation prize.

Airlines are silent on the matter, including unions representing flight attendants.

Offering the armrests to a middle passenger is like offering your seat to a pregnant woman: You should do it, but you don’t have to.

Etiquette experts say the armrests are technically up for grabs, but the person most inconvenienced – generally the person in the middle – should have first choice.

The same goes for movie theater seats.

In a 2015 Expedia study, airline passengers rated seat kicking, slopping parenting and smell as the top three etiquette offenses – in that order.

Armrest hogging ranked eighth.

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