Argument over who gets the armrest on planes finally solved – but not everyone agrees

With seat size and legroom on planes shrinking each year, it’s little surprise tempers flare over a few inches of extra space in the air.

But it seems like the long-running row over who gets the middle armrest on flights has finally been resolved.

According to travel expert Rosie Panter, the person in the middle seat should get both middle arm rests.

That means the person next to the window has the wall to lean on and the passenger in the aisle has their outer arm rest to lean against.

“It’s universally accepted that the middle seat passenger has drawn the short straw, so they should get the luxury of both armrests,” Ms Panter said.

The debate around who should get the armrests on a plane has divided the internet.Source:Supplied

“Why you ask? The aisle seat passenger has the freedom to stretch their legs and get up and down as and when they please, while the window seat passenger has the luxury of looking out of the window, daydreaming of their holiday destination, or curling up to rest their head on the side of the plane to enjoy some shut eye, without the risk of passengers needing to clamber over them while they sleep.”

Behaviour expert Judi James previously told Sun Online Travel that the no man’s land of the armrest is a battle that will never end, because the battle for space is built into us as human beings.

She said: “Space is something that humans and animals fight wars over – it’s the most inflammatory thing.

“It’s why people whose garden wall is half a centimetre to the right can fight with their neighbours for years. We can’t avoid being territorial.

“We even adopt personal ownership of things that really don’t belong to us, like our chair in the office, or our seat on a plane. It brings out the warrior in us.”

According to Judi, the reason that we care so much about this spot in particular is because of it has a direct effect on our body confidence.

She said: “Confidence is directly linked to the space under your armpit.

“The upturned V gap that we have under our armpit when our elbows are pointed away from the body gives us body confidence.

Warring over space – including plane armrests – is part of human existence.Source:Supplied

“If you are forced into not using your arm and have to bring your elbows in towards your body, you feel physically smaller.

“This in turn makes you feel as though you’ve been lowered and submissive, and no one likes to be locked into a place of submission by a stranger.

“But if you have elbows on both arms of the chair, away from your body, you feel in control.”

Never do these things on a plane

Armrests aren’t the only plane etiquette passengers are falling foul of – a flight attendant recently shared a list of all the things passengers should never do on a plane – including footwear rules and seat etiquette.

Dani, who works as a flight attendant for Emirates, said the “first rule” is to never “go to the lavatory with no shoes on” – as they are rarely cleaned between flight turnaround.

It’s also not safe to remove shoes during the flight – in the case of an emergency, passengers could be forced to walk down aisles with broken glass and debris, something made much harder without shoes.

Dani also warned passengers to never “use the tray table and TV without sanitising it first,” for similar hygiene reasons.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission

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