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Does the person in the middle seat on a plane have the right to use both armrests?

The latest big online debate: who gets to use the armrests on a plane?

There is an argument raging on Twitter over a tricky issue of aeroplane etiquette.

The debate revolves around whether or not the person in the middle of a row of three seats has the right to use both armrests – leaving those in the window and aisle seats with just one.

A poll from the Rich Eisen Show – a sports programme in the United States – seemed to suggest that a small majority of people do not believe the middle seat occupier has the right to use both armrests.

But responses to the tweet showed many people strongly believed that they should.

Some travellers felt it was a “rule of travel” and the “added benefit” of having to sit between two other people.

But not everyone was won over by the argument that the discomfort of being in the middle seat earns any extra privileges.

And to those suggesting they only get one armrest, one Twitter user raised a very pertinent question – which one?

What are your views? Do you think the person sitting in the middle has the automatic right to both armrests? Does it depend on who you are sitting next to? Have you ever had armrest rage on a flight?

Does the person in the middle seat on a plane have the right to use both armrests?

938 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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willow2
1 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
It just depends on who is sitting next to you
Missymoo
26th Jul 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Shouldn't be a middle seat on planes ,only for family I have travelled from UK to Australia in the middle seat NIGHTMARE JOURNEY !!!
CalgarySurfer
16th Jul 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Well, the two outside seats have at least one armrest assigned to the occupant, so that takes care of 50% of the problem. The other 50% would seem to involve sharing the two middle armrests between the two adjacent passengers.

So what you do is draw a line down the middle of the two armrests in the center seat and dare anyone to cross into your territory. If they do, then it's a tacit declaration of war, where there is the possibility of collateral damage.
Christiana
16th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Always book and pay for one of the two back seats no problem-several times passenger doesn't turn up so plenty room alternate between window seat or aisle seat
Anitapeta
13th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Whatever has happened to politeness.
No matter which way you configure it, someone has two armrests.
Can’t we just ask if the person next to us minds us using an adjoining armrest for a while.
After all, we don’t sit still like dummies for a whole flight. We probably wouldn’t use it for a whole flight.
We can share, can’t we?
Didn’t our parents teach us, the same as we taught our children, to be fair minded, and to share?
Nellyliew
12th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Of course you can use both arm rests. You're really getting a bum deal being in the middle: nowhere to lean and nowhere to stretch those legs. Be more compassionate please and gloat a little less at the poor middle seater!
Yodama
8th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
It's like a game of "chicken" a silent battle for dominance.
You have to assert yourself early into the flight.
Smiling at your neighbour while doing so.
Making the excuse to introduce yourself while leaning over, gives you the clear advantage, as your neighbour will instinctively back away.
I always use the right elbow rest...seems fair.
Retiredyorkie
8th Jun 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
There is such a thing as sharing - I am a frequent flyer and quite happy to have just a little bit of arm rest and let the person next to me have some of the arm rest.
kentrix39
8th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Not something I am familiar with, always flew business class.
Yodama
8th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Well I guess you are missing out on the jousting for supremacy of the armrest fun that we plebs seem to enjoy.
Do you get chicken or beef like us?
.
Florint
8th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
1 of the occupiers of the 3 seats will have the use of 2 armrests so there is no right for use to any of the seats. Sometimes it is the most ignorant of the 3 that uses both rests. It is more important to be comfortable than territorial and to enjoy the flight as much as possible. It does help if your fellow travellers are polite and sociable.
GordonC3
7th Jun 2019
-1
Thanks for voting!
The person in the middle doesn't need armrests.
denisio
7th Jun 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Would love to hear views on people reclining their seats, which have a domino effect on people trying to get their space back! even on long haul I think its disrespectful and selfish
Goldengirl2
8th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree - it is very inconsiderate to recline the seat so far back
that it impacts on passengers seated behind - and I think the
airline staff should bring this to the offender's attention and request that they adjust the position....if the offending party
does not respond being informed that they are causing a problem.
denisio
8th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
We did tell the stewardess we had paid for extra legroom which she said we had regardless of them reclining their seats, the young couple mainly the girl kicked off big style and she hadnt even paid for her seat, so I apolgised to the people behind me and explained it wasnt my fault it was her doing but yes it had the domino effect Thomson for you
Lionel
7th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Flew only once, Hated it. Hate heights.

I take the view of God had meant me to fly he would have given me wings! (quote from Robert Morley in Those Magnificent Men in The Flying Machine 1964).
denisio
7th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
the one in the middle has less space to manouvre without disturbing their neighbour the one with window seat has the views, the one with the aisle seat have loads of room to use in the aisle when the trolleys arent coming through, so why cant the middle seat have both armrests ? they have no elbow room
Margaret Hart
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
There are three armrests so each paaenger should have one. The person sitting next to the window should have the window one, the middle person the next one and the end seat the one between the middle and them. Each passenger should use the armrest to their right. This becomes awkward when you get a very big. Person in those seta which are not built for big people.
Northern Silver
10th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Look carefully at the picture - there are FOUR armrests. ( Hence this discussion.)
Four armrests, three people- it’s easy, each passenger gets 1.333 armrests.
And this is an example of how people get all worked up over very trivial questions, that don’t really matter at all.
Margaret Hart
11th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I must admit I didn’t notice 4 seat rests but in any case everybody needs to be polite as they are. Not very wIde and some people just take everything for granted and don’t think of sharing but I’m past taking long flights now and just keep my elbows in as far in as I can.
Angie95
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I voted no, thinking you could share
CarolH39
7th Jun 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
I voted yes. What do you do, in the middle seat, if either side of you are using both the armrest they have access to? Sit with your arms folded for 9 hours??
JackieJ57
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I always presumed you used the armrest to your right if sat on the left side of the plane, and the armrest to the left if you are sat on the right side if the plane. But that's personal opinion!
Janeet
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Everyone should be able to use one armrest. I’ve got 2 hatreds: when the person in front reclines their seat on a short daytime flight, surely they can sit upright for a couple of hours. The other is when you see 2 people, who are obviously together, settling themselves into their seats having left the middle seat empty. They boast that they book the window and aisle seat so they eat the row to themselves as the airline doesn’t generally put a single traveller in the middle!
denisio
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
most airlines wont allow this Thankgod! my hubby likes aisle seat so I always have middle seat
carolinda
7th Jun 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
Liaise with the person next to you in a friendly manner.
mrscomfyman
7th Jun 2019
8
Thanks for voting!
My bugbear is the person in front fully reclining their seat so you have less space.
BrightYangThing
7th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Maybe ask the airline why three seats have 4 arm rests. But three are no 'rights' as such. It's all rather childish. These days you check in/book the seat you want on most airlines, so why the fussing about the middle seat?
Alicia
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Stupid question 🙂
dibank
7th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
usually get stuck between people when travelling alone therefore I should have both armrests as one has a view and the other has the aisle to stretch their legs in,
ElainePeony
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
How daft! Have an elbow fight like 11 year olds!
AnneS62
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I voted yes. Stuck in the middle seat I hate. If you were single it would be even worse. My late husband and I would each ask for a end seat. Much much better and more room.
BooAnne
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I voted no but it would depend who they were sitting next to and what they wanted. If I were near the window, I would be too interested in outside to care.
banyan21
7th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
I think they should , they haven't got the benefit of the window or isle .
ShirleyC333
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Most arm rests can now be stowed up following take off - creating a little more room for all. Surely preferable.
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VickyG1946
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Oh yes, when they are serving meals etc., I never thought of that. I rarely use air travel so I don't really know which side I'd use. Last time I kept my table down with a book on it and read with my elbows tucked into my sides.
Denys1954
7th Jun 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
They haven't the benefit of the window or the isle to spread out into so why shouldn't they get both arms.
VickyG1946
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Have you ever tried "spreading out" in the window seat of the average commercial 737? LOL
denisio
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I can, Im only 5ft 3" and I can in window seat but my hubby likes aisle seat so I'm always stuck in the middle and beleive me that extra armrest means so much! especially on long haul, im not botheres about extra leg room just extra width room:)
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VickyG1946
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Each passenger should use the lefthand armrest IMHO as the window seat passenger has little or no room to use her right armrest because it's slap bang against the wall.
Cullomptmum
7th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
So the person to their left would get 2 arm rests... why?
Frenchy68
7th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
There are a lot of very rude and selfish people around!!! For goodness sake speak to your fellow travellers and sort something out. Who wants to have an uncomfortable flight?? Grow up....
GaynorP
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
One yes, two with the consent of their fellow passengers, or why not take it in turns?+
Bald123
7th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
I am so large that I tend to "spill" over into my fellow passengers seats anyway. Sorry if you do sit next to me in "cowshed" class.
Mikehaver37
7th Jun 2019
-4
Thanks for voting!
As you say you are "LARGE" !!! Why not go on a strict diet to reduce your bulk and or pay treble the cost of your seat. This as as you "SPILL OVER" into your fellow travellers space.
debs22
7th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Surfer Pete
7th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Always stake your claim early and get your arms on the armrests in your preferred position. A polite nudge and a friendly smile sometimes helps to establish priority.
Bald123
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Try nudging 20 stone. It doesn't work. You will need a battering ram.
Surfer Pete
7th Jun 2019
-2
Thanks for voting!
Good point - invasive flab is a far worse problem 🙂
Wilf
7th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
7th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Wilf
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
We do not like comments like this on Silversurfers do we Lionel?
Lionel
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
No certainly not! Keep Britain Clean.

When John Lennon said to camera, 'Peace Man,' which way round were his two fingers?
Wilf
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Quite right-get rid of litter!-Ref John Lennon, I am not sure Lionel as I have had 2 glasses of Rose!-
Lionel
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
In vino veritas, Wilf.

My reference to Lennon was to show it's easily possible to be very rude without being overtly so.

Keep supping Wilf and have a very nice evening.
Wilf
8th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Thanks Lionel-back to sobriety now!
ElisabethR
7th Jun 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
I always request an aisle seat and as I need assistance to actually board the plane I stake my right to choose whichever armrest I need! First come first served! Lol
Munsterlander
7th Jun 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
If it is me yes. If other passengers certainly not.
Bald123
7th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
How very rude of you!!!

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