Just asking…

What’s the etiquette, in the middle-seat conundrum in the friendly skies?

It’s been years since I’ve  flown in the middle seat … and the last time, it might’ve been on an inter-island Hawaiian Air flight. Doesn’t matter much, since the journey is short.

On Mainland or global flights, however, when you’re flying for eight to 10 hours, the best coach seat is never the middle one..

There are no written rules on who gets what in the triple seating. Each carrier might have its own version of what’s proper, or what’s logical.

And the debate entails a key issue — who gets the armrests when one has the window view and the other access to the aisle.

The conventional wisdom is this:

 If you have the window seat, you inherit the armrest near the window, and you have the privilege to keep the window open or closed.

If you’re the aisle flier,  you have a skosh more wiggle room for your legs, and you can claim the aisle armrest and the ease to get up at your whim.

If you’re the middle of the row, you’re literally stuck with few options, but clearly, your row mates on either side of you should relinquish both the left and right armrests, since you have no other perks – except, perhaps, to stretch your elbows to your left and right and maybe briefly moving into invisible air space of your row.

Agree or disagree? 

In the past, it was possible to purchases coach seats and upgrade to first class with miles…but that’s an impossibility these days. In my old age, I use mileage for first cabin seats, but when that’s not an option, I shell out for  first class seats to enjoy the space and comfort. With chronic back pain, the cost of being in the first cabin is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

Another flight question: what’s the protocol for the overhead bins above your seats?

That’s worthy of another discussion…


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