A common occurrence in the cabin of an aircraft: one armrest of a chair for two, which must be somehow divided. Periodically, because of the cherished support for the elbows, conflicts arise. In 2017, a photo of an aggressive attack by a passenger on the hand of his neighbor was actively discussed on Twitter. A year later, two lawyers fought for the disputed space: when the masters of law had exhausted legal arguments, fists came into play, and the flight attendants had to seat the brawlers away from each other.
How to divide the armrests?
There are no clear rules on this issue, but there are opinions of different experts.
Body language expert Judy James says that people who are trapped in a limited area behave like animals fighting for space. Some thus affirm their status as “leader” or “strong” who has the right to life. Such people, laying their hands on both armrests, feel like they are sitting on a throne surrounded by subjects. And, if a person of the same type comes across with a desire to dominate, then a struggle for the symbol of “power” may ignite between them.
D. James believes that the passenger in the middle seat should give way to the elbow pads sitting on the sides of him, then at least two out of three will feel comfortable. And “voluntarily infringed” will receive a plus sign to karma.
UK etiquette consultant Joe Bryant believes that passengers near a window or in the aisle are in a better position than their neighbor in the center. He can neither lean, nor stretch his legs, nor look out the porthole, and in order to get out, he has to disturb others. In addition, everyone has at least one armrest, but he does not. So it's fair if everyone keeps one support for themselves, and frees the other for a neighbor. .ru/sized/f550x700/2f/v9/2fv9j24wec5cgkkww4084c40w.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>
Who is first, that and slippers
But travel blogger Gilbert Otta, who makes about a hundred flights every year, is sure that both armrests should go to the one who came first. As the famous ABBA song says, “winner takes all”, however, it is easy to lose priority, because sooner or later you have to get up and go to the toilet.
Etiquette coach William Hansen thinks the problem is less than commonly thought. Since not the whole arm is placed on the dividers between the seats, but only the elbows, there should be enough space for everyone.
In any case, it is worth negotiating among themselves and trying to find the best solution for everyone. Most people are open to discussion and compromise.
What do you usually do in such cases?
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