Questions for the frequent flyers!!!!

Old Dec 8th, 2005, 11:22 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 46
Questions for the frequent flyers!!!!

This might be a silly question for some but a serious issue for me. I just returned from a trip from MEM to MBJ. My husband loves the window seat and I love the aisle, however, I gave up the opportunity to sit on the aisle for a window and middle seat. We were seated in the Exit row so I thought "how bad can it be"? It was the trip from Hell!!!!! The person that was sitting on the aisle thought that both arm-rest was his for his exclusive usage.

This is the third time that this has happen to me so I am asking your expert opinion in this matter. We were sitting on the A,B,& C side of the plane. My husband had 15A, I had 15B and the A--hole was seated in 15C.

It started when my husband and I had to climb into our seat (since he refused to get up to let us in) and then he resumed reading his magazine while having both arms (his left and right) planted on both armrest. After about 30 mins into the flight, I tried to utilize the armrest on my right and the fight was on. My husband was using the armrest on his right so this left me without an armrest. I did ask my husband if we could share the armrest and he said OK.

Each time I tried to use the armrest on my right, Mr A--hole was there to block it. Finally I said " can we share the armrest, it appears that you have 2 and I have none". He then replied "my seat is from Here to Here" pointing from the armrest on his left to the armrest on the right. I then said "actually, there are 3 armrest, the person in seat A has an armrest on his right, seat B on their right and your armrest is to your right so everyone has an armrest.

Mr A--hole just rolled his eyes, said something under his breath and continued to use both armrest. After about an hour and half into the flight he finally allowed me to use the armrest. This might be a small matter and almost trival to some but I am tired of folks that think they own both armrest on the plane.

My question: Am I right? Does every passanger on the plane have an armrest? Should folks use both armrest without the consideration of others?

live2traveltoo is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2005, 12:27 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,407
I know of no "armrest rule" - but as long as airlines continue to cram us into seats that are too small in all dimensions, this is going to happen. This is part of the reason I would never willingly book a middle seat, no matter with whom I was flying.

I probably would not have even gotten in a discussion with the guy - I think there is zero chance that no matter how nicely you requested more space he was going to say "Of, pardon me, I did not realize you had arms" and relinquish an armrest.

If this is the worst crowding you encountered recently on flights, I would consider that about average. I have found the armrest issue is generally settled by rule of the jungle - whoever gets it first gets to keep it.
gail is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2005, 12:50 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Get yourself the A and C seats. That's what my parents do, and they love each other and they fly a lot.

If the plane is full and they assign someone in the "B" seat, then decide at that time what you want to do. That way, YOU HAVE THE NEGOTIATING POWER. You can tell the guy that yes you can switch with him, but only if you keep the armsrest, or else he'll have to take the "B" seat.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2005, 12:55 PM
  #4  
KT
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,437
I believe that the person (a/k/a the poor sucker) in the middle gets two armrests since, unlike the other two passengers, the poor sucker doesn't have the luxury of either spilling over into the aisle or leaning against the wall. I abide by this rule regardless of where I'm seated (e.g., if I'm in the aisle seat, I use only the aisle armrest).

However, I'm afraid that you can't expect either courtesy or common sense from neighboring passengers. As Gail said, it's the law of the jungle. I've had so many people spreading their legs out so they're undeniably in front of my seat, putting their briefcases in my foot space, etc., that I wonder why I even bother trying to stay within my own space--it's not as if courtesy breeds courtesy in the squashed world of cattle class.

Thank god for Xanax....
KT is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2005, 02:53 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Maybe a baby-skunk can help You can use it as a legal weapon against thy neighbor.
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2005, 07:34 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Not to make this too trivial, but if I were Mr. 15C, and I realize that you and Mr. 15A are husbands and wife, I'd assume you'd be leaning towards the "A" seat and using that armrest.

Not saying I would take the armrest between 15B and C, only that I would be surprised that you would need it.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2005, 09:21 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 46
I guess you are right about leaning towards the A seat, I was saving that for Jamaica, but guess what? Later I found that Mr C seat wife was seated in the bulk head seat on the aisle. At least I was seated with my husband, where Mr C seat wasn't even seated with his wife.
live2traveltoo is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2005, 11:09 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,728
You were right: it is a silly question and it can't be made more trivial. If that 3 hour flight was a "trip from Hell!!!!!" then it was your own fault for getting all worked up about nothing.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,728
ok, that was a bit harsh. You did, after all, discuss the issue with 15C. Some people would have just sat and stewed. If it had happened on your return flight yesterday, or the day before, that's one thing. But it happened on your outbound trip a week or two weeks ago, and you had a wonderful (I hope) vacation in Jamaica, an uneventful flight home (I hope) since then.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2005, 11:19 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 46
You are right, I did have a wonderful time in Jamaica and should "get over it". It's just that I try to be polite and considerate of others and sometimes I let people like 15C get to me. It is totally my issue not his, I just thought by saying something to him he might catch a clue and perhaps next time modify his behaivor.

Because I am so "nice" I always let my husband have the window seat (perhaps I shouldn't be so nice to him) and this is the 3rd trip this year of running into Mr A--holes in the C seat taking up both armrest.

Next time we travel and we are unable to upgrade to first class, I will just be prepared for whatever and thank God that I only have to deal with 15C for 3 hours and that I don't have to deal with him as a neighbor!!!!
live2traveltoo is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2005, 02:19 PM
  #11  
KT
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,437
I didn't notice how short the trip was. As someone accustomed to 11-hour flights to Europe, on which I've come across all sorts of rude behavior, I agree: for 3 hours, it's not worth stewing about.
KT is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2005, 02:30 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,728
Definitely it was worth talking to 15C about it and giving him a chance to not be a jerk. As far as climbing over the guy, I might do it in an exit row. Might not. Definitely am not climbing over anybody in a regular row in coach when boarding the plane.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2005, 02:30 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,728
live2traveltoo, why not do what rrkwan's folks do?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2005, 02:32 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 503
My husband and I always take an aisle and window seat, with the luck of the draw (usually an enormous man) seated between us. I always enjoy seeing the look on the middle man's face when he discovers we even KNOW each other. Usually it's only when marriage comes up in conversation with my husband and he says, "Yes, I'm married -- that's my wife sitting next to you," or even better, when suddenly we begin exchanging food items from our trays.
abbydog is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2005, 04:35 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
I can imagine sitting in the middle with food items being passed over my head or my food tray. I would definitely made a wrong move "accidentally" spilling or dropping something. Of course a "sincere" apology with an evil smile to follow
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2005, 05:41 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,728
I was just reminded last night of why I don't have a lot of patience for people who complain about their comfort in coach. I was on an America West flight last night. At 6'3" with long legs and broad shoulders I am aware that the seats were designed so that I would not be comfortable. My shoulders are wider than the space between the armrests. To not use an armrest means turning my shoulder in and putting my arm between my legs. When I m on the aisle, I get bumped very easily so that sometimes I twist my body so that my shoulders are "diagonal" across the seat (when the person in the middle is using the armrest I pretty much have to do this when the bev cart is in the aisle next to me. If I put my feet flat on the floor and my legs together then the person in fron of me will not be able to recline their chair; otherwise I am straddling their seatback.

I am just stating the facts and not complaining. After all, I ONLY PAID $410 for that roundtrip to Germany and I ONLY PAID $420 for that roundtrip to Rio, and only $650 to Japan, and only $200 between D.C. and L.A. At those prices, you can't expect much.

I remember a post once where somebody was complaining about their flight and pointed out that they had spent $600 for it. From the way the message was written, it seemed that the $600 was a large sum of money for that person and so they expected a lot. They got a great bargain; it was not a premium price.

nuff said, thanks, I feel better now.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2005, 06:10 PM
  #17  
cindiloowho
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Never mind the armrest, we had the experience on a transatlantic flight of a really fat guy in front of me refusing to put his tray up, even for meals, so I smelt his smelly head all the way home from England. Wish I had had a hat pin, I could have made him sit up sharply.!!!
 
Old Dec 11th, 2005, 09:57 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Fly first or business class. Problem solved.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2005, 11:05 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,728
There aren't enought business or first class seats. F was full outbound but was able to buy an upgrade on return today.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2005, 06:41 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,725
Sometimes when my wife and I have to travel in coach for long trips, especially when we know the plane is especially uncomfortable and when coach prices are low enough (eg $400 to Europe etc.) we will buy 3 seats for the two of us (assuming the configuration of the plane is 3-xxxx-3 or 2-3-2.) The airlines know how to handle this (musicians often do it for "Mr. Cello Doe) and sometimes you can talk them into a child fare for the unused seat, but usually not. Anyway, then you can sit a little sidesaddle and use the middle tray for coffee, etc.

It's an acceptable compromise (to us) - more room for a 50% cost increase, rather than 500% to go into business or first class.

And, no, they won't give you miles for the middle seat.
Gardyloo is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO