The middle seat on the airplane is often the least desired. When seated in this position, passengers can’t look out the window, can’t easily access the aisle and must crawl over the passenger seated next to them when using the restroom. One study by 3M found that passengers dislike the middle seat so much that they would rather get a tooth pulled then endure it. Though there are disadvantages to the middle seat, several advantages can make getting it not as bad.
Both manners and travel experts agree: the middle seat on the airplane should have the privilege of having both armrests. This is because those in an aisle seat can stretch out their legs while flying, and window seat passengers can look out the window or curl up against the side of the plane and catch some sleep. Because of these advantages offered by the other seats, those in the middle should have access to both armrests.
Meeting New People
Being seated in the middle offers air passengers the advantage of getting to know both people they are seated in-between. On long flights, making a new friend and passing the time by chatting can be a big advantage.
Possibility of an Empty Row
For those who aren’t in a talking mood, selecting the middle seat may give them the opportunity of an empty row. The same study by 3M found that people would rather wait for the next flight in order to get an aisle or window seat rather than take the middle seat.
Additionally, people often get nervous around new people. When faced with an empty row, it can be tempting to grab the aisle seat; however, by selecting the middle seat, airplane passengers may not want to be in the awkward position of sitting next to a new person and may avoid the row altogether. This gives those in the middle seat the chance of sitting all alone and stretching out during the flight.
When It Can’t Be Avoided
Those stuck in the middle seat can make themselves more comfortable by using the restroom before boarding the plane in order to avoid climbing over another passenger. Consider checking in luggage and avoiding carry-ons as well; the decreased space can make the flight even more uncomfortable.