The International Armrest Agreement

armrest war

For years I’ve wondered about who is entitled to the armrest when sitting next to a stranger in an aeroplane or a movie theatre.  Should it be shared? Does it go to the person who got there first? Do you get dibs if you’ve somehow managed to smear nacho cheese all over it? Generally, while I ponder over this thought, the people seated beside me waste no time in claiming the armrests for themselves.

Personally I believe there should be an international protocol. At movie theatres and cinemas you get the armrest to your right. The logic behind this suggestion is that most people are right-handed and are probably going to put their beverage there, regardless of whether there is an internationally accepted agreement.

In aeroplanes, the person in the middle seat should be compensated for their unpleasant positioning by getting the armrests on both sides. I say this based on numerous experiences of sitting next to people with no concept of personal space. While people in window and aisle seats have the opportunity to lean away from the offenders, individuals in the middle seat don’t really have a direction to lean in. The tangible barrier the armrests provide are actually essential to their sanity.

So what about aircrafts with 2 middle seats? In these cases I propose that the people in the middle automatically get the armrest that separates them from the person in the aisle seat. In order to determine who gets the centre armrest, a simple game of rock-paper- scissors should suffice. (the lizard and Spock edition is acceptable if you are a Big Bang Theory enthusiast)

If you require further convincing about the need for the International Armrest Agreement, try spending 9 hours trapped in a middle seat between someone who has terrible body odour and someone who clumsily elbows you in the ribs every 3 minutes.