Middle seat etiquette

Flying back from Honolulu, I found myself crammed in a middle seat. Now I’m not a big person, just a normal sized person, and yet there I sat with my elbows held tight against my side, my hands resting in my lap, as the broken seat in front of me reclined much farther back than it should have. Oh yeah, I had a woman’s head an inch from my chest. Good thing I didn’t need anything out of my tote-bag, the one located under the seat in front of me, the one I could not reach if I so inclined. And then, if that wasn’t bad enough, things got worse, much worse.
The man sitting beside me, the one wearing the trendy dark blue designer jeans traveling with the family sitting across the aisle from him, claimed the armrest between us.

So what, you say? Wait…there’s more.

The elbow, the one attached to a very tan and muscular arm, crept over the armrest and kept on going until it found itself in my space – MY SPACE! Thank god my son, and not another adult, sat on the other side of me, so I could lean way over into the space my son did not yet prize. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and tried not to scream as I felt the faint tickle of manly arm hairs against my skin.

Middle seat etiquette, am I the only one who cares?

I’ll never forget when Cady, my best friend and old roommate, got called out to work a flight from New York to Los Angeles. This was thirteen years ago and we were on reserve and the thought of working a 767 transcon scared the heck out of us. We were new, brand spankin new, and that airplane was big, 160 passengers big! Keep in mind there were also nine flight attendants who knew exactly what they were doing, unlike the two of us, working on that gigantic bird! What made the trip even worse was that Cady had been called out to work the lead position on the 767. Cady, fresh from the charm farm, would be in charge for the next two days.

“How did it go?” I asked, practically leaping off the couch when she walked through the door after her trip the following evening.

Parking her black bag against the wall, she flopped down in front of the television on the lumpy sofa beside me. “I actually had to settle an argument between two grown men.”

To read more, go to GALLEY GOSSIP: MIDDLE SEAT ETIQUETTE on Gadling.com

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Heather Poole View All →

Yeah, that's me, the one standing in the aisle wearing flammable polyester...

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Oooh lucky you at least were coming back from such a glorious place! But I hear ya. We forget sometimes what it is like to be the middle seat passenger as we most often are seated in our jumpseat, until we have a holiday and are actually paying for our trip! Fun little blog you have here.

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