A trick to making it easier to get in and out of airplane seats

It should come as a surprise to no one that, outside of first class, airline seats are pretty cramped. In fact, they’ve been getting closer and closer together for decades now.

The reason is simple: economics. The more paying passengers can be crammed into an aircraft, the more the airline makes on the flight as a whole. By moving each seat just a couple of inches closer to the one in front to it, airlines can sometimes fit two whole rows of additional seats on a plane.

This often equates to at least 12 extra seats. Even for dirt-cheap flights, 12 seats on every single takeoff and landing equates to a lot of extra revenue over the lifetime of that plane.

While I am powerless to add extra space between airline seats, I can help with one side effect of all this stuffing.

No matter whether you have a window, aisle, or middle seat, getting in and out is a pain when you’re trying to climb over the aisle seat’s armrest.

Everyone routinely raises and lowers the armrests which divide seats clustered together but most don’t realize that the aisle armrest can be raised on most planes as well. That’s because there’s a trick to it.

Aisle armrests are locked.

There is a small button hidden underneath the armrest, way back at the pivot point where it is hinged. This is often hard to find. (Perhaps purposely so?) Once you find it however, flying coach may never be quite the same.

Whether it’s to let the passenger next to you get up to use the restroom or when you are getting on and off the plane, raising the armrest makes getting in and out of your seat much easier and more convenient.

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