Elbow Etiquette

Is that your elbow or are you happy to be sitting next to me?

Have you ever sat on an airplane and thought of how to make the passenger sitting next to you “disappear”; their elbow now clearly in your private space? First you decide how you’ll do it; your imagination running wild, creating the ultimate in flight thriller. Then as the flight goes on, you begin to think about how you’ll get rid of the evidence. Maybe you’ll politely ask for a can of club soda and a pile of napkins from the flight attendants during the beverage service after you’ve indicated, with a wink, that the “sleeping” passenger sitting next to you doesn’t care for anything to drink. Eventually, you are stumped by how you will dispose of the body. There just does not seem to be a way to slip him into the passing trash cart unnoticed. Darn!

Don’t be a space invader
The unavoidable “space invader” has brought out the homicidal tendencies in all of us; but rather than end up on the next episode of “Snapped”, it is best to nip this issue in the bud. What we do not want is to be stuck next to someone for 5 hours that we’ve gotten into an argumentative situation with, but in some cases we may have to take that risk in the name of comfort. Here is what to do, in the order they are presented, should you encounter a space hog:

The gentle approach: If the other person’s elbow encroaches on your space. Say excuse me and smile. Hopefully, this will clear it all up.
Buffer: If you have a pillow, blanket or jacket, place it next to you in order to create a divider between you and the turf thief. It will cushion you against assaults as you sleep– to a point.
Proceed with Caution: Say excuse me, look at their elbow (hold for 2 seconds), smile faintly and then settle back into your seat. This normally sends the message that you are a sweet, kind person but capable of becoming a nightmare on the right occasion.
State the facts: If all else fails, ask the person to please give you your space. It is your right and you should not feel any guilt whatsoever.
The fact is, it is possible for two people to use the armrest comfortably. There are other positions you may find more comfortable anyway such as resting your arms on the traytable. I find this most comfortable, but it depends on each persons height, build etc.

Courtesy of The Sky Steward

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