How to Survive the Middle Seat

Our expert tips on making the best of an always annoying situation.

Like the old saying goes, the journey is as important as the destination, but if you waited until the last minute to book your flight, and now you are stuck with the dreaded middle seat, then take these tips to heart to avoid it all together – or at least make it more palatable.

  1. Check in online as early as possible to avoid the middle seat completely. Once at the airport, ask at the check-in desk and even at the gate if any other seats have become available since you checked in.
  2. Once you’ve accepted your middle-seat fate, pray that you get two slim Jims on either side of you.
  3. Place your stuff in the overhead bin, and don’t worry if you have to ask the aisle person to get up mid-flight to let you into your bag.
  4. Stake your claim on the most comfortable sections of both armrests. (You’re entitled.)
  5. Fall asleep. Try to tacitly time bathroom breaks with your seat-mates first. Or not.
  6. Read, work, meditate, make to-do lists, watch a movie, pretend you’re on the subway. Just try to take your mind off everything and you’ll be home in a flash.
  7. You can always go for the cabin upgrade.

Watch how this brave man in the middle seat on a plane reclaims his armrest. Would you do the same?