Armrest Rules on Airplanes

I’ve always thought there should be a standard set of rules regarding the acquisition and use of armrests on airplanes. Today I am creating these rules and posting them on the Internet for all of eternity.


Two Seats (One Armrest)

  1. The first person to put his arm on the armrest becomes the owner of the armrest until he takes his arm off the rest, even for a second.
  2. If both parties put their arms on the rest at the exact same time, an “awkward-off” shall commence, with the first person to yield losing all armrest priviledges until Rule #1 applies.

Three Seats (Two Armrests)

        1.  The person in the middle may use both armrests for the duration of the flight and must be yielded to even if he doesn’t use the armrests for a while, unless:

  • He falls asleep with his arms not on the armrests;
  • He does not have arms.

       2.  There are certain people who, even if seated on the desired window or aisle seats, may use the middle armrests despite Rule #1. Those people include:

  • Old people (asking for ID is okay but not encouraged);
  • Really hot people;
  • Famous people;
  • Harry Potter;
  • Anyone who shares their food/magazines/newspapers with you on the flight (the exchange rate is one item for one hour of unmitigated armrest use).

       3.  There are also some people who, even if seated in the middle seat, may be jostled with to attain and secure an armrest. These people include:

  • Anyone who smoked a pack of cigarettes immediately before getting on the plane;
  • Anyone who has not showered in the last 48 hours (you may ask);
  • Anyone who watches a movie on a portable DVD player or iPod without earphones;
  • Little kids who keep trying to get all up in your business;
  • Anyone who keeps talking to you even though you clearly just want to read your book;
  • Paris Hilton;
  • People who spill their drink on you (one drink spilled equals one hour of armrest use).

These rules have been confirmed and approved by the American Sky Security (ASS).