124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

(BIG) Travel Trouble

December 04, 2009

It's bad enough having to fight for space on an armrest. There are two passengers, why only one armrest? Is this a test? We all get our own oxygen masks and our own flotation devices. I get that we share a toilet seat, but not why we share an armrest. I want my own armrests--no more middle seats. And why is it so critical to put the seats forward for takeoff and landing? Really? The difference between all the way back and all the way forward is two inches. Maybe less.

In the case of the armrest, by the time you hear the ding, indicating the plane reached 10,000 feet, that's when both parties have usually come to an understanding--I take the back half of the armrest, my neighbor gets the front end of the armrest. There's usually room for both of us assuming we decide (without speaking) that we can work together.

My buddy Pete sent me this article. This is from a blog written by Kieran Daly on Nov. 18. I can't say I was on this flight, but I can say I've been in a similar situation. We can all relate:


You can see the F/A's point of view--how the heck is s(he) supposed to deal with it. Sympathize with the guy or not, he's a major safety hazard in an evacuation, a gross inconvenience for the cabin crew, and I would suggest a totally unacceptable traveling companion for the guy next to him.*

In this case it looks to me like the aisle armrest was never heard from again. The armrest's last words: "I now know what it's like to be in the belly of a whale."

In the comments box of Daly's blog, a reader, claiming to be an AA flight attendant, posted the following:

*This picture was taken by a friend of mine.

AA Flight Attendant

Here's a link to another post by the writer two weeks later, after she received a lot of feedback about the original story.

Have you experienced travel trouble recently?

--Matty G.