Having a middle seat is never pleasant, but when you’re stuck in a long flight it becomes particularly painful. After the first hour your butt starts to cramp, your shoulders feel tight and your neck is tense because you’re fighting so hard to avoid falling asleep on someone else’s shoulder. Middle seats shouldn’t exist but they do, so something must be done to make it better.
We compiled a short list of things you can do in order to make your seating arrangements more bearable and the hours fly by faster. Here’s what you can do in order to make the best out of your middle seat.
Store your bag in the overhead bin
In order to stretch your legs and have some more space, take out all the items you need – headphones, water, books, tablets – and store your bag in the overhead bin. Just because flight attendants say that there’s not enough space in the plane doesn’t mean that you should be in pain.
Have headphones and entertainment in hand
Having a middle seat means that you’ll be stuck between two people, increasing your odds of having a talkative neighbor. Unless you enjoy that kind of stuff, always have with you a pair of efficient headphones in order to have an easy way out, even though there’s no guarantee that this method will work. There are some very persistent seat neighbors.
Take a book or a tablet and download some material that can entertain your for a couple of hours. Since you probably won’t be able to sleep, keep your mind occupied with some Netflix.
Use the restroom before boarding
Before the whole plane boarding mayhem begins, make some time to visit the bathroom. Being in the middle seat means that you’ll likely be awoken by your window neighbor when they’re on their way to the restroom and that you’ll have a hard time going there yourself if you’re shy about waking the person that’s on the aisle seat.
Take up both armrests
Don’t be scared to take up both of your armrests, in fact, do so as soon as you sit down. Your neighbors more space and an have an extra armrest. It’s also unlikely that they’ll bother you for the extra space.
Pay extra and avoid it
If you still find the middle seat too uncomfortable, pay extra for an aisle or a window seat and avoid all of this drama. While getting a seat upgrade generally comes with a significant bump in ticket price, you’ll at least have the space you want for sleeping and stretching.