advice

There’s a button you can press for more legroom in economy

By Travel at 60
Source: Unsplash/Suhyeon Choi

I'll have an aisle seat, thanks

Are you an aisle seat person or a window seat person? (We’re only giving you two options because, let’s face it, centre-seat people do not exist.)

With one press of a button you might be converted.

Read more: The clever reason why plane seats are always blue

Wanters of the window seat like having a view, complete control of the window shade and the fuselage to rest against during a long-distance and/or overnight flight. They also value the fact that no one will bother them to move – they do the clambering, rather than be clambered over.

Aisle seat aficionados, on the other hand, like having easy access to bathrooms and the chance to stretch out – even just a little bit. This is the spot for anyone with long legs or a weak bladder. Plus there’s the freedom to get up and move around at any time, and the ability to exit the aircraft a little faster.

If you’ve analysed the merits of both window seats and the aisle, and are still torn about which one to choose on your next flight, a travel hack from Travel+Leisure might help you make up your mind.

There’s a little button on the underside of an aisle seat’s outermost armrest (close to the hinge, kind of under where your elbow sits). This button is your new best friend on a cramped or long (or both) economy flight. 

Read more: An etiquette expert weighs in on reclining your seat

Press it, and you’ll be able to push the armrest right up, so that it’s flush with the back of your seat – just like you can with the armrests in many centre seats.

It's a safety measure, designed to make an escape easier and faster should an emergency exit be necessary. But by giving you a bit of swing room for your legs and moving the armrest so it can't dig into your side, it can also make things a lot more comfortable at all times (other than take off and landing) during a flight.

And press the button once again as soon as land, to make life much easier when you’re getting out of your seat and grabbing your luggage from the overhead bin.

You could well find yourself saying, "Aisle be back".

Window seat-lovers – would this make you choose an aisle seat instead? Let us know in the comments section below.

Travel at 60
Window seat-lovers – would this make you choose an aisle seat instead?