“Hey man, can’t we just share the armrest?”


Yesterday morning, I embarked on an adventure that would take me from the rainy city of Seattle, Washington all the way down to sunny San Francisco, California.

All was going well.

I didn’t oversleep; I made it to the airport on time; and I even had enough time to get some breakfast and write up a post. Based on some of my previous travel experiences, this was shaping up to be quite a successful journey. That is, until I sat down in my seat.

Since it was a morning flight, and I had to get up earlier than I would’ve liked, I already wasn’t in the best mood. When I saw my seat and realized that I had a middle seat, I decided that it was more about surviving the plane ride instead of enjoying it.

Once I was crammed between my two fellow plane-riders, I opened up my laptop to watch a movie for the plane ride. I had started the movie earlier on in the day and was eager to finish it off.

As far as I’m concerned, this etiquette explanation is spot on.

As any person on a plane might do, I attempted to use an armrest. Since I was in the middle seat, I knew that I’d have to share at least one of the armrests, so I made sure to leave some space for the elderly fellow on my right and not to take up the whole thing. I was assuming that he would do the same thing for me.

He, apparently, was not aware of this plane ride etiquette.

Shortly after I placed my elbow on the armrest, the man to my right also decided to do the same thing. His elbow brushed up against mine — God forbid. I hardly noticed it and continued watching my movie. Since I thought he’d do the same, I was a little surprised when he took off his own headphones and tapped my arm to get my attention. I paused my movie, took out my earbuds, and turned to listen to what he had to say.

Listen, kid. This is my armrest. I don’t want you using it.
DO. NOT. TOUCH. ME.

Woah there, man. Take it easy.

I didn’t really say anything back to him. I was still somewhat in shock over his discomfort of something that really wasn’t worth making a big deal about, let alone even bringing up in conversation. I mostly just nodded my head, kept quiet, and continued watching my movie.

I wonder if he addresses every person in a rude manner that brushes up against him or if I was just catching him on a bad day… Maybe he was headed home to California weather and was just fed up with all the rain that happened recently in Washington.

Either way, there was no reason for him to snap at me the way he did.

I was on edge for a while after that.

Then, a few minutes after his comments, he tapped me again.

I was expecting to hear something about how I was breathing too loudly or that my feet were trespassing into his foot space. Actually, it was quite the opposite.

The reason he tapped me was simply to apologize for his trite outburst and to state how there was no reason for him to say that. He even went as far as to say that his comments were bullshit.

I think he finally came around and realized that there were definitely ways that his flight could be much worse than it was.

While he didn’t seem especially sincere with his apology, I still accepted it. I respectfully told him that he should just chill out and we could share the armrest. I mean, that’s what’s supposed to happen, right?

He complied and the rest of the flight ended up being pretty uneventful after that.

Flight companions — especially when they’re random people — aren’t usually very easy to befriend. But just because someone isn’t your friend doesn’t mean that you should treat them with disrespect.

This guy clearly never received that memo.

The Rating: 34/100

Pro: The apology helped. And I’m glad that the remainder of the trip happened without any instances.

Con: I still don’t understand why he would react to something that minuscule with such a harsh tone. I’m just surprised that airport security didn’t catch the metal rod that was so high up that guy’s ass.


My name is Jack Russillo and I’m a college freshman who just moved to the big city (Seattle) from a small town in the middle of nowhere. Every day I rate something on a scale of 1 to 100.

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