4 Tricks to Surviving Middle Seat Airline Blues

Monday, June 11, 2018

travel tips | long flight tips | long flight hacks | flying hacks | travel hacks | middle seat hacks | make traveling more comfortable

First off, I thought about naming my blog “Adventures From the Middle Seat” when I first began my blogging habits because I wanted to write a travel blog for the longest and could only ever afford the cheapest option to get me to where I wanted to go. Often times, thst put me in the middle seat, thus you have “Adventures From the Middle Seat.” But my niche expands beyond travel blogging, so we’re sticking to Daily Cup of JoJo.

But seriously, I'm too cheap to fly anything other than basic coach, which frequently puts me in the middle seat so I often find myself in middleman land on airplanes. I fly cheap and I fly solo  For a long time, I was always so shocked when I saw I had a middle seat. I would ponder “I paid XX dollars for this why the hell am I in a middle seat?” Let me be the first to tell you that the airline world will not reward you because you were able to find a round trip under $100. No. You have just booked a first class ticket to be their guinea pig and will be put through the ringer in most cases. Don’t fear it, but embrace it. The journey is half the adventure, right?

travel tips | long flight tips | long flight hacks | flying hacks | travel hacks | middle seat hacks | make traveling more comfortable

1. Early bird gets the worm. 

This applies to two aspects. 
A.) If you can help it, get to your gate early and ask if any open seats are available and not in the middle. The more time you ask between your flight leaving, the better your chances. ALWAYS BE FRIENDLY.
B.) If you can help it, get to your seat first and demand your presence. More about this in the next tip.

2. Declare your land

As soon as you sit down, decide what assets of the seat are yours. Do not settle for one armrest if you can get two. You have the short end of the stick here. Spread those elbows out, spread those legs out and let your travel row passengers know your claim. Do whatever you have to do with your body language to say “I’m taking up this much space for the duration of the flight.” Let your buddies get comfortable around you. They don’t know your life or your story, so don’t tell it. 9/10 times they won’t say anything to you about your space needs because on can stretch into the aisle and one has window rights and a built-in shoulder to lean on. 

3. Invest in the proper tools

GET YASELF A NECK PILLOW. I cannot stress this enough. You don’t have anything to lean your head on, and if you have a > 4-hour flight and Your two hours in, you’ll never be so grateful for such an invention. Also, eye covers are not as popular but such an underrated tool. I have been on many of planes where at last one person next to me HAS to have the reading light on while we're en route on a  red eye. Also, with middle seat access comes more interaction cues. By pulling out these bad boys, you are highering your chances for less interaction. Get on, sit down, get off. Let this be your guide. 

4. In the words of Fat Joe “Lean Back.”

Remember how we talked about that demanding your space concept? Still applies 30,000 feet in the area. As soon as you can lean that seat back, do so. Yep. ALL the way back. Stretch your toes all the way underneath the seat in front of you, slouch down just a tad so your shoulders are just above the middle of the chair and it ALMOST feels like your lying down. *height restrictions may apply* 

You all should know I’m currently writing this from the middle seat; man spread from the Pacific to the Atlantic, elbows on BOTH armrests, and my seat all the way back. Life is so good right now. However, I should note that these tips are at the user's discretion. Please don’t be a middleman jerk. That’s not what I’m advocating for here. Look at each situation differently and call them as you see them. 

Where all my cheap middle seat flyers at?! Drop me a comment below or send in (HERE) your middle seat hacks because we all need to help one another out. I’m always looking to upgrade the middle seat class. 

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travel tips | long flight tips | long flight hacks | flying hacks | travel hacks | middle seat hacks | make traveling more comfortable


  1. I try to avoid the middle seat whenever possible, but given my penchant for flying as cheaply as possible, I often get stuck in the middle. Its tolerable if you take necessary steps to improve the situation, like you mention in your post.

  2. Haha @ the second trick.

    The problem is once I do get both armrests, I try not to move so much so nobody times the displacement of my elbow and sneak in theirs.

    It got to a point where a flight attendant was once handing a meal to me, and I didn't reach out to take the food from her. Just rested my arm on the armrest with my hand open waiting for her to put the plate in my hand like a snob.

    Need to stop being a territorial Rottweiler.


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