Device to end airplane armrest battles


If this thing is really supposed to start conversations, I propose the following:

  1. Add straing gauges and/or accelerometers suitable for detecting that the device is being moved or that the vertical divider portion is being flexed.
  2. When such condition is detected, generate a denunciation of armrest aggression.
  3. Recite the denunciation from 2. using the most incongruously-perky-but-slightly-robotic TTS voice available.

There are simply no ways this plan could go badly or fail to spark a shared spirit of mirth and fellow-feeling within the grim confines of a contemporary travel cylinder.


Uh, with the seats’ width reduced and the passengers’ widths increased, that thing looks like it’ll dig into your sides. No thanks.

The only conversation this would start with me is, “Please take your airplane off my side of the chair.”


My two thoughts about this doohickie.

  1. That startup is paying a lot of money to a PR firm, but said PR firm is doing a great job.
  2. “I will prevent you from infringing on my space by jabbing you in the side with a plastic wing” is… (takes off sunglasses) not gonna fly.

obviously, someone wishes that they had invented the knee defender.

“If only I could monetize microagression…,”


Shut up, naysayers. I nominate these guys for the Nobel Prize in Aviation.

This thing can fuck right off.

Besides which, starting conversation with the person next to me on a plane is the last thing I want to do.

Funny story, was travelling back to Seattle on business from the UK. Flying BA business class - where the seats alternate forwards and backwards, so you face the person next to you - there’s a wall between but it lowers so you can be friendly. As is my wont I immediately raised it. Then I realized that the guy on the other side was someone I worked with and I’d see in the office the next day. Spent 8 hours wondering whether I should lower the wall, say hello. Didn’t. What if it wasn’t really him? What if it was?

Luckily, we’re both English, so neither of us ever had to mention it.


Why can’t the armrests be designed this way to begin with?

Hah! Punches will be thrown in the first week this is used. And/or beverages.

In an etiquette book I once read the armrest on your right is yours. The left is your neighbors. In the days of theater this was probably common knowledge. Of course that’s harder to monetize than some plastic P.O.S.

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Middle seat person gets both. Aisle and Window get one each.

Dunno how that works when there are 4 seats in the middle. Or when the other person doesn’t fit between armrests.

That’s why the old school etiquette works better. Everybody gets an armrest. The person on the left end of every aisle gets an extra. The Airlines could encourage this by putting the controls on the right side of every seat.

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