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Karina Chronicles

A Dress That Travels Well: Middle Seat Rules

SusanBarnes_KarinaSusan Barnes – aka travlin’ girl – is a travel writer, editor and photographer. A proud Army brat, she was born on a military base in Belgium and has been on the go ever since, and makes Tampa her home with her husband and miniature schnauzer, Lucy. In addition to writing extensively for print and online media, Susan is a co-host of #girlstravel chat on Twitter, Mondays at 2 p.m. ET. Feel free to follow her via, and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She just returned from vacation in the Pacific Northwest with her Adele dress in black and white stripes! 

Enjoying a sweet treat in the Pacific Northwest!

Enjoying a sweet treat in the Pacific Northwest!

As I write this post, I’m literally flying back from our vacation to the Pacific Northwest. When I travel with my husband, I tend to book our flights with seats together, and usually sacrifice my comfort by giving up the aisle or window seat to him, and instead opt for the middle seat for myself. Unless  we’ re on a glorious 3-2 combo plane in which he gets window and I get aisle – huge travel win!

A Dress That Travels Well: 5 Tips For The Middle Seat

Sitting in the middle, and watching passengers’ behavior in general on this flight, I’ve come up with these five tips to make travel more comfortable and enjoyable – especially in an age of hurried and frustrated travelers – if everyone would just play along.
  1. Fees here and there and everywhere when it comes to air travel certainly do add up, making carry-on more practical than ever. However, if you know you can’t hoist your bag into the overhead on your own, please go ahead and check it. While I’m at it, one bag and one personal item do not equal a purse, a carry-on suitcase and two shopping bags. That’s the airline’s fault though – the gate agent should have stopped that passenger from boarding.$$$ saving note: Oftentimes flights are full and overhead space is limited, which leaves gate agents in the position to offer complimentary gate checked bags. I do this every time it’s offered – saves me from stressing out about boarding first to secure much-sought-after overhead space, especially if I have a connecting flight.
  2. If you’re in a row three across and you’re fortunate enough to score an aisle or window seat, ALWAYS give the guy or girl stuck in the middle full reign of the armrests, even if you know said “middlee.” It’s just courteous.
  3. We’re all crammed into a small space when it comes to seats, depending on the airline flown and class you’re in (biz and 1st class fliers, feel free to skip to #3). Is it really necessary to emphatically thrust your seat back and encroach on your fellow passenger’s space? My husband won’t even lean his seat back when there’s a 3 year old behind him, as there is right now (and the woman in front of him is essentially laying in his lap). Of course, my husband’s incredibly courteous.
  4. When you’re given the A-OK to power on your phones, tablets, DVD players, kids’ games, or whatever, remember to turn the sound off. Not everyone around you wants to hear the nursery rhymes playing, explosions in the movie you’re watching, or that you’ve made it to the next level of Candy Crush.
  5. Generally, there’s one way off the plane, and we’re all going the same way. Now, I’m no model of patience, but really – the polite thing to do is let the people sitting in front of you out of their rows and off the plane, not force your way by to be one person ahead.
What tips can you offer your fellow travelers to make flights more enjoyable for everyone?

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