'Middle seats are the worst!' I hear the passenger in front say, bemoaning their seat allocation.
No one in their right mind would choose to take the middle seat on a plane.
With neither easy access to the aisle or the views of the plane wing to compensate for its abysmal location, it's safe to ask: 'who would actively decide to sit here, trapped between two strangers?'
The unloved seat is not without its perks, of which it has two: the armrests.
Many people feel that the passenger in the middle seat deserves both armrests.
It's a sentiment that many passengers share. A recent US twitter poll by the Rich Eisen Show found that among 100,000 plane passengers a large proportion of them felt that this was only fair.
The Australian Comedian Jim Jeffries went as far as to devise his own 'plane etiquette' to solve the travel conundrum:
"Window gets an armrest and a wall. Middle gets two armrests. Aisle gets an armrest and a little bit of extra legroom. We're not animals."
Although the response was fairly tongue-in-cheek – it's been discussed elsewhere, by people other than comedians and television show hosts.
According to Rosie Panter,Travel Expert for the UK's Dealchecker website, it's a widely accepted rule:
"The aisle seat passenger has the freedom to stretch their legs and get up and down as and when they please, while the window seat passenger has the luxury of looking out of the window, or curling up to rest their head on the side of the plane to enjoy some shut eye, without the risk of passengers needing to clamber over them while they sleep," Panter told Cosmopolitan Travel.
"However, the middle passenger is limited by both space and places to rest their head. Therefore, the two-armrest debate should be an established plane rule."
Before too long, it won't be just the armrests that middle passengers will have over their fellow flyers.
Many aircraft interior designers are looking to compensate the ensconced middle seat in extra inches of room.
In 2017 Molon Labe launched an innovative design dubbed the Side Slip seat. As well as taking an inch from the chairs either side, by dropping the seat down and slightly further back it gains two inches extra legroom in added pitch.
And that's on the short-to-mid haul design. On long-haul the staggered seat design means the middle seat not only gets extra seat space but extra screen inches on the entertainment system in the back of the seat infront. The configuration brings it up to 46.9 cm compared to the meagre 39.6 cm screens on either side.
Last year Air New Zealand said its A321neo fleet would be giving 3cm extra space to the middle seat.
Go ahead, take the aisle seat! We'll make do here.