As part of our special Holiday Travel Tips series, here’s tip #3:
Okay, it’s happened… Despite your best efforts in getting to the airport on time, you’ve ended up with a middle seat. And, even your best pleas won’t convince your travel companion to swap with you.
You’re not alone. A recent survey found that 56% of Americans would rather get stuck in traffic — or go on a blind date — than take a middle seat. Fifty percent of respondents even said that they would wait and take an aisle seat on the next available flight, rather than endure the middle seat. Don’t have so much time to play with? Here are some tips for surviving your sandwiched-in journey…
1. Try again. If you’ve been assigned your seat in advance of check-in, there’s still a chance (with cancellations) that you could find a better seat. Be sure to make your inquiries when you check in.
2. Toilet check. There’s nothing worse than trying to meander around that sleeping traveler in the aisle seat when you’ve to go. Make a toilet stop the last thing you do before boarding.
3. If you do need to move around, do so before the person in the window seat falls asleep. Leave it too late and you might be disturbed by them later when you’re trying to take a nap.
4. Make yourself comfortable. Remember, you’ve nothing to lean on in the middle…and less room. So, bring any props that will help you fall asleep — neck pillows, eye masks, earphones, etc.
5. Stay low. Being in the middle exposes you to double the chance of friendly neighbors. If you don’t wish to talk, use your props from #4 to send the message that you’re zoning out… Or, if you’ve work to do, even better. Just power up your laptop.
6. Minimize your carry-on. With less space in the middle seat, you don’t want to have to sacrifice foot room for your carry-on bag. Keep your packing minimal, and be ready for boarding the minute your row is called, so you can find room in the overheard bins.
7. Last but not least, keep positive. Focus on the adventure that awaits you at the other end. If you’re planning to write or take photographs on your trip, use the time to go over your plans.
Best of luck with your seat assignment next trip…
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