Y’know, I consider myself to be relatively well-rounded. I’ve traveled all around the world and have met people from many walks of life. But when it comes to sitting on a plane, I always thought there were just 3 categories of passengers:
- Those who prefer aisle seats
- Those who prefer window seats
- The poor shlubs who got stuck with a middle seat
Travel friends, it turns out I was dead wrong. There’s actually a 4th category. Believe it or not, there are people who actually PREFER the middle seat.
I KNOW, can you believe it?!?!?!
Here’s the deal…Zack Bornstein is, as he describes himself, “an Emmy-losing writer/director” 😉 whose work has been on Saturday Night Live, Hulu, Dreamworks, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Strange Planet and The New Yorker, among others. The other day he was apparently on a plane with his girlfriend and they were doing the same trick Joe and I do – one of us gets an aisle seat, one of us get the window seat, and we cross our fingers that the middle seat stays open. It rarely does.
Alas, “the trick” didn’t work for Bornstein and his girlfriend either, and when the guy who they thought was a typical “poor shlub who’s stuck in the middle” came to their row, they offered to switch…and the guy said no!
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) December 8, 2022
I also liked his CC to the FBI because really, there HAS to be something wrong with people who actual PREFER the middle seat, right?
So anyway, it started quite the tweetstorm about (A) people who do the “aisle/window” trick (no, it’s not an ‘entitlement thing’ #rolleyes) and (B) those who like sitting in the middle.
First there was Tangotiger, the MLBAM senior architect who actually TOOK A SURVEY to see what percentage of people preferred the middle seat. Their totally unscientific research suggested that 3.2% are in that category??? Holy crap!
If you had a middle seat on an airplane, and there was a couple sitting in the aisle seat and window seat on either side of you, would you accept an offer to switch to one of the two seats? If so, which one?
— Tangotiger (@tangotiger) December 8, 2022
And yay (not) for the 10.4% who say they won’t switch, just to be jerks, huh?
And then there were the reasons why people prefer their middle seats:
There are the people who are nervous flyers (they need this guy to sit next to them) so they have their rituals to keep them calm.
Or they’re just comfortable there.
Or they like having people to talk to (possibly regardless of what their row mates like LOL).
Some people are holding out for an aisle seat and don’t get it…but middle is better than window for them.
Or are holding out for an aisle and don’t get it…but middle is still better than aisle for them.
Then you’ve got the people don’t really care either way.
And others will take the middle seat to help someone else be more comfortable.
Some prefer it to the issues of having an aisle seat.
I’m 5 feet tall and petite. The middle seat is not uncomfortable for me at all. And I find people walking up and down the aisle to be extremely distracting if I’m trying to sleep or work. https://t.co/eEo8hkdkLP
— Kimberly Nicole Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) December 9, 2022
And all the while, you’ve got that 10.4% who are a-holes that make it their business to make other people miserable.
So yep, there are indeed people who prefer the middle seat. Who woulda thunk, huh?
The most insane discourse on here is "the middle seat on an airplane is pretty good"
— Anthony Hennen (@anthonyhennen) December 9, 2022
Feature Photo: RawPixel
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary