How To Stop A Manspreader On A Plane In Three Easy Steps

Ladies, this is mainly for you, but guys, this actually could potentially help you, too, if you have a manspreader next to you while on a plane.

Manspreading. It’s been happening for eons, but only in the past couple of years did it get a name and even its own Wikipedia page. By definition, “manspreading” is, ‘the practice whereby a man adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat.’ Although manspreading can happen anywhere, it’s a behavior that’s commonly spotted on public transportation.

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Why people believe men (and occasionally women) spread is up for debate and hypotheses vary between simple pelvis shape (a man’s pelvis is narrower, which makes spreading more comfortable than keeping his knees closer together), a subconscious sense of wanting empowerment, and just wanting shall we say, to air things out, not squish things, or show things off. By the way, studies show that our subconscious reactions to manspreading vs. womanspreading are also very different. When males do it [especially when they spread, feet splayed outward and forearms leaning on their thighs], it’s seen as an attempt to look more powerful, manly or macho. For females, it’s considered rude and unladylike.

But whatever the case, when it’s done on a bus or subway, it’s easy enough for people to move or simply just not sit next to the spreader. In fact, some transit authorities have had ad campaigns to “stop the spread” on public transportation:

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La Empresa Municipal de Transportes (EMT), Madrid
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Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), New York City

But if it happens on a plane, the seat mates next to the offending spreader are the ones who have no choice but to grin and bear it.

Or do they?

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Points Promo Finally Paying Out, Why Hotels Don’t Use Fitted Sheets, Why American’s New Policy Is Smart, & More

Happy Saturday friends, and hooray, it’s finally the weekend! Here’s a recap of what’s gone on at YMMV this week. From what we’ve written to what others wrote that we really liked and wanted to share, it’s all here, in one convenient place!

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How To Combine Points From Two Banks To Book An Award

Since we started writing Your Mileage May Vary, several of our friends have started collecting points and miles. I feel a level of satisfaction when they’re able to go on that first award trip, partially because of our help. Just like any mentor, occasionally we’ll get a question about a topic where we don’t know the answer. While I could just say that I really don’t know about that, I like to use these situations to learn about things I hadn’t focused on before. Such was a question about how to combine points from two different bank programs.

While the answer may seem obvious if you’ve been collecting points and miles for a while, for someone just starting out this can be very confusing.

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Why I Think American’s New (To Me) Policy Is Very Smart

Two days before we were due to fly on American Airlines from Orlando to New York, Sharon’s phone rang. We’re generally not ones to answer our phones (Note from Sharon: As a meme I recently saw said, “The best time to call me is in a text message”) and when a random call comes in from an 800 number, it’s a definite direct-to-voicemail call for both of us. For some reason, I had Sharon’s phone in front of me and after the first call went to voicemail, the phone rang again from the same number. I was at my computer so I Googled the number (800-433-7300).

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At first glance, my heart dropped. Why would American Airlines be calling us two days before our flight? I imagined the worst, like our flight was canceled because of the 737 MAX schedule changes. I picked up the phone.

“Hello, Sharon’s phone. This is Joe. How can I help you?”

That’s not how I answered but it has to be extraordinary circumstances for me to pick up a call on her phone.

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A Travel-Related Remembrance Of Tim Conway

Veteran actor Tim Conway passed away the other day and his was one of those passings that, to coin a phrase, “got me right in the feels.”

Like so many others of my generation, I mainly knew Tim Conway from his years on the Carol Burnett show. Being able to stay up all the way until 11pm on Saturday nights to watch the show in the 70s was a huge treat, and Tim Conway was, for me, one of the highlights of the show. Whether he was playing Mr. Tudball, The Old Man, Mickey Hart in the “Mama’s Family” segments, or any one of hundreds of one-off characters, I knew he was going to make not only me laugh, but definitely Harvey Korman laugh, and probably most of the rest of the cast in whatever sketch it was, too.

As a variety show, The Carol Burnett show had sketches of all different themes and genres, including travel. Like this one, which features Tim and Harvey…

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