4 Struggles You Can Only Relate To When You're Stuck In The Middle Seat On An Airplane

by Ciara Johnson

Picture this: You found an incredible flight deal, and you're counting down the days until departing to your dream destination. You're thinking of all the beautiful places you'll see, and tasty foods you'll eat. But before you even press "book" on that flight, there are a few things you may want to do — especially if you have a long-haul flight. Choosing the best airplane seat can make a huge difference in your flying experience. Choose carefully, because there are certain struggles of having a middle seat on an airplane that are all too relatable.

We all have different preferences in life, and that includes travel. Some might prefer a tropical island getaway, while others would rather opt for a trendy city escape. While some may enjoy going on a curated group tour, others would rather DIY their entire trip.

Similarly, some people prefer the aisle seat and others would happily take the window seat. It's all a matter of preference, but your seat selection can truly make or break your in-flight experience. Most would rather opt for the window seat or the aisle seat, and it's easy to see why. You have limited access with the middle seat, and the struggle can be real.

You Can't Soak Up Those Beautiful Airplane #Views

If you've had the pleasure of scoring the window seat before, then you know just how epic those airplane #views can be. You have complete control of the window. If you want to daydream and watch the clouds float by, you can! If you'd prefer to close the window and catch up on some sleep, you can also do that.

Unfortunately, when you're in the middle seat, you don't have any control over the window. You can't rest your pillow on it if you want to snooze, and you can't snap a cool, artsy shot of the wing when you're soaring above the cotton candy-colored clouds. Maybe your neighbor will snap one for you?

Getting Up To Use The Bathroom Is The Worst
B. Harvey/Stocksy

It's almost like you feel the need to ask permission to use the bathroom when you're in the middle seat. You need to ask the person who's sitting in the aisle seat if they can get up, so that you can get up. If they're sleeping, things get that much more difficult, real quick. Part of you feels bad disturbing them, but you gotta go when you gotta go, am I right? Whether you want to use the bathroom or stretch your legs for a bit out in the aisle, the struggle can be real.

You Don't Really Know Who Has Dibs On The Armrests
Lawrence Del Mundo/Stocksy

Since you don't have direct access to the window or aisle, you can only hope that you have first dibs on the armrests. It's only fair, right? However, there's no written rule that says this, so it can feel like you've been put into an awkward position if both people stake a claim to each of the armrests.

You Worry About Getting Comfortable
Rowena Naylor/Stocksy

The person in the window seat can rest against the window for comfort, and the person in the aisle seat has a lot more room to stretch. When you're stuck in the middle seat, it can be hard to get comfortable. It's way more difficult to get some sleep, because you don't want to be that person who falls onto the seat-mates. Looks like you'll have to bring your neck pillow to snooze!