Aisle seats and window seats. They both have their advantages and their disadvantages. We listed a few of them in our blog ‘How to Choose and Get the Best Airplane Seat’. I’m hard-pressed, though, to come up with any advantages for the middle seat. Most times I book or request an aisle seat and though I usually don’t get fussed about crowds and small spaces, on a plane the proximity of people can get to me – especially if I’m trapped in a window or a middle seat. So you’d think as someone who’s flown for years that I’d be ultra-careful to ensure I don’t get a middle seat. But it happened recently and needless to say, I was frustrated! With myself.

What Happened?

We were traveling on vacation back from an amazing trip to Ireland. We didn’t check-in online but at the airport (first mistake). So we get up to the check-in counter and I diligently ask that she make sure we have at least one aisle seat – as long as one of us got it, that’s good. ‘Oh yes’, the Air Canada clerk says, ‘You have an aisle’. I took her at her word (my second mistake). So we go through security and finished our duty-free shopping. We head to the gate and the flight is starting to board. I finally look at our boarding passes too late (my third mistake). Oh no. He’s got a window and I’m stuck in a MIDDLE! It’s too late to beg for another seat for the 7-hour flight.

We board the plane and I begrudgingly squeeze into my middle seat. I try to be happy. I try to be pleasant, but the guy to my left, on the aisle, is oversized and he’s infringing on my scant middle space. Then the guy in front of me has decided to recline his seat ALL the way back into my scant middle space. Then I decide I’ll do the same and recline too. But the person behind me is talking to her husband about not being able to reach her purse under my seat, so I put my seat back to full straight position. Woe is me. I try to sleep on my husband’s shoulder, but it’s not comfortable and I’m hot and I’m cold and I’m irritated. The only thing that saved me was the in-flight entertainment and red wine. After two movies and six episodes of Splitting Up Together, we were at our destination.

The guy in front of me lifted his seat into full upright position and I finally had room to breathe – barely.

Moral of the Story

Of course, I made it through, but I learned my lesson: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR BOARDING PASS to make sure you have the seat type you requested.

End of rant. End of story.

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