Plane Seat Hack

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The Professional Traveller • Jul 27, 2020

Impress Your Fellow Flyers With This Simple Plane Seat Hack

As someone who has flown I am sure you will know remember how awkward it can be to get in and out of the plane seat, as the armrests get in the way.


This applies whether on short or longer haul flights.

It can make getting in and out of your plane seat a bit tricky, leading to some awkward leaning and grabbing, especially when you are trying to get out of your seat for disembarkation and remember to take everything with you.


On longer haul flights it can be really annoying that every time someone in the row behind you wants to get in or out of their seat they grab the back of your headrest to lever themselves around, but of course it is the easiest way to get round those pesky armrests.

Of course it also means when you want to get in and out of your plane seat it can mean having to do the same thing!

If you are like me and you find it impossible to sleep on a plane then it can be quite tricky trying to get up and go for a wander round when everyone is asleep. This plane seat hack means I can slip out of my seat without disturbing anyone around me, because often I am one of the few people awake on a longer haul flight!


What a lot of people don’t realise though is that on most planes the armrests go up out of the way making it much easier to get in and out of the plane seat – especially handy for those of us who prefer the aisle seats!


I should say this is becoming less the case on budget airlines as they are going for fixed seats which are lighter and less moving parts also saves costs but it is still more common to have an adjustable armrest than not in my experience.


On longer haul flights it is generally the norm to have armrests that raise in the middle seats and on the end of the aisle. Generally the armrest of the plane seat beside the window doesn’t move but why would you need it to.

How To Do This Plane Seat Hack

plane seat hack the professional traveller seat button


Generally there is a little button right under the lower edge of the armrest towards the back of the armrest itself or there is a little catch which is on the back of the armrest where it joins the seat structure.

The picture above you can see the little button under the armrest, you just push this and lift the armrest up out of the way.

plane seat hack the professional traveller seat switch

On the armrest above you can see a little silver catch underneath the armrest. This just needs moving up or down, depending on the seat, and then the armrest will lift out of the way.

A bit of experimentation will be needed but once you have got the trick it’s invaluable.

plane seat hack the professional traveller seat buttons

For these seats shown in the picture above the armrest control is already built into the armrest, so you can put your seat back as well as move the armrest up and out of the way.

Quite often when other people on the plane see me swinging round and easily getting out of my plane seat they ask me to show them how to do the same thing.

It’s quite a nice feeling and it is a good conversation starter with those around you.


When I am travelling with groups I generally tell and show them how to do this little trick as well.


As someone who likes to be considerate of others I think this little tip can help by allowing me to get in and out of my seat without having to disturb the person in front of my by using their headrest to exit.

I know how annoying I find that.


It may seem like a silly little tip but when I’m the only one on the plane who does it I certainly feel like a professional traveller!


Next time you are on a plane try yourself. If you don’t want to look too obvious check the back of the armrest for the seat infront of you or across the aisle and infront to get a better idea of what you are looking for. 


Then enjoy that proud moment when you can raise your armrest and exit your aisle plane seat like a pro and feel the envy of the other passengers!

Further Reading:

If like me your aren’t a fan of flying why not check out an easy way to upgrade your airport experience? It is a great way to enjoy a bit of a treat before flying and feel a bit calmer.

Looking for some tips on how to deal with a fear of flying? Check out my fear of flying article.

Want to find the best seat on your plane? Check out seat maps on the fabulous Seat Guru website.

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