I’m sure I’m not alone in this – you are trying to get comfortable in your seat on the plane, and the passenger next to you is hogging the armrest. You can’t even rest the edge of your arm there and get a whole lot less space than you deserve. Even worse, perhaps you’ve got passengers like this either side of you!
That’s why I was quite pleased to read about a possible solution: the Paperclip Armrest which has been designed by a Hong Kong engineer who is working for airline Cathay Pacific. Basically, his idea is to create a “double story” armrest, so one passenger rests their arm on the lower level of the rest, and the other on top. It seems like a simple solution and one that could possibly work, although the current design pictures show that the lower level of the armrest has an “end” to it which could be uncomfortable for those with long arms – I’d rather see an open ended design.
This design recently won a prize at the Crystal Cabin Awards in Hamburg, where different design ideas for airline cabins are introduced. There are no plans yet to start installing the armrests on any planes, but hopefully we will see them sometime in the future, and stop having to wrestle with our fellow passengers for a tiny bit of space.
photo credit: René Ehrhardt