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Note from Sarah Page: Scott wrote this post back in 2014, but I am re-posting it now because it’s an invaluable trick. Every economy flight I fly I check my armrest for the secret lever under the joint of the arm and four times out of five, it’s there. 

I fly a lot of flights in economy class. While all my long-hauls are in business or first, when I fly domestically or hop around Southeast Asia, Europe, or Australia, it’s almost always in coach.

It’s just not worth using airline miles to book short flights in first class. I prefer to book cheap economy flight with Arrival miles and save my airline miles for international first class.

Last week I read an article called “30 Pilots And Flight Attendants Confess Their Best Kept Secrets,” and one of the secrets was actually an amazing tip I can’t believe I didn’t already know.

It won’t quite give you this much space in economy, but it does make flying in the back a little more comfortable.

Cathay Pacific First Class

How have I given myself more room in economy this week?

You know how the arm rests between seats can go up but not the ones on the outside of the aisle and window seats? Actually those go up too!

Arm rests – aisle and window seat: Run your hand along the underside of the armrest, just shy of the joint you’ll feel a button. Push it, and it will lift up. Adds a ton of room to the window seat and makes getting out of the aisle a helluva lot easier.

I tested it out on my window seat from Tampa to JFK this week. I was flying a regional jet with American Eagle. Sure enough when I ran my hand underneath the arm rest, there was a tiny button that when pushed allowed the arm rest to go up.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.07.05 PM

I was able to get a more comfortable sleeping position leaned against the side of the plane without the arm rest in the way.

From JFK to Las Vegas yesterday, I had an aisle seat. This arm rest had a button to go up hidden inside a hole in the same location.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.05.34 PM
I was actually able to move to a completely empty row on the flight, so I tried to put the window seat arm rest up to get even more room. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a button inside its hole. I’m not sure if that arm rest was defective or simply couldn’t be put up.

Had you already heard of this trick? Are any other tricks we should know to get more comfortable in economy?

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