The experience of flying through the ether in a pressurized metal tube is hardly comfortable. In most cases, your seat is more like a milk crate cloaked in cheap canvas than a cushion fit for human glutes. Couple that with a dearth of leg room and space for your arms, and flying seems less preferable to a horse-drawn buggy (or a sleeper train).
But behold, there’s actually a simplistic hack you can use to squeeze every inch of space available from your confining box of a seat. If you’re sitting in an aisle seat, you’ll find a hidden button underneath your armrest nearest the aisle. Pushing this unassuming piece of hardware will release the hinge, allowing you to lift your armrest vertically against the seat. In a pinch, you’ll be free from the relentless grasp of your seat, or at least have more room to stretch your legs.
Of course, this bit of knowledge comes with drawbacks, as you’ll likely be vying for aisle space with flight attendants and passengers lining up for the toilet. As a flight attendant told Conde Nast Traveler last year: "Keeping it up could allow someone to spill into the aisle a bit, which sounds great, because it means extra room...But it also means being bumped by every person walking down that aisle to use the lavatory, or even being bumped by flight attendants as we do our service.” Some planes, sadly, don't have removable armrests, the Traveler article notes.
You’ll have to adhere to normal protocol by putting the armrest in its normal position during take-off and landing, but that’s a small price to pay for optimizing your otherwise cumbersome experience. Also, try dramamine.
[h/t Travel + Leisure]