A flight attendant has revealed a lesser-known trick for making your flying experience a little more comfortable.
On most aircraft, there are clearly visible buttons passengers can press to raise and lower the armrests on the middle seats on planes. However, many passengers incorrectly assume the aisle seat armrest stays stuck in place.
The Virgin Australia flight attendant corrects this assumption in a viral video, shared to the airline’s official TikTok account, in which she reveals there’s often a ‘secret button’ underneath the armrest of the aisle seat that can be pressed to lift the armrest – making passengers more comfortable at 38,000ft.
In the video, which has been viewed more than 118,000 times, the cabin crew member pushes a ‘special button’ close to the hinge of the armrest and swiftly pushes the armrest upright.
The caption reads: ‘Have you ever struggled with the aisle seat armrest? Struggle no more with this seat hack!’
A Virgin Australia flight attendant has revealed a ‘special button’ on the aisle seat armrest. She revealed that the button, which lies in the hinge of the armrest, can be pressed to lift the armrest upright
It continues: ‘Press this special button and lift the armrest. Try this out on your next flight.’
The trick, seemingly little known to many TikTokers, invited plenty of likes – more than 3,000 – and lots of comments.
One TikTok user named Shmali wrote: ‘Thank you! I can [do] this and relax in the air.’ While another named Adam Whiteman said: ‘Life changed!’
And user Adam Bromley wrote: ‘More people need to see this.’
While fans of the ‘hack’ claim that using the button means they have more space to spread out and better access to overhead compartments, it is important to regard airline safety when using the trick.
The flight attendant shared how to use the button in a video posted to Virgin Australia’s official TikTok account. One TikTok user commented that the button trick was ‘life-changing’
Sebastien Bouevier, a Safety and Emergency Procedures instructor for a major airline, previously explained that armrests must be placed down during take-off and landing to prevent causing injury to passengers, News.com.au reports.
Bouevier said that ‘if the aircraft was to come to a sudden halt’, any armrests that weren’t safely placed down could ‘swivel forward at the same speed as the aircraft was at prior to halting’ and thus ‘could slam into your side’ with great force, the publication reports.
Furthermore, FAA guidance states that armrests prior to take-off and landing are supposed to be in the normal forward position in order to ensure that they do not obstruct the passageway between the row of seats and the emergency exit.
In an emergency, an upright or partially stowed armrest could pose a greater risk of obstruction, it says, adding that moveable armrests in planes are provided mainly to assist those with mobility impairments.