Is This Simple Device The Peacemaker For The Armrest Wars?

The Soaragami hopes to put an end to jockeying over the armrest by putting up a vertical barrier.

The Soaragami hopes to put an end to jockeying over the armrest by putting up a vertical barrier.

Until now, the best available solution for ending the war over shared armrests involved a complete redesign of theater seats. It’s a novel, but impractical idea that also fails to address the armrest jockeying that goes on every day on plains and trains. One new, elegantly simple idea, aims to end this war by equally divvying up the forearm real estate.

Conde Nast Traveler recently featured the Soaragami, which looks like a paper airplane but which is actually a small vertical divider that clips to a plane’s armrest to clearly mark your arm’s boundary and provide a physical buffer to minimize the awkward arm-to-arm contact that many travelers seek to avoid.

The device isn’t yet available on the market, but its creator tells CN Traveler that she hopes to launch the Soaragami in early 2015.

She says that her creation is different from devices like the Knee Defender, which blocks the seat in front of you from reclining (and caused one of the more notorious recent in-flight spats), saying that the Soarigami instead “fosters a sharing environment that makes the skies just a bit friendlier.”

(Correction: An earlier version of this story implied that the use of a Knee Defender is illegal. It is not, but United Airlines does not permit the use of the device. We apologize for this misstatement.)

Armrest hogs will surely grouse a bit about not being able to claim the entire armrest for their own, but travelers who find themselves continually brushed off the armrest by bigger, more brazen neighbors, will hopefully be able to avail themselves of at least some of the space they’ve been paying for.