Device Aims To End Armrest Wars


Now that the airliner seat reclining issue seems to have subsided, a Dallas company has come up with another gadget designed to keep us from getting too close to our fellow passengers. The Soarigami is a plastic divider that clips on armrests to allow passengers on each side a segregated sliver of personal forearm space. Arthur Chang came up with the idea, which he is now trying to patent, after an uncomfortable flight in which he and his seatmate battled for armrest supremacy. Chang’s wife Grace, who helped design the device, doesn’t seem to like comparisons to the Knee Defender, the seat-recline blocking device that has prompted diversions and even violence between passengers. “Unlike products like the Knee Defender, Soarigami fosters a sharing environment that makes the skies just a bit friendlier,” she said in a news release.

Reviews are mixed on the device. Conde Nast has put it on its list of Brilliant Travel Gadgets and says it “may actually lead to friendlier skies.” But Yahoo Travel pans the Soarigami in its review of Seriously Annoying Airplane Devices. It will sell for about $30. Of course airlines will have the final word on whether passengers have the right to enforce this sliver of privacy and there hasn’t been time for them to react. Most airlines ban the use of the Knee Defender.