MS. BEHAVING feels your pain! Here are this week’s sticky wicket travel situations:
A READER WRITES: Please settle a bet for us: on a plane, how do I know how many armrests I’m entitled to? Sometimes the elbow-jostling for position borders on battle.
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Ah, the Armrest Tango – that dance no traveler wants to do. These are confusing times – often, when Ms. Behaving travels in coach, it seems that the width of the seat is about the same size as the armrest itself. But I digress. To your point: while there are no hard and fast rules, placement and consideration should be your guide. If you’ve got the window, you get the armrest nearest the window; on the aisle the aisle armrest is undeniably yours. If you sit in the unfortunate middle seat you are wretched indeed and I believe entitled to both inside armrests. Wherever you sit, do ask politiely if you might share the armrest with the person next to you enroute. This will stop any potential unpleasantness and most likely the person will fall asleep soon, giving you both armrests!
A READER WRITES: I love going to countries where the tip/service charge is already included. But I notice that the locals – in France, Germany, Italy, etc. – often leave some change behind. Why?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Including the service charge, usually 15%, prevents the diner from the distasteful task of doing arithmetic after a pleasant meal. Indeed, Ms. Behaving – who is brilliant in comportment but deficient in math – thinks this should be a universal practice! What you are observing is a delightful custom that will earn you big Karma points with very little money. A couple of Euros left behind on the tray shows that you appreciate the staff and are a worldly traveler.
WHAT’S YOUR QUANDARY? Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .
Photo above: Ms. Behaving at Royal Ascot.