Need to Know

Ending the Arms Race

FYI: Travel

May 2015

Here’s one thing business travelers can stop worrying about when they fly: who owns the armrest. A new product about to launch—Soarigami—splits the often-contested space equally between two passengers.

Soarigami Explained PM15-FYI-travel-pic-snippet See the transformation

Creator Arthur Clark came up with the idea for the product while on a particularly uncomfortable flight with a neighbor who did not respect his personal space. He partnered with architect Grace Lee Chang to create an airplane-shaped prototype made from recycled plastic.

How does it work? Soarigami securely attaches to an airplane’s armrest, providing a middle barrier to delineate space, and help—according to the company website—“prevent hairy forearm grazing or sweaty spillage.” And it won’t add bulk to your baggage: as its name implies, Soarigami folds up for easy transport.

Clark says Soarigami is intended to make flying friendlier. “Our product fosters a sharing environment—there’s no loser here, only two winners who both end up more comfortable,” he says. Soarigami is slated to take off by early summer, and will be priced from US$20 to US$30. More at

Photography by Shutterstock