How to choose the best airplane seat
Where you sit on a long airplane journey has the power to turn your flight into something of pleasure – or pain.
Here’s a few tips to help you pick a good seat on board any flight – without paying for a costly upgrade.
Whether you like the front or the back of the plane, an aisle or window seat, the best way to ensure you get what you want is to buy your tickets well in advance and select your seat early. Depending on the airline you may be able to do this for free, or pay a small fee to select the seat you want – thus also cutting out the additional stress of online check in ahead of time.
Remember the emergency exit
In economy class, the easiest way to get extra legroom is to sit in an emergency exit seat. Some airlines now charge a small fee to book these seats in advance, but many others will let you select them for free. If you want or need extra legroom, this is a good seat for you. It’s worth noting however, that sometimes in these seats you won’t have the option of storing your bag under the seat in front of you.
The CAA state the following:
Some passengers may not be permitted to sit in a seat row next to an emergency exit. This is because if the emergency exit is needed, it is important the exit can be opened and the aircraft evacuated as quickly as possible.
The following passengers are among those who should not be allocated, or directed to, seats by emergency exits:
- Passengers with physical or mental impairment or disability to the extent that they would have difficulty in moving quickly if asked to do so.
- Passengers who have significant sight or hearing impairment to the extent that it might be difficult for them to respond to instructions quickly.
- Passengers who, because of age or sickness, have difficulty in moving quickly.
- Passengers who, because of physical size, have difficulty in moving quickly.
- Children (whether accompanied or not) and infants.
Choose a bulkhead
Bulkhead seats are another good option for a bit of extra room. These are the seats that are behind diving partitions in economy class. Like emergency exit seats, you won’t be able to store your bags under the seat in front of you and will also have to contend with a TV that folds out of the arm rest rather than being fixed in the seat infront. Because this is also where airlines place infants and babies so they can use a cot, you may end up sitting beside a young family – or, if they need the seats, you might just get bumped up into business class to accommodate them.
Think of turbulence
If you’re a nervous flyer or are easily upset by turbulence, choose a seat as close to the front of the wing as possible. Sitting in the plane’s centre of gravity will help you minimise the feeling of any bumping and jostling while you’re in the air.
If you’re trying to make a tight connection, choose a seat as close to the plane’s exits as possible so you can off board quickly. Remember on smaller planes – typically on shorter flights – there are also often exits at the rear of the plane as well, so sitting at the back might not be so bad after all.
Check the plane layout
Today you don’t have to be in the dark about what seats are best on board. Most airlines will give you a plane layout when you go to choose your seats online, and services like Seat Guru make it quick and easy to look up your flight and see exactly which type of aircraft you’ll be flying, plus notes from passengers about the best seats on board.
What tips do you use to get the best airplane seat?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
- Books to give and receive for Christmas 2017 - December 12, 2017
- Have people forgotten the true meaning of Christmas? - December 11, 2017
- 8 tips for serving fizz, wines and cocktails this festive season - December 10, 2017
- Which retro party foods have you served? - December 8, 2017
- Festive Blueberry and Bergamot Popcorn with salted caramel - December 8, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!