How to Get the Best Seat on the Plane

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Do all seats on the plane offer the same comfort? Of course not. Check out which seats you should avoid and how to pick the best one.

In the perfect world, every seat on the plane – regardless of its location – should ensure the same conditions: comfort, view, and convenience. But this is not the way things are: on the plane, there are better and worse seats.Some of the following rules are universal, but some of them pertain only to specific airplanes.

Which seats should you avoid while travelling by plane?

  • The last row.These seats are probably the worst: they often do not recline as much as seats in other rows (there is a wall behind you). What is more, next to your row, people are queuing up for the toilet, and you also get all the smells and sounds coming from the kitchen. If passengers use only the front exit to leave the plane, you will have to wait patientlyfor your turn – you will leave the last.
  • Middle seats, with neighbours on your left and right. Every time the passenger sitting next to the window wants to move or go to the toilet, you will have to get up to make way for them. Not only once, because when they come back, you will also have to make way for them again. Also, you have less room for your elbows, because you have to share the armrests with fellow passengers on your left and right.
  • The first row. It seems great, because it is a premium or business class seat, and such seats cannot be bad by definition. But there are some inconveniences involved. You may have more legroom, but you are also exposed to draughtwhen other passengers are boarding the plane (when you have already taken your seat and the doors are still open because not all passengers are on board yet). What is more, during the take-off and landing, your hand luggage must not lie on the floor.
  • Seats with limited access to windows.In some airplane types and models, even the ‘window seat’ does not guarantee direct access to the window.

What are the best seats then? In the case of low-cost airlines, seats in the rows which offer more legroom provide a considerable improvement of comfort. In regular airlines, seats which offer fast service and access to the toilet are considered to be the best. To sum up:

  • Seats near emergency exits. Here, your comfort results from safety reasons – you have more legroom because of the need to ensure a wide passage and access to emergency exits in case of evacuation. Remember that passengers on these seats should speak English well enough to understand the orders of the staff which are given in that language.
  • Seatsin front rows.You will get food early. If you need to use the toilet, it is near your seat. And to leave the plane, you do not need to wait in a long queue of passengers stuck in the passageway, carrying their hand luggage.
  • The first row in the economy class. The curtain separating the business class from the economy class is sometimes moved (depending on the number of seats sold in a specific class). Even if this does not mean getting to the business class, you will have better access to food and the toilet.
  • All seats in a class higher than the economy class (premium economy, business, first). This seems obvious but bear in mind that a seat in a more expensive class offers greater comfort than a seat in the economy class. A wider seat with more adjustment options, a footrest– these are only examples of privileges awaiting passengers who are ready to pay more for their ticket. The bad news is that there is often a significant price difference between the economy class and the premium/business class.


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