What’s in an airplane seat?
Consideration should be made in choosing your seat on an airplane, especially over long distances. Frequent travelers usually have a preference noted in their flight record and know to get to the airport early to request a change if their choice is not available. Here are a few ideas on seat preference so you can make a more educated choice the next time you fly.
The middle seat is usually considered the worst seat. Inevitably, there is a struggle for an available armrest, and you are stuck tucking your elbows close for the entire flight. However, there are some benefits to the middle seat. If you have a close connection, choosing a middle seat closer to the front of the aircraft allows you to deplane faster than another choice further back on the airplane. Additionally, choosing a middle seat makes it more likely that someone else will choose another row rather than be next to you. In many cases, you might end up with the entire row to yourself or at least have a seat next to you open. There’s no guarantee, but if you have no choice.
The bulkhead seat is the seat directly behind a divider partition on an airplane. If you’re tall, this is one of the best options for seating as it has somewhat of built-in legroom. The caveat is that not all airplane designs are the same, so checking out the airplane diagram before deciding is recommended. The negative of a bulkhead seat is that it is also the desired space for parents traveling with babies or lap children. Many airlines provide bassinets that can be attached to the wall for babies to sleep on long-haul flights. Additionally, all items must go overhead as there is no under-seat storage. Considering the length of your flight will help you better decide on this choice.
The aisle seat is also a preferred seat for those that are taller. With this option, you can stretch your leg into the aisle instead of having your knees bent for the entire trip. However, you must be careful as flight attendants cannot see over the serving carts, so you’re also more prone to get hit by a service cart if you’re not careful. Additionally, you will have to get up to allow your seatmates to leave their seats.
Window seats are great if you do not want to be bothered by anyone, and they are great if you’re going to sleep as they can also double as a headrest when sleeping. However, getting out inflight to leave your seat can be a hassle as you must ask your seatmates to get up or somehow try to climb over them to get out. If you have a small or weak bladder, I do not recommend this seat.
Exit row seats
These are the seats that have removable windows or doors used to exit the aircraft in an emergency. One nice feature of an exit row seat is that it usually has more legroom. Therefore, it is another excellent choice for taller people. One drawback is that it has an age restriction and disability restriction, so travelers with disabilities or families with young children cannot be seated here. Another disadvantage is that some exit row seats do not recline or have limited recline ability. Additionally, exit row seats tend to be colder as you are seated next to a door or window with seals. Make sure you dress accordingly for these seats.
People often ask my preference in seating, and it varies for me. If it’s a short flight, I use the bathroom before and choose a window seat. For longer flights, I prefer the aisle. I try not to get bulkhead seats as small children are usually nearby, but I like them if my other options are unavailable as I have more legroom. I’d choose a middle seat over another if it’s closer to the front of the airplane. I avoid exit row seats because I find it colder. What’s your preference? I’d like to know