When you’re going to be stuck on a plane for several hours, choosing the best seat is of utmost importance.
This is especially the case in economy class where space is often at a premium but choosing the right seat is important regardless of how you’re flying.
Choosing the best seat on a plane depends on your personal needs and what you consider to be most important when flying.
In this article, we will explain the best seats on a plane for various different reasons and scenarios to help you choose the best seat for you.
Best Seats For Larger Passengers
Flying on planes can be especially uncomfortable for larger passengers but you can reduce some of the discomfort by opting for an aisle seat.
Being stuck between two other passengers can be very uncomfortable but if you’re on the aisle, you will only have one person next to you.
You may even be able to raise the armrest on the aisle side to give you more space.
Best Seats For Legroom
Over the last few decades, the amount of legroom for passengers in economy class has decreased as airlines try to get more seats on the plane to maximize profits.
This can make flights very uncomfortable for anyone that’s tall or needs to stretch their legs. The best seats for legroom are the bulkhead seats.
These are the seats in the row immediately behind galleys and dividing walls.
They don’t have any under-seat storage, however, so any baggage will have to go into the overhead compartments.
Exit row seats are also roomier, however, some of these seats don’t recline.
Best Seats To Minimize Turbulence
Everyone hates a turbulent flight, but if your main aim when choosing a seat is to minimize the effects of turbulence as much as possible, then you should choose a seat that is over the wing.
As these seats are the closest to the plane’s center of gravity and lift, they aren’t as affected by bumpy flights.
In contrast, the worst place to sit on a turbulent flight is the far aft, at the back of the plane.
Best Seats For Peace And Quiet
Airplanes are noisy places. Whether it’s the sounds of the plane itself or the noise made by passengers, finding peace and quiet becomes a very difficult task.
The best you can do is to choose a seat that will minimize the amount of ambient noise on a plane. To do this, avoid seats that are near the restrooms and galleys.
On most planes the engines are located underneath the wings, so avoid seats near the wings, too. Usually, the quietest seats are ones near the front and by the window.
Best Seats For Tight Connections
One of the most stressful aspects of flying is when you have to change flights and only have a small window of time to do so.
Any kind of delay can make an already tight connection time even tighter so you will want to be off the plane as quickly as possible.
If you have a tight connection to make, choose a seat on the aisle that is as close to the forward exit as you can find.
This way you won’t be stuck behind people getting luggage from overhead compartments and can just exit the plane as quickly as possible.
Best Seats When Traveling With Kids
Traveling on a plane with kids can be especially tiring.
The pressure in plane compartments can play havoc with sensitive ears and long flight times with little opportunity to move around can be stressful and boring.
When flying with an infant, try to request a bassinet or skycot seat.
You will need to request these in advance of your flight as they are limited and airlines may not be able to accommodate your request if they aren’t given notice.
Many families like sitting near the back of a plane as it means they will be near a restroom and can take their time gathering together luggage without holding up other passengers.
Other families prefer the front due to the extra legroom. Sitting near the front also means you can disembark quicker, something fussy and bored children might appreciate.
Best Seats For Sleeping
If you’re lucky enough to be the type of person who can sleep anywhere, then maybe any airplane seat is the best seat for sleeping.
However, if you struggle to sleep on a plane and need some help, then you will want to choose the right seat.
The best way to sleep on a plane is to have an empty seat next to you.
Empty seats mean you can take over both of the armrests and stretch your legs out into the space next to you.
You also don’t have to worry about your neighbor moving around or potentially needing to get past you to go to the restroom.
It can be difficult to get an empty seat next to yours as there is always a chance someone will book the seat after you’ve booked yours.
There are a few tactics you can employ to raise your chances of getting an empty seat though.
Typically, the front seats on a plane are booked first, as are the seats in the side sections by the windows.
As a solo traveler, your best chance of getting an empty seat next to you is by booking a seat at the back of the plane and in the center section.
As legroom seats are more expensive, you could also try booking one of these as the additional price often leaves them empty.
For couples, try booking the aisle and window seats on three-seater side sections.
People are unlikely to book the middle seat between two filled seats unless they have no other choice.
If someone does book this seat, then they will usually be willing to switch for a window or aisle seat to allow a couple to sit together.
General Tips To Get The Best Seats
Here are a few general tips to make sure you get the seats you want.
The earlier you book your flights and your seats, the higher the chances are that you will get the seats you want. The later you leave it, the less choice you will have.
If you aren’t allowed to book your seat in advance and only get the choice at check-in, make sure you check in early.
Take advantage of online check-in as this can give you the first chance at booking seats.
Understand The Seat Map
When booking a seat, you will usually be presented with a seat map for the plane.
These aren’t always to scale, so you can’t always guarantee that larger spaces on the map actually exist on the plane.
Remember that the top of the map is always the front of the plane and the bottom is the rear.
The best seat on an airplane for you depends on your priorities as a passenger.
In this article, we detailed several scenarios and explained the best seat for each one. We hope that the hints and tips in this article will make your next flight more comfortable.