Air travel can be a stressful situation for anyone, even for the most laid-back individuals!
There are many anxiety-inducing aspects of flying on an airplane, such as crowds, turbulence, fear of flying, and being in a confined space to name a few.
As well as these points, noise can also be a stressful element of air travel that can be enough to turn people away from flying altogether.
If you know where you are up to when it comes to the noise levels on an airplane, you might be able to alleviate some of this stress, particularly if you are significantly worried about how the noise will affect your experience.
With this in mind, we are going to be looking at where both the loudest and quietest places are to sit on a plane so that if loud noise is an important factor for you, you can plan your airplane flight accordingly. Let’s get started.
The Loudest Seats
In general, any seat that is towards the back of the plane- behind the wing- is going to be louder.
Sitting behind the wing is basically the same as sitting in front of a particularly large loudspeaker, with all of the loud sounds from the disturbed air as well as the engine being projected directly towards you.
If you find that you have no choice but to sit towards the back of the plane, then you will find that seats in the aisle will be a bit quieter than a window seat.
That being said, whilst aisle seats are definitely a quieter option, it is important to remember that when in an aisle seat, you are likely to get interrupted by fellow passengers when they get up to use the washroom.
This may not exactly be a particularly loud problem, but it might be something that is bothersome to some.
The Quietest Seats
Seeing as the loudest seats are behind the wing and at the back of the plane, the quietest ones can be found at the front of the plane.
Much as sitting behind the wing is similar to sitting in front of a speaker, sitting in front of the wing is like sitting behind a speaker as the loud sounds from the engine are projected away from you rather than being directed towards you.
This leads to a quieter and smoother flight with less noise.
As mentioned, the aisle seats are likely to be quieter than a window seat, but both the aisle and the window seats towards the front of the plane are going to be quieter than anything in the back.
Certain airlines will have designated “quiet zones”- such as AirAsia’s A330 plane- and it is no surprise that they are often positioned at the front of the plane
Factors To Think About When Considering The Sound Levels Of Airplane Seats
We have established that in general, you’re likely to find that seats at the back of the plane and behind the wing are going to be louder due to your position in relation to the engine, there are a few other points and factors to consider that could make a difference when it comes to choosing your plane seat based on sound levels.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors.
Proximity To The Bathroom
We briefly touched on this earlier when discussing the difference between an aisle seat and a window seat, but we only really mentioned the bathroom situation on a plane in relation to the likelihood of dealing with fellow passengers squeezing past you to reach it if you find yourself sitting in the aisle.
However, it can also have an effect when it comes to the sound levels that you experience.
If you are sitting in a seat that is close to the bathroom, it is important to remember that you are going to experience a bit more sound than usual.
When in a seat near the bathroom, you will likely hear a lot of flushing.
Not only that, but you are going to have people hanging around the area in general, which is sure to create more noise.
The bathroom can usually be found towards the rear of the plane, but you can always check exactly where your seat will be by visiting websites such as SeatGuru.com
Type Of Aircraft
This is a key factor that can significantly change the sound levels on the plane that you are traveling on, as different kinds of aircraft have different engines, which is the main source of loud noise when it comes to air travel.
Newer planes tend to have much quieter engines, such as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787.
Older planes can be louder, but planes that have a turboprop engine also have a tendency to be much louder than jet planes.
A turboprop engine refers to a turbine engine that will drive an aircraft propeller via air entering the intake of the engine and being compressed before fuel is added to the compressed air.
The mixture of fuel and air will then combust, with the hot combustion gases expanding throughout the turbine stages and thus generating power at the exhaust point.
Some examples of aircraft that utilize turboprop engines include the Twin Otter and the ATR-72.
Turboprop engines were even a significant part of the plane that was considered to be the loudest in the entire world The Russian Tu-95 plane- known as the ‘Bear’ has eight massive propellers that were attached to four turboprop engines!
If you find that you have various options when it comes to getting to your chosen destination, make sure that you consider exactly what type of aircraft you will be using in order to get there.
Most airlines will use different kinds of planes on the same route, though, which is important to remember.
Announcements during flights are an essential part of air travel as they are a safety requirement.
It is also necessary for them to be particularly loud- reaching sound levels that can be as high as 95 decibels- so that every single passenger on the plane is able to hear it above all other noise on board.
Whilst there is nothing you can do about the sound level of the in-flight announcements (they are for your own safety, after all!), you can at least take some comfort in knowing that they don’t last very long.
So there you have everything that you need to know about where you will find both the loudest and the quietest seats on an aircraft.
If you are unable to get a seat in the quieter, front area of the plane (these seats do tend to be more expensive), then there are a few things you can do to minimize the sound levels around you.
Bring a pair of noise-canceling headphones or some earplugs, and you are sure to reap the benefits of a quiet and peaceful flight, no matter where you are seated!