Imagine you’re sitting on a plane, flying somewhere you’ve always wanted. Seated in the middle, you’re thinking of all the awesome things you’re going to do, but then your train of thought is interrupted by an annoying kid kicking the back of your seat. You shake your head, trying to convince yourself this is going to be a good trip, but then the passenger in front of you shoves their long hair over their seat, which blocks your screen’s view, and before you can complain, the passenger to your right wants to go to the bathroom and requires you to move. You grudgingly do so and close your eyes to get some shut eye, which you can’t because suddenly a baby somewhere starts crying.
Doesn’t sound that awesome, does it?
This is exactly why when you board an airplane, the one thing that you’re looking forward to the most and that matters the most to you is exactly where you’ll be sitting. While thinking that a seat on a plane might not be as important as it sounds, the seat and the position you sit in is directly related to your satisfaction with the flight. Some people love window seats (who doesn’t,) some prefer to be seated in an aisle seat, and some just like to go randomly.
So, if you’re traveling soon and are about to book your seat, then you need to know what’s the best option for you and what you should generally avoid. Because we all deserve a little break, and it’s not going to be a happy one if we’re not even sitting comfortably. Here are all the best seats on a plane for you, so you don’t have to deal with a nightmarish journey:
Where Not to Sit
In order to pick out the best seat for you, you need to figure out which seat you have to avoid. That’s exactly what we’re going to do here, so here are the seats or the rows in an airplane you should absolutely avoid if you can:
The Middle Seats
No matter who you’re sitting with (unless, of course, you're booking identical or neighboring seats for yourself and someone you know), the middle seats can be absolute nightmares. Since you’re sitting in the middle, you will have to accommodate movements for the other passengers, especially if you’re sitting in a close-ended row. And another thing that’s not told as much when it comes to middle seating is that while flight attendants try their best to offer comfort and airlines have several services for their passengers, the middle seat passengers often feel discomfort because they’re not directly in line to the walking area and don’t have the solace of a window seat.
Who should get the middle seat?
If you’re someone who likes the comfort of two armrests on both sides. But this is a small circumstance, and usually, passengers only get the middle seat if they have no other option.
Back Row of Every Section
Concerning the back row, it doesn't even matter what kind of seat you have; you’ll be getting very uncomfortable anyway. The reason is, back row seats don’t have the space to recline back, so if you’re someone who gets exhausted easily and early into the flight, or if you’re taking a long-haul flight, your chances of relaxation are zero. In addition to your own seat not reclining back, the seats in front of you still do, which basically means the passenger in front of you will be reclining back, and you’ll be left with even lesser legroom than what you started with.
Another unseen and undiscussed issue with the back row seats is that the food is served front-to-back, which means if you have a particular food choice and don’t want to be getting what’s left, then you shouldn’t be getting the back row seat. This is, of course, because most passengers in the front have a wider range to choose from, and before the food option reaches you, your preferred meal might be finished.
This is why you should avoid the back row seats if you can.
Who should take the back row seats?
Honestly, it’s difficult to come up with any positive remarks for the back row seats, so there isn’t really much to add here.
Bulkhead seats are also known as emergency seats because they’re situated in the “bulkhead” portion of the plane, where the cabins (economy or business/first-class) are divided and partitioned. These seats follow the emergency exits, and because you’ll have a wall directly in front of you, you won’t have any form of under-seat stowage. You also won’t have access to food trays in front of you and might have to adjust your seating to eat sideways (as the trays are supported on the arms of the chair) instead. The support for the table and televisions are shaky, so if you easily get anxious, you’re not going to be having a swell time.
The list doesn’t end here; the armrest that you rely on relaxing for will be immovable because you’re not seated in the other chairs, and because these seats are located in a constricted section of the plane, your chair width may be narrower than what you’re hoping for. The bulkhead seats are commonly requested by families with children, so if you’re a noise-hater, this seat is not for you and definitely not going to be among the best seats on a plane.
For whom are bulkhead seats a good option?
As mentioned above, bulkhead seats are good for families because if you’re carrying a baby cot, bassinets, or hand carries (like a bag of diapers) that you don’t want to stowaway on the locker and need to keep with you at all times, the extra space is going to be extremely helpful. Plus, if your kids easily get restless and you don’t want to be that parent whose kids are running around and annoying other passengers, you can let them play in the little extra space you’re getting.
Seats Near the Toilet
All airlines make sure they thoroughly sanitize and clean their airplanes, but it’s a common fact that any seat near the toilet will keep you at a certain discomfort. The bathrooms are cleaned, yes, but that doesn’t mean that you might not get a waft of bad odor when someone uses it. And if you’re someone with a rather sensitive nose, the seats near the toilet won’t do you good.
Who should take the seats near the toilet?
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and this is true when it comes to choosing the seats near the toilet. If you’re bringing along kids and didn’t get the bulkhead seats, then the next best seats on a plane you’re going to get are the ones near the toilet. Kids are unpredictable; they can suddenly reveal they need to go to the toilet or will have to keep going frequently, so if you’re sitting near the toilet, you won’t have to keep crossing rows of passengers and feeling embarrassed.
If you have any medical issues that may have you running to the bathroom anytime or suddenly, then the seats near the toilet are your best bet.
What are the Best Seats on a Plane?
Now that you know which seats to avoid, there are limited options to the best seats on a plane. The limitation isn’t that you won’t find a seat, but that there isn’t much to choose from. By the process of elimination, the best seats on a plane are the window seats, the front row seats, and the aisle seats. There are, of course, some pros and cons to each of them. Here are your best seats on a plane:
Front Row Seats
Your chances of having a happy flight increase if you go with the front row seats. There are quite a few reasons why front row seats are the best seats on a plane. Firstly, every service that the airline offers starts front to back. This means that when the flight attendants take their rounds asking for your food choice and various other things like drinks, you, as a front-row seater, will have a wider range of options to choose from.
For example, if your flight accommodates a total of 100 passengers and has 50 chicken meals and 50 beef meals, and you like the chicken, then getting your hands on your preferred meal is an added benefit to the front row. The farther the flight attendant goes from the front row seat, the lesser the chances of all passengers being able to get their favorite meal are.
Another benefit to the front row seat is that you’re pretty far from the bathroom, so if you’re someone who hates odors and just wants to have a nice time, then the front row is going to do you wonders. Similarly, front row seats are located near the exit, so you won’t have to wait for passengers to get out of the plane before you do.
Why the window seats are one of the best seats on a plane is no brainer; everybody likes the view of the window seats. There is a lot of fascination when it comes to sitting near the window, and let’s be honest, who wants to have a view of strangers when you could have the view of the sky, the clouds, and the passing ground? If you’re a sucker for beautiful views or even are a photographer, travel blogger/vlogger, or social media influencer, then the window seats are going to be the best seats on a plane for you.
While the aisle seats don’t normally compare to the love of window seats, one thing that all window seat users have to go through is coming up with the courage to ask the middle seat passenger to move so they can go to the toilet. For anyone with social anxiety, this can be a nightmare, and it’s best not to hurt your bladder for the sake of your own mental peace. This is why, if you go with the aisle seats, you’ll be making the best decision.
Firstly, the aisle seat passengers can move as freely as they like. And no, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get up whenever because there are certain times when you have to remain seated. What it actually means is that you’ll be able to stand and stretch your legs when you’re feeling a bit cramped, and you can go to the bathroom without coming up with the energy to ask someone else to move.
Another added benefit of the aisle seats is that you’re in direct contact with the flight attendant, so you’ll be able to voice out your preferences and requests more easily. And, since flight attendants go in turn to each passenger, the choice of food and any other services will be asked to you before the middle and window seat passengers.
Tips For a More Comfortable Flight
Now that you know what seats the best seats on a plane are, here are some tips to have a better flying experience:
- If you’re a plus-sized passenger, then you should ask for seat extenders when you’re entering the plane. This is when flight attendants have the time and space to arrange what you request, so you don’t have to dread a “sorry, we can’t arrange it at this time”. Besides, arranging extenders mid-flight may cause disturbance to the other passengers, so it’s better if you ask when you’re boarding the plane. And, if the flight attendants don’t have it when you ask, they’ll arrange it after boarding is completed and before take-off.
- Ask for baby bassinets as soon as you enter the plane because even though most flights have bassinets, some may not be available when you ask mid-flight.
- If you hate getting your ears blocked due to the difference of pressure in the air, then chew on some gum or take a decongestant before boarding. You can even bring a nasal spray to reduce the issue.