Whether you’re taking a long-haul flight overseas or just popping interstate for a trip, having a good plane seat is always a bonus. So which seat is best? It all depends on what you’re after.
Middle of the plane
If you want a quiet flight where you can get some shut-eye, the middle section of the cabin is going to be your best bet. You will find that the kitchen, toilets and general standing areas where people congregate are located at front and back sections of the aircraft, and that the engine noises are louder in the back.
When selecting seats online, look for the smallest cabin – this will often consist of just a few rows of seats, so you’ll have a better chance of having a quiet and relaxed flight.
Front of the plane
For those who want to get off the plane as soon as it lands, or who experience air sickness, the front of the plane may be right for you. Here, there is less turbulence and you’ll have first choice of meals.
Airlines usually tend to seat families together nearer to back of the plane, so if you’re desperate to avoid crying and screaming kids, choose a seat the front of the plane.
Looking to have some shut-eye during the flight? Going for the window seat is a no-brainer. You might have to climb over people to get out, but it’s worth it to have a wall to rest your pillow against during a long, arduous flight. Plus, there’s the added bonus of being able to admire the view during take-off and landing. Just remember that not all window seats have windows, so check the plane’s layout before booking.
If you’re prepared to take action in the event of an emergency, the exit row is great since it allows for extra leg room – though you’ll have to pay extra for that precious 27 to 41 centimetres. Buyers beware: on some planes, the seats in the exit rows do not fully recline – and some don’t recline at all, so keep that in mind.
Anyone who appreciates the freedom of being able to get out of their seat at any time during a flight is likely to prefer an aisle seat. The main risk here is occasionally having your elbows bumped by the passing meal trolley.
But the aisle seat can pay off big time in another way. Extra space. When booking your seat on a large aircraft, choose an aisle seat where someone else has already booked the window seat. Unless you wind up on a full flight, you’re likely to end up with a spare seat between you, because who’s going to squeeze themselves into a lone middle seat?
Where is your favourite place to sit on a plane?