Travel SOS: Are you rethinking the window seat?

We explain to Margie why she shouldn’t be afraid of the window seat in the wake of last month’s freak accident involving a passenger being partially sucked out of a plane.


Q. Margie
That story about the woman being sucked out of the plane has me thinking I might not choose a window seat ever again. Am I being paranoid?

A. You know, it was a scary story but, not to demean your fear, when was the last time you heard of such an accident?

You have most likely heard the whole ‘there’s more chance of dying when you cross the road’ argument. And it’s true. You probably have more chance of choking on a chicken bone, even if you don’t eat chicken.

It’s a horrible thing to witness, but it really was a freak accident and it shouldn’t make you fear flying any more than it should turn you off a good old pub parma.

But to help you get over your worries, here are a few reasons you should fall back in love with the window seat.

It’s obvious, I know, but there’s something so relaxing and mesmerising about staring at clouds. If you can manage to block out everything else, I guarantee that this is the most pleasing method of meditation there is.

Having the window upon which to rest your head almost ensures a much better sleep during a flight. Bring a travel pillow and shut the shades and you’ll be the envy of anyone not in a window seat.

Not being bumped
All those seats on planes mean narrow aisles and only the thinnest people will be able to pass through them without bumping your elbows. Sitting in the window seat ensures you won’t be sideswiped by service trolleys and anyone over 55kg.

More room
Many travellers claim that there’s more room under your seat or the seat in front to stuff your bag. I can’t verify that though.

Less air-sickness
Some people say they experience less air-sickness when sitting next to the window, which may have something to do with being able to see the horizon.

Okay, so an engine can burst with the off-chance of a piece of debris piercing your window and sucking you and potentially others out of the plane. But, on the plus side, you won’t have any heavy carry-on bags falling on your head when the plane lands. There’s a reason the captain says “be careful of any overhead baggage that may have become unstable during the flight”.

And to close, I came across this cool quote on from author, columnist, and pilot Patrick Smith:

“Somebody with an enthusiasm or vested interest in flying is always going to take the window seat, because they enjoy having that constant reminder that you are in this remarkable machine in the air. Over the years you see so many cool things from the air, it is hard to know where to start. Flying over the Sahara Desert, seeing the icebergs in the north Atlantic, flying over the city of Istanbul, looking down at the pyramids, flying over the American West, seeing the northern lights …”

Now that should get you back in the saddle!

If you have a Travel SOS question, send it to and we’ll do our best to answer it, or find someone who can.

Related articles:
Don’t book these plane seats
What your seat says about you
How to choose the best plane seat

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