Travel SOS: Which is the best seat on a plane?

Font Size:

Phillip is going on his first international flight and wants to know which seat is best.

•••

Q. Phillip
After decades on the cruise circuit my wife has finally convinced me to take her on a trip to Europe. We have never flown internationally before and, as this will be our first long-haul flight, we are both somewhat nervous flyers. Are there any pointers you can give us when we are selecting our seats, ones that we may not know about as inexperienced flyers?

A. The best seat on a plane usually has more to do with personal preference than being a one size fits all proposition.

There are a few things to look out for, however. Assuming the plane is arranged in a three-seat, four-seat, three-seat formation you will want to avoid travelling in the two middle seats in the middle row. These seats offer the least comfortable sleeping option, especially if you are in economy, although you won’t have the hassle of people disturbing you when they need to get up and down. However, if that is your preference, you are better off opting for a window seat, which will offer one of you decent head support while you sleep.

One of the big changes in recent times has been the introduction of the A380 superjumbo. If you are travelling on one of these planes you will be offered a choice between the upper or lower decks. If you are having trouble deciding, the upper deck is usually better as it is much quieter and is also less densely populated during the flight.

As you are both nervous flyers, you may want to try and sit in the spot which delivers the smoothest ride.

According to Ask the Pilot, “The smoothest place to sit is over the wings, which is nearest to the plane’s centre of lift and gravity.” This is because as the plane flies through the sky with wind, airflow, torque and gravity all exerting force, it ‘rotates’ around its centre of gravity. 

The centre of gravity for planes is typically located toward the front of the wing, with the wing being what helps to lift the plane or – as aeronautical engineers refer to it – the ‘centre of lift’.

The result is that sitting at this point where the plane’s centre of gravity and lift meet should ensure the smoothest possible flight.

What seats do you prefer to sit in when you fly? Why? 

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

RELATED LINKS

Travel SOS: Why are planes so cold?

Adam is flying from Townsville to Spain and has to take a jumper just for the flight.

United launches new tool to eliminate missed connections

United launches a new tool that eliminates missed connections from your itinerary.

Qantas to remove all ‘shonky’ analogue scales from airports

Qantas will remove all ‘shonky' analogue scales from airports.

Written by Ben



SPONSORED LINKS

Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading

Food

Woo an Icelander in an Italian restaurant if you want a long marriage

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Remember that phrase? Given the battering the truth has...

COVID-19

How one aged care provider beat Australia's slow vaccine rollout

Australia's progress in vaccinating some of its highest-priority citizens has been slower than anyone wanted, but one Melbourne aged care...

Lifestyle

'Super plants' could help reduce air pollution in your home and garden

We all know about poor air quality in towns and cities, what with traffic, lack of green spaces and gardens...

Food and Recipes

Flatbread Pizzas with an Asian Twist

Invented by Nepalese chef Rachana from Eat Offbeat, the New York catering company that employs refugee cooks, these mini flatbread...

Wellbeing

Wellness technique actually makes us selfish, say researchers

Mindfulness has been the new black for much of the past decade. It's a buzzword bandied about to promote self-awareness,...

Health Insurance

Ageing baby boomers are missing out on health cover savings

Most older Australians see their health insurance premiums rise every year but don’t realise these high costs can be for...

Travel News

Vaccination no guarantee of open borders, says health minister

Australia's international border could remain closed even after the vaccination rollout is complete, according to health minister Greg Hunt. As...

Travel & Motoring

Are 'smart' cars creating dumb drivers?

The prevalence of driver aids is increasing all the time, even into lower priced cars. Cameras and sensors can alert...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...