WE’VE all been there. You book your flights online, you’re ready to go, and the prompt comes up asking you to choose your seat.
Of course you want to avoid being stuck in the middle, but how do you know if the left-hand side is better than the right? Which exit row is better? We’ve pulled together some tips to help you pick the best spots on the plane.
Avoid high-trafficked areas
You might think you have a great seat, but if you’re right near the galley or toilets, you’re not going to have a peaceful trip.
On a long haul flight, you might think you’ve lucked out to score the exit row in economy, but if it’s right next to the toilet, all your leg room will be taken up by other passengers lining up to use the bathroom.
And if all you want is some peace and quiet for your flight, avoid the galley area as well.
If you’re prone to air sickness, choose a seat in the middle of the plane.
A Skyscanner survey found that frequent flyers reported the middle of the plane was the most stable during turbulence.
You’ll always get the most legroom in exit rows and in the first row of the cabin.
These are, for obvious reasons, the most popular seats, so they’re often reserved for premium passengers or passengers willing to pay extra to reserve them.
But if they haven’t been reserved, you can have them allocated for when you check in, so it’s always worth asking.
Reclining seat woes
If you want to relax back during the flight, it’s important to note that most of the seats in front of an exit row will not recline much, and neither will the seats in the last row of the plane.
If a plane has two exit rows, the first row will not recline much.
Best seats when travelling with children
Getting stuck on a flight with noisy children is many travellers’ worst nightmare.
It’s an issue that divides passengers into two distinct camps: those with kids, and those without.
Many airlines have drop-down bassinets at the front of the plane, which is important to note for travellers both with children and without.
The best way to check whether your flight will have these bassinets, and where they will be, is to use a website such as SeatGuru or SeatExpert, which can give you the layout of the plane you will be travelling on.
If you’re nervous about flying, aim for a seat near the back. The Discovery Channelcrashed a Boeing 727 to find out where the safest seats were in a deadly plane crash, and found that those seated near the back were most likely to walk away.
The comfort of windows
If you want to sleep against the wall from a window seat, choose the left-hand side of the plane.
The same Skyscanner survey found that passengers preferred the left because the windows were positioned between the seats, providing a flat surface to lean on.
The windows on the right are better for checking out the view of your destination.
To find out which seats are where for your flight, it pays to do a little bit of research. Websites such as SeatGuru and SeatExpert can show you the plane layouts for your flight, including the galleys, bathrooms and exit rows.
OCTOBER 31, 2012 | News.com.au